Although they didn’t start off booming as initially anticipated, the Old Colony Cougars boys’ basketball team has caught its stride in the 2017-2018 season, sitting at 6-3 and 1-0 in the Mayflower Small Vocational Division after winning 75-25 over Norfolk Aggie.
The team’s 1-2 start in the early going was responded with a 5-1 tear. And while most teams go through some level of a rough patch during the course of a season, a high bar was set for these Jake Jason-led Cougars, which they now are meeting much more easily.
“I’ve been asked a lot about the ‘slow start,’” Old Colony coach Matt Trahan said. “The ball bounces a certain way sometimes. We’ve been in every game. Lost to Diman by two. The Case game was a fantastic game; I wish we had more gas in the tank in the fourth quarter. The other one was by a close margin, as well.”
Trahan continued, “(We) try to stay upbeat, try to stay positive. I think we’re gelling. And in those two games, minus the Case game, we could easily be 8-1.”
Growing pains are to be expected with important pieces from the previous year’s team graduating and roles changing across the board. Seems like that’s all the Cougars went through in the early going. All they needed was a little time to mesh.
“I just feel like they’re gelling,” Trahan said. “You’re starting to see the extra pass. We’re not forcing the issue. It’s more fluid than earlier in the season when we’d play a little tight. I think we’ve got confidence in ourselves, and they’re really playing good right now.”
The development of the team’s identity has given the chance for players to take on greater roles. While Jason continues to not only lead his team in scoring (23.6 points per game), he’s also one of the area’s most prolific scorers, remaining the team’s constant.
Then if you look at the win over Norfolk Aggie, Jeff Betchold scored 11, and Hunter Soares and Ben Maurer both had 10. Although that wasn’t one of Zach Soucy’s best scoring nights, scoring five, he’s been the team’s second best scorer this season, regularly finishing in the double-digits.
“Zach (Soucy) is playing some real inspired basketball,” Trahan said. “He’s been playing great. Defensively, he usually picks up their best player, but he’s also scoring as well. Jeff Betchold has been in the double digits. And he’s just kind of that dirty dog inside. He’s not looking for the ball, but he’s looking to rebound – and he’ll get his points off that rebound.”
There’s a lot of season left, with all games being ‘must-win’ if Old Colony plans to win the conference. There are two opponents that this team has circled on the calendar though – South Shore and Upper Cape.
“There’s so much emphasis on those games because the league kind of rides on them,” Trahan said. “I think the other coaches would agree that any one of our gyms to play in is a tough venue. When you go to Upper Cape, it’s going to be a physical battle and whatnot. South Shore is an older gym. And then ours, when you get the crowd involved, it’s kind of electric in there. So every venue is a little different, but I think everybody struggles.
“And the coaches prepare. We all know each other; we all know what’s going to happen. Your kids just have to rise to the occasion.”
The girls’ basketball also continues to have success, improving to 7-1 (1-0 Mayflower Small) after winning 43-29 over Norfolk Aggie. Abby Cioper led the Cougars with 18 in the win.
Old Rochester Regional
Bob Hohne recorded his 600th career win as head coach of Old Rochester girls’ basketball after the Bulldogs beat Fairhaven 44-24. Hohne became the ninth basketball coach – both boys and girls – to win 600 or more games.
Cassidy Yeomans led the Bulldogs in their seventh win of the year with 13 points, while Meg Horan was right with her, scoring 12.
Win 601 for Hohne came against Nauset, who’d yet to be beaten this season until Old Rochester took control with a 48-45 win. Yeomans was even more electric in this one, scoring 23. Horan remained consistent as the team’s second leading scorer, finishing with 12 points.
High School Sports Update
By Nick Friar