Despite a mid-season coaching change for the Somerset Christian boys basketball team, some things have stayed the same.
The Somerset Christian Cougars boys basketball team continues to win ball games.
Under new Cougars head coach Kirk Stickley, Somerset Christian picked up a impressive 52-42 win on the road against KCAA Fourth Region foe Bluegrass Baptist.
The Cougars, who are currently ranked fifth in the KCAA State Power Poll rolled out to a commanding 18-3 first quarter lead, only to have the #9 Crusaders cut that margin to only five points by the end of the third quarter.
“We started out on fire, our man-to-man defense was creating a lot of turnovers and we were controlling the defensive boards,” Stickley said. “We were attacking off the turnovers and got good looks in the half court offense. Colby Alexander had two 3-pointers out of our half court sets.”
The Cougars continued their hot play in the second quarter by scoring the first six points, and pushing their lead out to 24-3.
Hunter Reed quickly picked up his second and third foul, and the Cougars’ momentum shifted. Bluegrass went to a man-to-man defense, which the Cougars had trouble scoring against. According to Stickley, the Cougars’ players began to tire and they began to lose control of the boards.
“We started the second half scoring two quick buckets,” Stickley explained. “Hunter Reed had a basket and a free throw before picking up his fourth foul and had to sit.”
“In the last quarter, we changed our offensive set and started to isolate certain players,” Stickley strategized. “Daniel Ellenberg and Jacob Ricks had a very good fourth quarter, with Ellenberg scoring five of his eight points and Ricks scoring six of his 12 points in the quarter.”
Alexander hit three of four free throws to finish with 15 points to lead the Cougars.
Reed had 11 points and 7 rebounds, while Ricks and Ellenberg had 7 and 5 rebounds, respectively. Devin Mayne had two points, while Brandon Eades came off the bench to score 4 points. Gabriel Souza contributed valuable minutes and excellent defense when Reed was on the bench.
“I’m proud of the way my guys played against Bluegrass, we have lost a couple of players recently which has weakened our rotation,” Stickley explained. “So, some of them never get to come off the floor. That takes a lot of heart to play that many minutes and still be effective when the game is on the line.”
“We have had to make several adjustments over the past couple of weeks and we are making them,” Stickley stated. “The heart and desire is still there. We’ll be fine by the time regional gets here.”
The Cougars move to 14-6 on the season and 3-3 in the Fourth Region.
The Cougars come home this weekend with their Homecoming game on Friday, Feb. 1, against Frankfort Christian at 6 p.m. Then on Saturday, Feb. 2, the Cougars host regional opponent Lakeside Christian at 2 p.m.