Country Christian boys undefeated in league, winning eight consecutive games.
Country Christians boys basketball team is on fire. The Cougars are on an eight-game winning streak and are yet to lose in league play. Barring injuries the Cougars will most likely take the Casco League title for the tenth time in a row.
As for the league title, Coach Dough Nofziger said last week that it comes down to two games. On Friday night, the Cougars played the first of those games. They beat Crosshill Christian 57-46 at home.
This week, the Cougars play the second of Nofzigers pivotal games, against C.S. Lewis Academy on the road on Tuesday, Jan. 28.
C.S. Lewis (6-2 in league, 12-6 overall) has given the Cougars one close league match already, on Jan. 7. The Cougars took a narrow 53-51 victory at home in that game. C.S. Lewis will have the home-court advantage this time around.
I expect a good battle from [C.S. Lewis] on Tuesday, Nofziger said. We have a good shot at getting the league title back if we can win.
The Cougars have a few hard hitting players to help them overcome C.S. Lewis and take the league again though.
Ben [Grandle] has been our leading point getter in 90 percent of the games, Nofziger said.
Indeed, Grandle has shown that he can consistently put points on the board night after night. On Friday night, he nabbed 10 points, and three days prior, against Willamette Valley Christian, he took 13 points.
But Grandle isnt the only player driving Country Christian toward another league title.
I challenged Avery [Nofziger] and Cooper [Nofziger] both to be more aggressive, Coach Nofziger said.
Their stats are showing that theyre accepting that challenge. Cooper landed 10 points against Willamette Valley and eight against Cross Hill. Avery took 12 points in both of last weeks games.
There are two other players not to be overlooked as well, Luke Carter and Jordan Syphard.
Luke, if he would be consistent, he would be an above average player, Coach Nofziger said. Right now hes a good player but needs consistency.
Nofziger said that he sees Carter building toward that consistency though.
As for Syphard, he was the lead scorer on Friday nights game, taking 15 points.
The Cougars are only midway through league, but its looking good for them, despite only having the one senior (Cooper) on their team.
The core group is all juniors, Coach Nofziger said. This means that next year theyll have an even better chance at going to state. Nofziger said that right now hes keeping the prospect of next years senior-heavy team going to state at the back of his mind.
We want to get things going this year, he said. But as the Cougars knock down their opponents game after game after game, despite being midrange in age, its hard not to picture them next year. I see a glimpse of a good team, Nofziger said.
Stats: Country Christian vs. Cross Hill Christian
Jordan Syphard: 15 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals
Luke Carter: 12 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 blocks
Avery Nofziger: 12 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals
Ben Grandle: 10 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals
Cooper Nofziger: 8 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal
Luke Satrum: 5 rebounds,
Alec Lambert: 1 rebound, 1 assist
Stats: Country Christian vs. Willamette Valley
Ben Grandle: 13 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals
Avery Nofziger: 12 points, 3 assists, 4 steals
Cooper Nofziger: 10 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals
Luke Carter: 9 points, 11 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 4 blocks
Mitchell Sandberg: 6 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal
Levi Losli: 5 points, 2 rebounds, 3 steals
Alec Lambert: 2 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal
Josh Parmelee: 2 points
Derek Halverson: 2 rebounds, 1 assist
Luke Satrum: 1 assist, 1 steal