Cossatot River basketball shows off in intrasquad games - The Mena Star: Sports

Cossatot River basketball shows off in intrasquad games

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Posted: Thursday, October 12, 2017 11:25 am

With less than two weeks until the season opener against Oden Tuesday, October 24, Cossatot River hosted its annual Black and Silver game Friday. In total, there were six games. The senior high, junior high and seventh grade teams were split and each boys and girls teams played a game. "I thought it went well," Cossatot River girls coach Tyler Timms said. "We saw some good stuff and the kids played hard." Expectations are sky high for Cossatot River senior high girls team this session. The Lady Eagles finished last season with a record of 23-6, but were upset by Junction City in the opening round of the Regional Tournament 49-43.

The team returns all five starters in seniors Raegan Richardson, Jacie Wilkerson and Harley Dering and juniors Ashlen Gonzalez and Rhyen Martin. Gonzalez has been named an all-state player the past two years and Richardson was named all-state her sophomore year. However, Timms said it was junior Jade Richardson who really stood out to him. "I knew she was going to have a big game because she has worked harder than anybody this offseason," Timms said. "She has just been working and working. She has between 15 and 18 points and made three 3-pointers. "I thought everyone else did fine, but Jade really stood out," he continued.

"I told her before the game that I knew she was excited to show everybody how much better she had gotten, but to just let the game come to her. She did that and I had a lot of people bragging on her. She just has to keep working and doing what she has been doing. I'm really excited about her and I'm really proud of her." Timms said there are still some areas the Lady Eagles need to improve if they want to achieve their ultimate goal of competing for a Class 3A state title. "We have to get into a little better shape," he said. "We will do that as long as our kids are hungry to want to get better and get the bad taste out of their mouths from how the season ended last year." The Lady Eagles are seeking their third straight conference championship before making the move to Class 2A next season. Timms said his team has accepted and embraced that they are everyone's big game. "Everyone wants to beat us, because we have done really well the past few years," he said.

"We need to be playing our best basketball at the end of the year and take that next step this year." Cossatot River boys' coach Wendell Cartwright said he was happy with what he saw from all three levels of the Eagles' basketball program. "The night was a big success," he said. "The crowd was great and I hope we can get that kind of support throughout the rest of year. Hopefully, both of our [boys and girls] teams can put a team out there that everyone is proud of." The Eagles' graduated all five starters from this past season's 18-11 team, which lost in the opening round of the Regional Tournament to McGehee 47-42.

This season's team will be led by seniors Juan Trinidad, Cody Brown and Brayden Smith. "[Trinidad] has really looked good so far this year in all of our practices," Cartwright said. "Cody Brown has really improved a bunch and Brayden Smith is going to do a lot of really good stuff for us this year." Cartwright said sophomore Brian Strother has also been impressive during offseason workouts. "[Strother] has done a lot of good stuff and he makes a lot of plays," he said. "He is a good defender and an excellent ball handler. We lost all of our ball handlers, and he has helped us a bunch there. I thought [junior] Trenton Rosson looked good in the senior high game, too. He is also a very good shooter."

Cartwright said the Eagles' style of play will be a lot different this year compared to the last couple. "Last year we had mostly guards, who were really good shooters and ball handlers," he said. "This year, we are a lot bigger. We should be able to score more inside than we have been able to in the past two years." Cartwright said he was also impressed with the way the Eagles' junior high and seventh grade teams played, especially Victor Trinidad, who shot the ball very well for the junior high team. "Most importantly, I wanted them all to go out there and play hard and I thought all three teams did that," he said. "I was really pleased with all of our guys."

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