Falcons shut down Tigers with defense

// Foss coach tops older brother

Sometimes the younger sibling can get the better of their elder. That was the case on Dec. 7 at Stadium High School, as Foss head coach Mike Cocke’ topped older brother Doug – the first-year coach at Stadium – when the Falcons won 51-37 over the Tigers in the crosstown crossover matchup.

“He’s been so instrumental with me, as far as my basketball knowledge, through my playing career and through my coaching career,” said Mike Cocke’ of his brother, who was an assistant at Foss for several years. “It was weird,” he added of the matchup, “but it was also fun at the same time.”

Jerricho Ballard gave the Falcons a 7-4 lead early in the first quarter with a three-pointer, but the Tigers’ Bobby Moorehead came off the bench to score two late buckets to give the Tigers a 10-9 lead at the end of the period. But the Falcons took control in the second quarter, as Noah Hunthausen hit a three-pointer and Dezmyn Trent added a three-pointer plus a three-point play to make it 18-11 with just three minutes left. The defense, meanwhile, limited the Tigers to just five points in the quarter, and the Falcons took a 24-15 lead into halftime on John Moore’s layup that just beat the buzzer.

“They forced us into a lot of turnovers and quick shots,” said Doug Cocke’. “They did a really good job stopping our zone offense. Give them credit, they played a heck of a game.”

Foss kept up the defensive heat in the second half, forcing the Tigers into several mistakes while maintaining a comfortable cushion. Jawan Osby hit a three-pointer with just over two minutes left in the third to give the Falcons their largest lead to that point at 34-21, and the lead kept growing early in the fourth. After Trent’s emphatic dunk and another three-pointer by Hunthausen, the deficit was insurmountable for Stadium, at 42-24 with just over five minutes left.

“We like to pride ourselves on defense,” said Hunthausen, who finished with eight points and added nine assists and five steals. “All week, we’ve just been working on different pressure defenses that we knew that they couldn’t handle. We brought pressure and it fooled them.”

Coming off of a 40-point performance in the previous game, Trent had a slow night comparatively, but still led the Falcons with 13 points while Osby added 10 points. Corey Glackin-Coley led the Tigers with 12 points and Jacob Bills added six points, while standout guard Eric Anderson-Connolly was held scoreless until he hit two free throws late in the fourth quarter.

“We just felt that we could get to their guards a little bit,” Mike Cocke’ said. “They struggled from the perimeter, and credit our kids, we limited them to one shot every possession. There weren’t many put-backs. Our kids just came in and executed the game plan and did a heck of a job.”

The Falcons next will travel to take on Timberline on Dec. 14 at 7 p.m., while Stadium doesn’t play again until Dec. 19, when they play at Central Kitsap at 7 p.m.

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