The Cottage School JV Cougars finished their 2019-2020 campaign in 4th place in the AAC as they closed out their season with losses to Cumberland and Howard last week. The Cougars fought hard until the final buzzer, just as they have done all season.
On Tuesday, the Cougars were matched up against tournament host and #1 seed Cumberland. Playing short handed due to illness, the Cougars fearlessly went toe to toe with the Cyclones. Despite struggling to make outside shots, the Cougars kept the game competitive and close. Matthew Placide and Dustin Bartolome-Behrens each contributed 4 points. Liam Walsh and Elijah Joiner led the Cougars offensively with 6 points apiece. The Cougars also received defensive contributions from Ben Gardner, Alex Yager, Paul Altermatt, and Austin Schwartz throughout the game.
Down double digits in the second half, the Cougars employed a full-court press in an attempt to force turnovers and get back into the game. Battling utter exhaustion, the Cougars continued to press and increase the tempo of the game, causing some real stress in the Cumberland gymnasium. Ultimately, the Cyclones emerged with a 35-20 victory, the closest the Cougars had come to defeating the Cyclones in three games. This loss set up a rematch with Howard in the 3rd place game on Thursday.
TCS and Howard had met on two previous occasions earlier in the season. Knowing this was their last game of the season, the Cougars played like they had nothing to lose. They immediately put the Hawks under pressure and forced the tempo. Though Howard was able to break through for a few early layups, the Cougars remained undeterred. Liam Walsh and Grant Osgood led the Cougars in scoring, with Matthew Placide and Elijah Joiner contributing as well.
The Cougars were never able to overcome their initial deficit, falling to the Hawks 44-31, though they made it difficult for all 28 minutes. The Cougars displayed an incredible amount of dedication, integrity, and commitment to each other on Thursday, and they left the gym with their heads held high.
Coaches Hector and Kyle are tremendously proud of each of the JV Cougars. They battled through adversity on a daily basis and they never allowed themselves to become cynical or bitter. Instead, they rallied together and played their very best basketball at the end of the season, all while becoming better individual players along the way.
Thank you to all players, families, TCS staff, and supporters! We appreciate all of your time and effort! And finally, please congratulate the JV Cougars for a well-played season when you see them around!