The Cottage School Cougars travelled to Brandon Hall to take on a GISA state championship contending Panther team. Like they did the first time around, the Cougars did well early in the contest. Matter of fact, TCS moved the ball with precision taking advantage of the aggressive Panther defense which led to a 20-10 first quarter lead.
Brandon Hall’s pressure continued and for some reason the Cougars could not stay consistent and reverted back to bad habits. The Panthers capitalized off multiple turnovers and offensive put backs to pour in a stunning 36 point period. TCS fell down by sixteen points, 46-30 at the break.
Cottage improved slightly after halftime but the momentum had shifted and the Panthers’ confidence shooting the ball could not be stopped. Three pointer after three pointer, Brandon Hall extended their lead to almost forty points. TCS made one last attempt to make it respectable eventually falling to the mighty Panthers, 81-53.
The next night the Cougars hosted the Indians of Cross Keys High School. Historically this contest is always close and once again that stayed true.
Cottage began the game very similar to the night before, turning the ball over just four times in the first frame. Their team play was outstanding all around, taking a 13-9 edge after one.
Cross Keys has three new guards that start for them this season and all three are dynamic scorers. Not sure if they shoot this well each night but they caught fire in quarter two, connecting on four three point shots. Their hot hands put them in the lead with a 27-21 edge at the break.
In the third stanza, TCS began to match the Indians but the night seemed to favor the road team. Cross Keys outscored the Cougars 17-13 in period three, taking a 44-34 edge.
Cottage knew if they just kept playing smart of offense and solid on defense there would be a moment they could comeback. After six minutes of strong teamwork, this effort paid off. The Cougars made a 13-8 run and with just two minutes remaining were down just 52-47.
After three straight misfires, Cottage had to foul to stop the clock and hope for the Indians to miss free throws. But their hot hands continued on the charity stripe, making 7-10 holding on for a 60-51 victory.
The Cougars have practice Tuesday before heading to Clarkston for their first of two regular season matchups with last year’s AAC champions, the Atlanta Area School for the Deaf Panthers.
Aidan Briggs led the team with 17 points and 8 rebounds @ Brandon Hall. He continued that vs Cross Keys with 16 points and 14 boards.
Reese Bentley put in 15 points @ BH and 12 points vs Cross Keys.
Tim Mattioli had 6 points and 6 rebounds @ BH and 9 points vs the Indians.
Shane Hendrickson was all over the court vs BH and Cross Keys. He collected an identical stat line with 6 assists, 4 rebounds, and 5 points in each contest. Also had 7 thefts total.
Kyle Kimble threw a block party each night, recording 7 rim-protectors. He also snagged 10 rebounds over the two nights.
Daniel Byman played some great defense and put in 6 points to aid his team.
Ruslan van Kesteren recorded 6 rebounds and 3 steals @ BH.