It usually takes a bit to for a team to gel, especially under a first-year head coach. That’s why it’s called preseason — the stretch of games before the juicy part of the schedule.
An even tougher task is trying to do so without your best player. Anderson survived the challenge by winning the Corning Shootout against three divisional foes — two of which were league opponents — to be named the Tri Counties Bank Boys Basketball Team of the Week.
“We are starting to find ourselves a little in the roles that we need to play in order for our team to be successful,” said Anderson coach Brian Long. “Certain guys have sacrificed things that they feel comfortable doing for the things that would be better for the team if they do.”
Anderson won the Corning Shootout over the weekend, beating the tourney host 54-23 and then gutting out two close victories with a 55-52 win over Fortuna — a 30-win team last year before losing to Foothill in last year’s D-III NorCal quarterfinals — and edging Yreka 36-34 in the championship game.
All of this without Christian Teague, who hasn’t played all of winter break due to an infection from getting his wisdom teeth coming in, Long said. Jesse Brophy was named the tournament MVP while Devin Armstrong and Jack Ryan were both named all-tournament.
But to deliver without their top scoring option and team-leader was a positive way to wrap up the last weekend before Northern Athletic League play begins.
And the close victories gives Anderson the confidence boost it needs.
“We played really hard, like we have all season and won a couple of close games that we haven’t won previously,” Long said. “In the past when adversity hits, we would lose our heads a bit. We did a better job of staying with it in this tourney.”
After starting the year 2-4, the Cubs have won four straight and are 7-2 in their past nine games. Anderson plays at Foothill Tuesday before beginning NAL playing at rival West Valley on Thursday.
Tri Counties Bank Boys Basketball Team of the Week
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