Gage Copeland displays some fancy behind-the-back dribbling against Sunrise Waldorf. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Midget Cougars soar to victory after building huge early lead

Coach Arkell utilizes his bench players with the basketball game well in hand

The Chemainus Cougars midget boys basketball team is building momentum toward its season-ending tournament.

The Cougars put another win in the books Thursday at Chemainus Secondary School with a 33-11 over Sunrise Waldorf School of Duncan, a mixed boys and girls team.

The season-ending tournament is less than two weeks away, taking place at Duncan Christian School on Tuesday, Feb. 11. Match-ups and times are still to be determined.

Despite the Cougars’ latest victory over Sunrise, coach Graeme Arkell knows there’s some work to be done to beat the stronger opponents.

“We need more patience and ball movement on offence,” he conceded. “More passes and less individual efforts to drive to the hoop will allow more players to get a touch on the ball and set up plays like our ball-side post screen.”

Chemainus built a huge lead early, 13-1 after the first quarter and 24-1 at halftime after not surrendering a single point in the second quarter.

“In the third and fourth quarters, I sat my starters and played only my bench players to make the game more competitive,” Arkell indicated.

Sharpshooting point guard Chris O’Dell only missed three shots and, despite only playing half the game, scored 10 points. He put defenders off-balance with either a jab step, fake pass or pump fake and drove hard to the hoop for a pull-up jump shot.

“His constant communication, accurate passes and strong positioning made his teammates around him better as well,” added Arkell.

Brad MacRae continued his dominance in the post position while putting up six points. He won countless physical positioning battles for offensive and defensive rebounds.

The give-and-go passes O’Dell made to MacRae show the two of them are beginning to develop good chemistry.

Gage Copeland, the Cougars’ speedster on the wing, came through with seven points. His speed was difficult to contain for opposing defenders and, in addition to drawing a couple of pushing and holding fouls, he converted most of his layup attempts.

Payton Morey came off the bench in the third and fourth quarters to score six points. His increasing shot attempts and hustling for rebounds indicates his level of confidence is growing.

The Cougars play at home again against Queen Margaret’s Thursday, Jan. 30 at 4 p.m.

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William Ralphs looks to make a pass. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Rebound is grabbed by William Ralphs, with Tavin Miller backing him up. (Photo by Don Bodger)

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