Chemainus’ diminutive Gage Copeland takes the ball away from his Queen Margaret’s School opponent. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Cougars stars get the job done in only one half of work

Big lead allows midget basketball coach to utilize his bench players

Make it two wins in a row for the Chemainus Secondary School Cougars midget boys basketball team.

The Cougars opened up a 16-7 lead after the first quarter and extended it to 28-9 at halftime Thursday at Chemainus Secondary School and never looked back en route to a 49-23 triumph over Queen Margaret’s School of Duncan.

With a big lead at the half, Chemainus coach Graeme Arkell removed starters Chris O’Dell, Keeth Winia and Bradley MacRae to make the game more competitive and give his other players a chance to shine in lead roles.

O’Dell went on another scoring spree, putting up 23 points.

“With superb dribble control, he twisted and turned past defenders and converted on most of his shooting opportunities,” noted Arkell. “As tenacious as Chris is on offense, his defensive prowess is becoming increasingly apparent. Chris has been utilizing close-outs regularly to intimidate, pressure and force turnovers on opposing shooters.”

O’Dell, Winia and Gage Copeland communicated their defensive responsibilities on the court well.

“However, players must do a better job shutting down the opposition’s rebound opportunities by calling out ‘shot’ on defense and immediately boxing out attackers,” Arkell added.

Copeland’s blazing fast drives to the hoop continued to leave opposing defenders in the dust. An eight-point performance was his season high for offensive output.

Winia’s playmaking abilities were on full display while he posted six points.

“His crisp, accurate passes allowed us to set up our offense,” Arkell pointed out. “His sneaky fake passes made it incredibly difficult for defenders to guard him and anticipate the direction of his passes.”

A downside for Arkell has been the recurring issue of discipline. MacRae and Winia got into foul trouble with respective totals of four and three.

“The majority of our fouls were committed by smacking the hands of opposing attackers in the process of shooting the ball,” Arkell indicated. “Straight up defensive positioning must be executed or else we risk running into foul trouble.”

High school sports

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Chris O’Dell diligently defends against his Queen Margaret’s School opponent. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Chris O’Dell stays stride-for-stride with his Queen Margaret’s School opponent. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Devyn Bourcier of the Cougars takes a foul, contacting the Queen Margaret’s School shooter on the arm. (Photo by Don Bodger)

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