Cunningham

CRESWELL – Creswell basketball coaches Jesse Thomas and Tyler Hollingsworth can only hope that Tuesday’s opening-game action is a harbinger of things to come.

The boys, after leading by only a point early in the third quarter, pulled away for a 67-40 victory at Elmira. The girls, meanwhile, led 17-0 after one quarter and 29-2 at halftime before cruising to a 64-10 home victory over an Elmira team that includes eight freshmen.

“We held them to five points in the third quarter,” Thomas said of the boys’ victory. “The kids figured out what we were trying to get them to do, and we forced a few turnovers and took control of the game. 

“Overall, I was very pleased. We have plenty to work on, but I’m very pleased with how we played.”

Sophomore Ajay Hodge led the Bulldogs with 16 points while senior captain Carter Cunningham added 13 points and 7 assists. Jackson Parker and Caleb Lee scored 10 points apiece while freshman Koen Thurman chipped in with 8. 

For the girls, the game was never in question as freshman Lauren Bailey poured in 17 points while Emme Whitson scored 14 and Emma Maness added 7. 

“Good start for us. Everyone was able to get in and get their feet wet. I felt we played hard, fast and had fun. Those were our goals before the game,” Hollingsworth said. “We still have many things to improve on, but I like where we started.” 

They each play at Cottage Grove on Thursday. The girls play first at 5:45 p.m., followed by the boys game at 7:15 p.m.