The Fife Trojans (2-1, 0-0) boys’ basketball team took to their home court December 7 against the Cascade Christian Cougars (1-1, 0-1), the reigning Class 1A champions. In the matchup, the Trojans delivered a high octane performance, handily dispatching the Cougars with a convincing final score of 57-41. Trojans senior shooting guard Kevin McCrossin (averaging 14.4 a points a game) shared these pre-game thoughts about the preseason game against the trophy-case Cougars.
“To compete with the Cougars, we need to limit turnovers, make good percentage shots, and work on our entry passes,” McCrossin said. “We have a height advantage, so we will definitely take advantage of that.”
In the first period of play, the Trojans immediately did just that, with dominating post play by 6’4" junior forward Bryce Miller (11 points) The Cougars quickly adjusted their defense and forced the Trojans to perimeter play, only to have McCrossin (12 points) and Jack Murrey (13 points) counter the adjustment by punishing the Cougars with precision shooting from the perimeter.
The Trojans went 6-of-6 from the field in the first three minutes of play, forcing the Cougars to take a quick time out. The Trojans outscored the Cougars 16-8 in the first period, forcing six turnovers with physical defensive presence. For the entirety of the game, Fife held the lead, refusing to relent to the Class 1A champs.
In the second period, the Cougars went to full-court pressure, striking the Trojans in their Achilles’ heel. The result was four turnovers by the Fife ballers, allowing the Cougars to claw their way back into the game. The Trojans head coach Mark Shelbert regrouped his team with a time out.
The Trojans regained controlled of the first half with solid play from senior forward Jimmy Branche, who helped the Trojans build a 16-point lead, sending them to the halftime locker room with an encouraging 30-14 lead. In the third period, The Trojans seemed a bit sluggish and impatient in their offense sets, as well as playing lethargically on defense. They were not able to stop the in and outside game of the Cougars, and Cascade took advantage of it, outscoring the Trojans 14-13.
In the fourth period, with 4:26 left, the Trojans looked to Branche, leading all scorers with 18 points by grabbing back-to-back offensive put-backs and sinking free points from the charity line. Branche finished off the shooting clinic with uncharacteristically shooting from the perimeter to push the lead to 14 points and to close out the Cougars.
“I wanted to come out hard because my old school used to be rivals with Cascade Christian. I just wanted to get back at them this year,” Branche said. “When I hit that three, I shot it because my guy played back, so I went for it. I haven’t shot a three in a game since I was in 8th grade. The Cougars are an aggressive team, so they overplayed us on our screens, but we made the right reads, and that allowed us to score. “
To listen to live Fife boys basketball games please go to http://www.blogtalkradio.com/betweenthel