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The Cougars are starting to find that when they bring the defensive intensity, good things happen on offense

Country Christian's boys basketball team delivered a Memorial Day memory May 31, defeating North Clackamas Christian 55-51.

"We came out strong early against North Clackamas Christian, which was a great thing to see coming off a holiday weekend and the end of the school year," coach Dawson Nofziger said. "Our defense set the tone early for us and helped to get our transition game going, leading to easy looks that were going in the hoop."

The Herald-Pioneer.

The Cougars (2-2 in league, 2-4 overall) have struggled at times with cold shooting this season. Nofziger called it the team's "Achilles heel this season and we didn't find ourselves in one for too long (Monday night)."

Offensively, sophomore Matthew Weissenbrunner led the way with 17 points, while also chipping in 10 rebounds and four steals. He hit a deep 3-pointer at the end of the third quarter to spur Country Christian into a successful run in the fourth quarter.

Cooper Halverson chipped in with 11 points and four assists and "led the charge early with scoring," according to Nofziger. Christian Griffith had eight points and five boards on the night.

"The team is buying into the defense-first mantra and is learning that it leads to easy buckets, a fun style of play and success when we are playing hard defense as a team," Nofziger.

Country Christian 61, Portland Christian 46

After a hot start, Country Christian found themselves in a hole they would have to climb out of against Portland Christian in a June 1 battle. And they did, eventually leveraging defensive intensity into a 61-46 win.

"Hot shooting from both teams opened the first quarter, but that died down for us in the second quarter, (scoring) only scoring four points and trailing at halftime 27-19. The third quarter was the difference in the game."

The Cougars (2-2, 3-4) picked up the defensive intensity with some full-court pressure and that turned into a barrage of made buckets and 28-7 run in the third, paving the way for the win.

Cooper Halverson led the offense with 23 points, Matthew Weissenbrunner added 18 to the effort.

"It was great to see the ball getting moved around and shared," Nofziger said. "It looked like team basketball and we posted our highest assist total of any game this season with 14. Our point-guard, Christian Griffith, did an excellent job controlling the offense and setting up teammates, which was great to see.

"Defense led the way again and it was a great come-from-behind win against a solid 2A opponent," Nofziger added.

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