The Holden boys basketball team ignored its No. 8 seed in the F&C Bank Cougar Classic Tournament by placing fifth with a win over No. 6 seed Leeton by the score of 49-44 in the tournament consolation game on Friday, Jan. 26.
Following a first-round loss to host team Crest Ridge in first-round play, the Eagles bridled their opportunity to play the dark horse role in the tournament by defeating No. 5 seed Sherwood in the consolation semifinals.
In the consolation game, the Eagles mounted a 23-9 scoring advantage in the second quarter to take control of the game after trailing by two points at the end of the first period.
“The last two games, the guys kind of bought into some of the stuff we talked about all year, like boxing somebody out, things that you can control, not making shots and all that kind of stuff…getting the right shot, boxing out,” said Holden boys basketball coach Nathan Martin. “Tonight we made some of the right shots which helped a little, but the big thing was just how hard we played. I mean, this was the hardest we’ve played all season, boxing people out, moving on the defensive side. Everybody, Wade (VanMeter), Kasyn (Tevis), Cohen (Drake), I mean all the guys on the defensive side really made a difference. Evan (Killion), when he came in, our freshman played just a few minutes, but dove on the floor, got a stop. That was the difference in the whole game.
“Reco (Jenkins) couldn’t be here tonight,” added coach Martin. “Everybody picked up for him, but the Sherwood game, he did a really good game rebounding and defensively, then, he stepped up and made a big three in the fourth quarter. That was big for us.”
Versus Leeton, five Holden players scored in the second quarter with Cohen Drake leading in the frame with eight points. Freshman Brody Bockover converted all four of his free throw attempts in the period to go with a field goal for six total points. Kolby Hill added five points, Kasyn Tevis scored three, and Wade VanMeter chipped in a two-point bucket.
“Wade has been playing a lot,” said coach Martin. “The last game he didn’t play as much, and we kind of had a little meeting, Wade and I, about mostly just how he can help us. He did exactly what he needed to tonight. He made a shot when he was wide open. I think that was all he scored, but he did everything else that we talked about, which is awesome.”
Holden rode out a 14-7 scoring advantage posted by the Bulldogs in the third quarter.
As Leeton players experienced foul trouble in the third quarter, Bockover spurred Holden down the stretch by scoring four points in the third, and five in the fourth.
“We kind of just went at it, and Brody did a good job of going to the hole hard,” said coach Martin. “That was big for us.”
Holden’s five-point advantage at the end of the third quarter held to the end of the game as both teams put nine points on the scoreboard in the fourth period.
Following a made free throw from Leeton that left the Bulldogs down 46-44 late in the game, Hill for Holden converted three out of four three throw attempts as Leeton went to fouling to extend the game clock.
“We don’t have a whole bunch of experience being in those type of games, but guys did a good job of staying calm,” said coach Martin. “Guys made free throws when it mattered. Kolby stepped up, made some big ones. Brody made some big ones.”
Bockover finished the trophy game with a team-high 14 points.
“He plays so hard on the offensive side, and the defensive side,” said coach Martin of Bockover. “When he gets the ball he goes somewhere quick and can finish. Both of our freshmen were big time for us today. Evan hasn’t gotten a whole lot of minutes and he didn’t get a whole lot of minutes today, but they counted.”
Hill scored 13 points in the win. Drake totaled 9 points. Tevis scored 8 points. Wade VanMeter scored 4 points. Wyatt VanMeter chipped in 1 point on a free throw.
“Wyatt, he was another one that didn’t play a whole lot in the Sherwood game,” noted coach Martin. “We had a meeting, him and I also, yesterday at practice. He did exactly what he was expected to. The way he started the game, how hard he played on the defensive side of the floor, he got us into stuff on the offensive side.”
The win over Leeton marks Holden’s third victory of the season as the team displayed a marked difference in attitude on the court.
“It was just different, and it’s just things that we can control that we always talk about, we actually did tonight,” said coach Martin. “That’s a positive saying that it doesn’t matter if we make shots, we can still play hard on the defensive side, and get the shots that we want. We may not make them, but we can get those shots. Little things like that are positives for us.”
Semifinal Verus Sherwood
Playing Sherwood in the consolation semifinals, Holden avenged two early season losses to the Marksmen by securing a win in the final score of 42-35 in the two team’s third meeting of the season on Thursday, Jan. 24.
“We played hard, and we rebounded the ball well,” said coach Martin. “Kolby had a good offensive game, and made some shots for us. Reco played really well for us there.”
Hill led Holden in scoring against Sherwood with 20 points. Drake and Bockover each scored 7 points. Jenkins scored 4 points. Wyatt VanMeter had 3 points. Tevis scored 1 point.
First Round Versus Crest Ridge
The Holden boys basketball team fell to No. 1 seed Crest Ridge by the final score of 69-29 in first-round play on Tuesday, Jan. 23.
Hill led Holden in scoring with 11 points. Tyler Barker, Killion, and Bockover each scored 3 points. Wyatt VanMeter scored 2 points. Trace Angell chipped in 1 point on a made free throw.
At the conclusion of the Cougar Classic, the Holden boys basketball team held an overall record of 3-14, and stood at 1-3 in MRVC-East play.
This Friday, Feb. 2, the Holden boys basketball team hosts Richmond for a conference contest. A boys JV game starts at 5:30 p.m. A girls varsity game follows the boys JV game. A boys varsity game caps the night off following the girls varsity game.