After a sluggish start to the season, Cascade Christian girls’ basketball coach Bryan Peterson decided to give his team some homework.
He wanted each player to list not only what she wanted out of the season, but how she wanted this Cougars team to be remembered.
Answers varied, but the goal was the same — win the Class 1A state championship in Yakima.
No. 1 Cascade Christian (21-1) opens up today’s quarterfinal round against Chelan at the Yakima SunDome needing three wins to reach its goal.
Peterson’s coaching point elicited plenty of responses — ones that gave the players something to think about.
“First, don’t play down to our opponent’s potential, make them play to ours,” junior Katie Rozumny said about the responses. “Then, setting up our teammates for success, and lastly communication and encouraging others.”
Leadership was a popular theme, too. The best 1A teams in the state such as Lynden Christian, Brewster and defending 1A champion Okanogan all require and use it to their advantage.
Kaycee Creech, the Nisqually 1A player of the year and all-state selection, said the Cougars have developed cohesiveness.
“We want to make each other better, no matter what,” said Creech, a four-year starter.
“We have a chemistry.”
Creech, Chloe Reed, Rozumny and junior guard Olivia Tuttle make up the core of the team. This is their third consecutive trip to the 1A state tournament, and they know the drill even if they have not experienced the thrill of victory.
The Cougars have not won a state tournament game since 2001. Last season was especially disappointing as they dropped games to Lynden Christian and Granger.
It is way past time for a victory, the players say.
“We’re going in knowing we have business to take care of,” Creech said.Leah Traxel: 253-597-8680 email@example.com Blogs.thenewstribune.com/preps