1/6/23: The Cottage School Cougars played host to Cross Keys High School on Friday night. The same team soundly defeated TCS back in early November at CKHS by 44 points, and those that witnessed the pounding knew it could have been even worse. With both teams playing with the same rosters, Cottage did the improbable defeating the Indians of Cross Keys 31-29 in the Cougar Center!
With 1:25 showing in regulation, TCS had possession under their own basket. Cottage coach, Richie Briggs calls the inbounds play for Jack Kane who had just checked in. The Cougars executed brilliantly and Kane scores to tie the game at 29 apiece. It was the first tie since the game began at zero.
Both teams had two possessions come empty-handed. Andrew Dorsey than steals a ball from the Indians and passes ahead to Braden Kramer.
Braden patiently holds the ball at the left-wing spot, Jason Donaldson cuts open just inside the free throw area. Jason catches and shoots with confidence. His shot swishes the net as the Cottage fans go wild.
With .22 seconds remaining the Cougars took their first lead of the contest. CKHS were out of timeouts, came down and turned it over again. TCS had possession as the ball was knocked out of bounds with just five seconds left. Cottage lost possession at halfcourt but time expired and the Cougars won 31-29 in the largest turnaround victory in school history. The previous blowout turnaround victory in same season was in 2017 when the Cougars lost to, ironically Cross Keys High School by 25 points in December of 2016 and came back in January on a Senior Night to defeat the Indians 45-41. These are the only two blowout turnarounds in school history. There have been others by less than fifteen points, but this difference is common.
CKHS jumped on the Cougars 9-0 to begin the game and later took a 14-4 edge. TCS regrouped just before the end of the first period and kept it close, down 14-9. The second stanza stayed relatively even and at intermission Cross Keys held a 23-16 advantage.
Neither team could put the ball in the basket in the third quarter as Cross Keys held on to their seven-point lead, 27-20. As Cross Keys went ahead 29-24 and seemed to take momentum, Kramer came right back sinking a deep NBA distance three-pointer at the four-minute mark, forcing CKHS to call a timeout.
Just before Kane scored the tying basket, Dorsey gathered another steal (more on that below).
The Cougars are now 9-7 on the season and will host two games next week with AAC foe Cumberland on Wednesday and a rematch versus Fulton Science on Friday.
Jason Donaldson had a career night! Not so much on a stat sheet but just as the team made a historic turnaround in one season, so has Jason. The first time these two played Jason suited up but struggled and only played for about three minutes. To see his growth be rewarded with a game winner against the same team he was a distraction speaks volumes. Suroy and I are so proud of his growth. His effort earned him 10 points, 9 rebounds, and 5 steals.
Andrew Dorsey gathered 8 steals, which was the previous school record before he broke it with ten earlier in the season. Andrew added 7 boards, 3 assists, and two free throws.
Braden Kramer led the team with 12 points and 4 assists, adding 4 steals.
Jack Kane did not show much on a stat sheet, but his defensive prowess and role offensively allowed his team to break the CKHS defensive pressure most of the contest.
Jackson Barnes hauled in 8 rebounds and scored 4 points. He and Weston Kershner were invaluable defensively.
The Cottage team forced 34 turnovers on Cross Keys compared to their 21. The first time these two played, TCS turned the ball over 40 times. The Cougars held CKHS to just 6 second half points and 0 points in the final four minutes. They also gave up over 40 offensive rebounds in the first contest to only 16 tonight and zero points were scored off them. Wow, what a turnaround!