12/2/2021: The Cottage School Cougars traveled to Sandy Springs, GA to take on the GHSA Atlanta Jewish Academy Jaguars. TCS and AJA try to play once or twice a year because each contest is usually a match that goes down to the wire and this one was no different.
The Jaguars connected on their first three shots and did not look back the rest of the contest. After taking an early 8-1 deficit, TCS finally made a shot. The Cougars tried to claw their way back, but AJA continued to hold the cushion. They took a 12-7 first quarter lead and then ended the half with a 27-16 edge. Coach Briggs spoke at the half. “Once again, we can tell the kids did not shoot or run much over break. They have dead legs, and this is the consequence. We hope that our effort and focus can keep this game close in hopes of a last gasp on one of the final few possessions.”
Coach Richie was right that they boys would play hard. Their effort made up for missed shots and several turnovers. Despite the sloppiness the Jaguars did not have the talent as did the Brandon Hall Panthers last night so could not pull away. At the end of the third stanza the Cougars found themselves down just 36-30.
TCS held Atlanta Jewish to only two points over the first five minutes in the fourth. Cottage battled back and tied it at 38 apiece. After such great defense throughout, the Cougars had three straight breakdowns and the Jaguars made them pay connecting on two big three pointers and a layup. With just a minute remaining on the clock, the Cougars were down 46-40 but did have possession. After a quick timeout, Aidan Briggs drove the lane and made the basket, but an official called a travel. As video evidence would later prove that it was just two large slow steps, there is no red flag in basketball, so no challenge was allowed. Instead of a four-point game with .42 seconds remaining, AJA kept the 46-40 lead. TCS forced a turnover but could not connect on either shot attempt as the buzzer went off. The Cougars are now 6-3 on the season and look forward to three games next week.
TCS will start with Lyndon Academy on Tuesday at home.
Aidan Briggs scored 20 points to go with another 9 rebounds and 6 steals.
Alex Hogg sat for 70% of the game in foul trouble. He did come in late and added 8 of his 10 points to help tie the game.
Braden Kramer made two three-pointers for 6 points. He also added 3 boards and 2 steals.
Daniel Byman pulled down 7 rebounds and played a key role in keeping his team close with his defensive pressure.
Ben Johnson was also outstanding on defense and really played his best game as a Cougar. Stats do not justify how valuable he was on the floor.