The Chemainus Cougars are on a two-game winning streak heading into this week’s senior boys high school basketball action.
The Cougars found their form for an initial victory before Christmas against Nanaimo Christian School and kept it going by defeating Campbell River Christian School 50-39 in another league game last Tuesday night.
CJ Loranger was the leading scorer for Chemainus with 22 points. He hit four three-pointers and completed a three-point play on another occasion.
Mark Harris scored 11 points in very limited action. He banged his head hard off the knee of a teammate early in the second quarter and had to leave the game, but is OK. Kyle Brown played a strong defensive game with numerous blocks.
The Chemainus midget Cougars cooled off after a hot start to their game against Quamichan Thursday at Chemainus Secondary School.
The Cougars led 10-4 after the first quarter, but Quamichan pulled ahead 18-15 at halftime.
The Cougars stayed within three points heading into the fourth quarter, but were limited to just 10 points in the second half overall in an eventual 42-25 defeat.
“Unfortunately, the scoring floodgates opened wide against us in the fourth,” noted Cougars coach Graeme Arkell.
“A series of mental lapses in the fourth quarter where our team failed to chase down rebounds was our downfall. During a timeout, I addressed the issue, noting that ‘you can’t stand stationary, it’s like standing in quicksand, you have to drive to the hoop and fight for the ball.’”
The advice was not followed, however, and the Cougars fell too far behind to recover.
Chris O’Dell led the charge with another gritty effort in the loss, earning 13 points. The majority of his shooting attempts were stymied by Nolan Burton, a tall and speedy shutdown defender from Quamichan whose dad Craig once attended Chemainus Secondary.
O’Dell’s effort level was unyielding and he was still able to set up teammates with some nice passing plays.
Bradley MacRae had the crowd roaring throughout the game with his forceful blocking. He rejected several shot attempts in ferocious fashion by swatting the ball out of the hands of attackers.
A pulled leg muscle during the third quarter sent MacRae to the bench, but not for long. His aggressive play continued on offence where he muscled his way into the key and got inside position around defenders to score eight points.
”A significant area of improvement amongst the boys is their dribbling control,” Arkell indicated. “Chest high dribbling bad habits have been replaced by waist high controlled dribbling. This has led to a reduction in turnovers from steals and balls bouncing out of bounds.”
Both the senior and midget teams have games scheduled Thursday, Jan. 16 on the road. The seniors are at Duncan Christian School and the midgets at Salt Spring Island Middle School.