Both boys and girls teams return strong nucleus from improving teams

by: LON AUSTIN/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Aaron Phillips let the Crook County Christian/Central Christian boys team in scoring this season.

The Crook County Christian/Central Christian boys and girls basketball teams finished the season without a lot of wins, but with a lot of optimism about next season.
   Point guard Amanda Zubrick graduates, but leading scorer Rachel Hargreaves and the rest of the team return for next season.
   "We didn't get as many wins as we hoped, but we improved all season and we did the best that we could do," said Head Coach Derrick Butcher. "We are going to work hard in the off-season and come back and see what we can do next season. We have a lot of young players returning."
   The White Tigers finished the season with a 4-12 league record and a 6-16 mark overall and were very competitive down the stretch.
   "Our defense was strong all season," said Butcher. "But down the stretch we started to make shots and we gave some good teams a scare."
   The boys team loses leading rebounder Tim Clements to graduation, but returns the rest of their starters and most of the team's scoring. The Warriors went 3-13 in league and 5-17 overall and return their top two scorers for next season.
   Junior Aaron Phillips was one of the leading scorers in the state this season, scoring 30 points or more seven times this season, while sophomore Alex Uptain averaged eight points and seven rebounds a game on the inside. Freshman twins, Cody and Kyle Wood are also expected to play a more active role next season.
   First year head coach Jason Riste was pleased with the team's progress as the season went along, noting that Clements kept the team in a lot of games early in the season, but as the season went on younger players began to step up and contribute.
   "I'm excited about next season," said Riste. "Aaron really stepped it up during league and we have a lot of good young players coming back. Now we just need to take things to the next level."
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