Country Christian boys undefeated in league, winning eight consecutive games.

Country Christian’s 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 Nofziger’s 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 isn’t 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 they’re accepting that challenge. Cooper landed 10 points against Willamette Valley and eight against Cross Hill. Avery took 12 points in both of last week’s 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 he’s 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 night’s game, taking 15 points.

The Cougars are only midway through league, but it’s 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 they’ll have an even better chance at going to state. Nofziger said that right now he’s keeping the prospect of next year’s 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, it’s 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

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