By Will Petersen
For the Courier
They were about the only two shots that didn’t go in early for Evergreen. One from half-court and another from 3-point range — both nothing but air. Too bad for the Cougars’ opponent Ridgeview Academy both shots came from a fan in a contest at halftime.
Evergreen’s boys basketball team used a clinic-like first half Dec. 14 to blow the game wide open and cruise to a 75-32 win over visiting Ridgeview Academy at Evergreen High School.
“It was good to see our guys come out and play with energy and enthusiasm and really jump on a team early,” Evergreen head coach Scott Haebe said.
Andre Lane, literally, helped the Cougars jump out early. The 6-foot-1 senior threw down two huge dunks that sent the gym into a tizzy and just missed converting a third off an alley-oop right before half.
“I’ve got four dunks down this year and it feels pretty good,” Lane said. “But, ah, that alley-oop was so close. Colin (Elmgreen) threw a great pass and at the last second I chose to try and dunk it and just missed it.”
The highlight would’ve been fun for Lane and the Cougars (4-2), but at that point the team didn’t really need the points. Evergreen led 48-9 at the break after staking itself to a 27-3 lead after the first quarter.
Lane hit a couple of 3s to go along with his dunks and finished with 14 points. The Cougars were paced by Chase Kelly. The senior filled out the box score with 18 points, five assists, five rebounds and three steals.
“We were able to get the shots we wanted,” Kelly said. “Our press was great getting a lot of steals, wide-open layups and (Lane’s) sick dunks.”
The pace inevitably slowed down in the second half, but by that point the game was well in hand. Evergreen still outscored Ridgeview Academy 27-23 and was able to play all 12 guys who dressed.
“It’s a good opportunity to get everyone some game time,” Haebe said.
The loss dropped Ridgeview Academy to 1-7.
“When the JV kids go on it’s fun watching them to see how they do,” Lane said. “It’s nice for them to get in.”