The Cottage School Cougars travelled to Norcross to take on the Al Falah Academy Lions in their second matchup of the season on 1/19/23. Very similar to the first, TCS jumped on Al Falah early and never looked back for a 47-21 win. Then took on the 8x Alumni AAC Champions on Saturday (1/21/23), losing 55-42.
Cottage jumped on the Lions right from the start. TCS ran to a 16-6 edge by the end of period one. The Cougars continued to dominate in all phases throughout the contest. Al Falah was never able to make a run and TCS swept Al Falah on the season with a 47-21 win.
In the Homecoming matchup, the Cougars were undersized, and it eventually did them in. The Alumni stature consisted of a 7-foot Chris Schleier-2006, 6’6” Billy Fisher-2016, 6’5” Alex Hogg-2022 ,
6’5” Reese Bentley, 6’3” Marquis Victor-2014, 6’3” Elliott Dibble-2012, 6’2” Matthew Placide-2022, 6’1” Harris Menetre-2018, and 6’1” Aidan Briggs-2022. These nine athletic trees to go with 3-point snipers Anthony Kovach-2022, Ruslan van Kesteren-2021, Murphy Husnik-2020, Chris Taura-2016, and Kent Chambers-2012 also rounded out the roster with defensive specialists Shane Hendrickson-2020 and Jake Daunt-2013.
The current Cougars did well early, moving the ball around forcing the rusty graduates to play defense. This patience provided early baskets only down 14-13 at the end of the first period. The second stanza continued similarly until the final three seconds. Alumni Chris Taura jacked up a one-legged 60-footer and it hit nothing but net at the buzzer for a ten-point advantage at the halftime break, 31-21. Clearly a memory all present will talk about for a long time, and of course everyone went nuts.
Coach Briggs spoke on the half and shot. “We played well and Suroy and I are proud of our efforts blocking out and moving the ball to make them play defense. It will be tough all game to score inside so we hope to make some outside shots in the second half. We also must control the glass or can be blown out. In regard to Taura’s heave…I just knew it was going in. I have seen Chris make similar shots in games on multiple occasions since middle school. Some of us may never hit one of those but he makes it look easy!”
TCS continued to execute their offense and did not give up offensive baskets but as expected found it extremely difficult to score inside with the Alumni’s size. The Alumni went on to block over 15 shots forcing the Cougars to settle for jump shots. The shots Coach Briggs hoped to make did not fall and the Alumni extended their lead, going on a 14-2 run ending the third period with a 45-23.
TCS were able to connect on shots in the final frame but down 22 it was too late. Even though the Cougars outscored the Alumni Cougars 19-10 in the quarter and lost 55-42.
Cottage is now 11-9 (after both games). The Cougars take on two AAC rivals next week, starting with the AASD Panthers on the road on 1/24-Tuesday night at 6:00PM.
Maxwell Lagan scored 5 points with 3 blocks vs Al Falah and 10 points vs the Alumni, knocking down three three-pointers.
Andrew Dorsey put in 11 points and added 5 rebounds and 3 steals vs Al Falah. He scored 12 points vs the Alumni also with 5 rebounds and added 2 steals.
Braden Kramer scored 10 points vs the Alumni and dished out 7 assists, scoring 3 points and grabbing 7 boards vs Al Falah.
Jack Kane put in 10 points with 5 rebounds vs Al Falah.
Jackson Barnes pulled down 11 rebounds and scored 6 points vs Al Falah. He also scored 6 points vs the Alumni with 7 rebounds.
Weston Kershner stole 5 balls, snagged 5 rebounds, and scored 6 points vs Al Falah. He gathered 4 more steals vs the Alumni.
The Cougars gathered 22 steals vs Al Falah now reaching over 20 steals in a game three times in one season. Only the 3-Peat Cougars of 2020-2022 teams have gathered 20 or more steals in three or more games in a season.
Despite the Alumni size, Cottage only gave up 11 offensive rebounds and the Alumni only scored four points off them. The effort boxing out kept the game close for three periods. If not for that third period where they shot blanks and were blocked eight times, the contest would have been closer.