CRESWELL – Defense. Teamwork. Rebounding. 

Those are becoming the calling cards for Creswell, and two games into a new basketball season it’s a formula that’s working. 

Point guard Chase Green, who nailed 4-of-5 3-pointers, scoring 14 points with 2 steals and no turnovers in a 67-29 rout of North Bend on Saturday, set the tone with his tenacious man-to-man defense. 

“He’s an absolute pest and I love it,” Creswell coach Jesse Thomas said. “Chase has been great. He has impacted both games massively with his defense.” 

Before the season, Thomas said he could foresee having four players be double-figure scorers. In the season-opening 48-43 victory over Douglas, four Bulldogs did just that – even though they shot only 31% (17-for-54) from the floor. Max Velarde led the way with 16 points, 13 rebounds and 3 steals. His frontcourt mate, Carson Williamson, also had 13 rebounds to go with 10 points. Connor Hanson scored 10 points, and Green had 10 points, 4 steals and 4 rebounds. 

Creswell elected to press against a North Bend team that had difficulty scoring throughout the night.

“I don’t think we’ve ever held a team to under double-digits every quarter,” Thomas said. 

“I feel really good about where we’re at with nine guys. They’re not always in the right spot, but they’re moving, and they can be suffocating.” 

Against North Bend, Carson took game honors with 16 points and 11 boards. Velarde had 15 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals; and Caleb Lee contributed 11 points. 

Next up for Creswell is a game most of the players have circled on their calendars – a home game Thursday, Dec. 9 against Elmira and coach Trevor Daniels, who was an assistant coach for the Bulldogs last season.

Daniels, an Elmira grad who played at Linn-Benton Community College before making the Oregon State roster as a walk-on, is in his first year as a head coach.

“The kids are excited about it,” Thomas said. “Elmira struggled, and then they beat Pleasant Hill. I expect them to be a lot better than people think they are.”