Sports Zone

Bulldogs boys shooting way to league lead

Point guard Kai Apo, pressed by Santiam Christian’s Jackson Risinger on Jan. 23, had a game-high 30 points on 10-of-12 FG (5-of-6 on 3-pointers). Gini Davis/The Chronicle

Last week marked the start of the second of three rounds Creswell will make through the Mountain Valley League, where the Bulldogs are first in the standings and in cumulative points scored.
When your team is undefeated in league and averages nearly a 24-point margin of victory, one might think there was little to do but relax and watch the blowouts.
And then La Pine shows up. The Hawks, surrendering the most points in league play, outscored Creswell in the first quarter, and the Bulldogs led by only one point at halftime.
”They came out like it was already in the bag and it didn’t take a fiery, yell-at-them halftime speech for them to see that. I just pointed out that this is exactly where they can’t get complacent. They need to have a high level of effort and focus to execute and get the results they want,” coach Jesse Thomas said.
”When you don’t do that stuff, you’re lucky to have a one-point lead at the half.”
Creswell has a three-game lead over the three-way tie for second place in the league between Santiam Christian, Harrisburg and La Pine.
”Once you get into the regular season, every game is so important that, even with a three-game cushion, any slip up with a team in our league and they can beat us on any given night,” Thomas said.
Creswell came out in the third quarter against La Pine and went on a 17-0 run, making 8-of-9 consecutive defensive stops. Creswell had 14 steals and La Pine only 6.
Thomas said the team’s goal is to remain undefeated through the regular season.
”You don’t want to lose the expectation that you should win and be dominant, but you have to remember what it is that makes you dominant,” Thomas said.



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