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Looking to stay unbeaten in 2019, the Cougars fell to the Lions 65-62 on Tuesday, Jan. 8

FILE PHOTO - Molalla Pioneer logoAfter starting out the season sub .500, Country Christian's boys' basketball team put together a nice stretch of games into the New Year, going 6-1 heading into the sixth league encounter with the Life Christian Lions on Tuesday, Jan. 8.

It was close, but the Cougars fell 65-62 in overtime after mounting a big fourth quarter comeback.

Country Christian actually the action 14-13, but was edged out 12-8 in the second and third quarters. Down 37-30, the Cougars put 20 points up on the scoreboard against just 13 points for the Lions. This tied things up at 50 apiece, and sent things into the overtime, where the Cougars were edged by three points.

Even in defeat it was a strong showing for the Country Christian Cougars, who had four players score in double digits. Sophomore Howie Long led the way, scoring 19, and collecting 8 rebounds. Senior Drew Halverson had the most improve stat-sheet of the night, recording a triple double with 12 points, 11 assists, and 10 rebounds. Fellow senior Sean Gilmer had 14 points and 4 rebounds, and junior Mark Grandle had 11 points and 7 rebounds.

The team overall shot 39 percent from the field, going 26-for-66, but only 2-of-11 from beyond the arc. The home team outrebounded Life Christian 40-34, but came up short in the turnover department, giving up 17 to the Lion's 10.

The loss ultimately dropped the home team to a 5-3 Valley 10 League (V10L) record, and an 8-5 overall. Life Christian meanwhile improves to 5-1 in league, and 5-1 overall.

Country Christian was not down and out for long though. The Cougars rebounded with a win over the visiting Grand View Christian Academy Eagles (3-4 in V10L, 4-4 overall). Up next for the 9-5 Cougars is the streaking Damascus Christian squad on Tuesday, Jan. 15, who are riding a 10-game win streak, and ranked No. 2 in the state at 1A. The two teams previously met on Dec. 4, where Country Christian suffered a 30 point loss in the league opener.

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