Not even the absence of Cascade Christian’s most dominant player could prevent the Cougars from winning a Nisqually League road boys basketball game.
Cascade Christian improved to 4-1 overall with a 57-33 win against the Chimacum Cowboys on Dec. 18 despite missing 6-foot-10 center Shawn Spencer, who missed the game due to a stomach flu.
“Winning the way we did without Shawn is big for us,” Cougars head coach Jerry Williams said. “I’m very proud of our guys. That is going to help us as we move forward in the season. To go on the road and win without our big guy, it will give us a taste of what it will be like if Shawn ever gets into foul trouble in games this year.
“Guys will know we can still get the job done,” he said. “It is a confidence-builder, for sure.”
Senior guard AJ Howells scored a team-high 17 points and Jacob Kushan added 10 points for the Cougars.
Williams said his team learned from an early-season loss at Vashon Island.
“We didn’t play very well at all against Vashon,” he said. “It was one of the worst games we’ve played in quite some time. We couldn’t get anything going offensively, and our defense wasn’t playing well.
“The last couple of years, we have been knocked in mouth in some of our early road games. That game was a wakeup call for our guys.”
Williams said the Cougars, who won Class 1A state titles in 2010 and 2011 and finished third last year, have a target on their backs.
“I always tell our guys that, when you have the success that we have had over the past few years, that teams are going to come out ready to play against you every single night,” he said. “We have to understand that is how teams are going to prepare for us. It’s a fun deal for us, but it presents a huge challenge every single night.”
Sports Editor Shaun Scott can be reached at 253-552-7002 or by email at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter, @herald_shaun.