Cascade Christian erased a 16-point halftime deficit to beat the Charles Wright Tarriers 48-40 on Feb. 4 in Puyallup.
The Cougars (8-5 1A Nisqually League) turned up the defensive pressure and perimeter shooting in the final 16 minutes, when they outscored the Tarriers 35-11.
Cascade Christian head coach Jerry Williams said shutting down the Tarriers’ offense was a monumental achievement.
“Charles Wright is a very good scoring team,” he said. “For us to turn it around like that is nothing short of amazing. We played man-to-man defense for most of the second half until the final three minutes, (when) we sprinkled in some of our zone. Our man-to-man defense is what got us back into the game. We couldn’t have played it any better.”
Jordan Tveter, Riley Ramos and Kyle Stevenson slowed down Charles Wright scorers Cooper Griffin and Rahsaan Mills. The Tarriers dropped to 8-6 in league action.
“Jordan did an amazing job on Mills,” Williams said. “Riley and Kyle did a fabulous job on Griffin. Those guys together, going into the game, were averaging 38 points per game. They only combined for 17 points between the two of them against us.”
Cascade Christian is in third place with three games left in the regular season. The top four teams will advance to the postseason.
Williams said he’s proud of his team for transforming itself during the past month. The Cougars started 1-6, but they’ve won six of their past seven games and control their own destiny.
“Obviously, we started the season as a young and inexperienced team that was trying to find our footing on defense,” Williams said. “We knew if we had any chance at making the playoffs that we had to turn defense into our best strength.”
The Cougars have held their past six opponents to 45 or fewer points, Williams said.
“We’ve really turned a corner,” he said. “These guys have kept believing and knew they could do it. It’s a credit to their character and shows they’ve got a lot of heart. We’re playing really good basketball right now.”