2/5/21: The Cottage School Cougars had their final road contest at the Brandon Hall School to take on the Panthers. It is an old classic rivalry from their AAC days. Brandon Hall left the AAC to the GISA in the fall of 2014 and this year is their first as a GHSA member. For over two decades the two cats battled back and forth each season competing for AAC titles. The Panthers left the AAC as champions and that year defeated TCS three times. In fact, Cottage has not beaten Brandon Hall in eight years as they continued to get more talent in each season. This Covid-19 school year provided so many different matchups as teams never know which lineup they may have entering each day. Unfortunately for Brandon Hall they had some players sit out for that reason so were down three starters however, the two remaining are very athletic and crafty skilled players. The Cougars do play outstanding defense but do they have enough on offense was the question going into this matchup. Coach Briggs spoke heading into the Panther dome; “We are aware BH has some guys out but they still have two explosive scorers that can put in points in a hurry. We are confident our team defense will limit them some but if we don’t score 50 points, it will be a tall task to pull it out.”

Brandon Hall was all over the glass in the first period that made for extra points, but Cottage connected on five three pointers to keep it close. The Cougars are not known for many shots from behind the arch so these field goals were critical. They held a slim 25-22 edge with less than thirty seconds in the half but just like they did the night before at Furtah, two bad passes created a small Panther rally to reclaim the lead as BH went ahead 28-25. Assistant coach Suroy Henderson spoke at the break, “This game is going to go down to the wire. The good news is we are standing our ground with their physicality. Boxing out better in the second period has forced BH to get in foul trouble and that might hurt them later.”

The third stanza went back and forth and the Panthers still led 39-37 but Cottage established an inside game that Brandon Hall was having a tough time defending. Matter of fact, one of the two dynamic Panthers, Levarily (#23) picked up a fourth foul. The Cougars kept pounding the ball inside and early in the fourth, Levarily fouled out. BH was now in trouble stopping the Cottage offensive attack so their best player, Botas (#4) had to take over. The problem is TCS’ intense team defensive pressure was not going to let that happen. Brandon Hall scored just 9 fourth quarter points to the Cougars’ 16. Cottage went ahead 46-44 with just over three minutes remaining on an Alex Hogg offensive put back. They never looked back and prevailed 53-48 to pick up their first win over BH since 2013.

TCS is now 12-6 overall and will finish the regular season with their final GISA region matchup at home versus Furtah Prep.

Game Notes:

Aidan Briggs scored 24 points with 8 rebounds.

Alex Hogg led the team with 9 boards and 3 blocked shots. He added 16 points.

Daniel Byman rolled a Yahtzee with fours! His effort earned him 4 points, 4 boards, 4 assists, 4 steals, and 4 turnovers.

Braden Kramer scored 7 of his 8 points in a 7-0 run midway through the second frame to take the Cougars first lead of the game (23-20). He also stole 3 balls and snagged 3 rebounds.

Kyle Kimble struggled on offense but his presence on defense was huge. He corralled 6 boards, had a steal, and blocked 2 shots.