2/15/23: The Cottage School Cougars took on the host team, Cumberland Academy Cyclones in the AAC consolation game. Like their two regular season contests, Cumberland made it hard for Cottage to score and kept the game close. As a matter of fact, the Cyclones led all the way up to the fourth quarter before TCS pulled away with a 47-41 win.
The Cougars trailed 38-37 with just four and a half minutes left in regulation. A missed Cyclones shot triggered a quick outlet run for TCS. CA chose not to put pressure on the ball coming across midcourt, so Braden Kramer pulled and sunk a three without contention, giving Cottage their first lead of the game at 40-38. Once the Cougars took this lead they never looked back. TCS went on a 13-5 fourth quarter run that iced the game for a Cottage 47-41 victory.
The home team came out firing on all cylinders to begin the contest. Cumberland led 15-8 after the first period and held a 28-20 halftime advantage. It was not until the third period before TCS found an offensive rhythm. In this quarter, Cottage saw four different Cougars score. With this momentum came an increased level of defensive intensity forcing Cumberland to make mistakes. Missed quick shots allowed Cottage to rebound and run. The Cougars went on a 14-8 third stanza run to climb back into the game. To begin the fourth Cottage trailed just 36-34.
The Cougars finished the season 16-11 and 11-3 in the AAC. Even though they settled for the consolation prize Coach Briggs spoke after the game with optimism. “I am happy for the boys. We had a complete makeover to the team this year and on paper nobody, including me, could say we were going to win 16 games and finish the #2 seed in the AAC with just two losses going into the playoffs. We came through with some big wins late in games, just like tonight. Suroy and I are proud of their focus in close games. We learned a lot this season and have the bulk of the team coming back. We look forward to seeing just how hungry this team will be.”
Jason Donaldson saved his best game for last. He corralled 15 rebounds, added 10 points, took a charge, and did not have a single turnover. It was his fourth double-double of the season.
Braden Kramer also put together a double-double. He led the team with 12 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, and dished out 5 assists.
Andrew Dorsey was great down the stretch. He scored 7 of his 9 points in the final period to go with 11 rebounds and 3 assists.
Jackson Barnes was consistent on the glass, as the teams’ leading rebounder. He pulled down 9 boards, scored 7 points, and had 2 blocked shots. He averaged just under 9 rebounds this season.
Jack Kane added 9 points and 6 rebounds.
8th grader, Jake Salus provided great energy. Jake became the first middle schooler to ever play on varsity when he came in a game versus Brandon Hall on 2/3/23. He also played a quarter in the first-round loss to Howard. Tonight, he was allotted one quarter again (AAC rules for anyone playing in the JV tournament, which he helped guide our JV team to an AAC crown, one must only be allowed one period in the varsity tournament). So, his quarter was the fourth. Jake was awesome! He came in and immediately shifted momentum. He gathered 2 steals, dished out 2 assists (2 more if his teammates were not fouled and missed the shots, but that added free throws to the teams’ score), and snagged a rebound.
We are proud of our seniors and thank them for their dedication and effort this season, but also all the years wearing our purple and white!
Michael Coryer could not play in the final game as he suffered a concussion in the semi-final but his efforts all year were outstanding. He scored 12 points on varsity!
Nick Elliott came in during the second quarter and took a charge and grabbed a rebound for his team. He ended the year with 69 rebounds and 36 points in his lone varsity season.
Liam Walsh suffered a season-ending knee injury in a non-basketball related incident back in late January so missed his final games. Despite not being able to play he was a true teammate. He came to every practice and game supporting his team, when able to. Liam finished with 25 points on varsity.