By Bob Kirkpatrick
You couldn’t have written a better prescription for a team that has been ailing a bit as of late, dropping two of its last three games, than a dominating 91-61 nonconference win over the Eagles at home Thursday night Dec. 23.
Several school records were set in the process, including 51 points from Drew Jensen and 14 assists from Jackson Scott.
“It was exciting—I’ve seen a lot of good players shoot well, but the performance turned in by Drew was off the charts. He was in one of those in the zone moments,” Head Coach Wayde Knowles said. “He had been struggling a little with his 3-point shot, but he got it going for sure, hitting 14 of 22, which is pretty impressive.”
The team sank 22 of 44 shots from beyond the arc, including four from Scott. The 91 points were also a school record.
“That’s a lot of 3-point shots, but we lack size this year—so our strength is our perimeter game and 3-point shooting,” Knowles said. “It can help us in a lot of games and can hurt us as well.”
It wasn’t just a one-on-one effort from the players as two or three passes were made before the majority of shots were taken.
“I thought we shared the ball really well,” Knowles said. “We moved it well and found the open guy.”
Jensen drilled his first trey early to tie it at 3-all. His second shot from long range at the buzzer ended the first eight minutes of action and put North Creek up top 20-17.
Jensen opened the second period scoring with back-to-back treys and the Jags increased their lead to 26-17. Buckets from Raymond Ro, Scott and Alec McVay doubled up Cedar Park, 34–17.
North Creek closed out the period with three more long-distance shots from Jensen to take a 46-29 score into the locker room at the half. Jensen paced all players with 28 points.
A bucket from Scott, seven free throws and three treys from Jensen blew the game wide open, 65-36 at the mid-point of the third period. The Jags closed out the last four minutes on two Scott treys and another from Jensen to make it 79-46 North Creek. Jensen’s final shot from beyond the arc pushed the score to 82-46.
With four minutes to go and the game well in hand, Knowles pulled his starters and gave his bench some much-needed playing time.
“We have some younger guys who haven’t seen the floor much and played C Team basketball last year,” Knowles said. “It was good to get them some minutes in the heat of the moment.”
Equally impressive as the teams’ offensive output was the Jaguars’ defensive effort that held the Eagles in check for the bulk of the contest.
“I thought our defense played really solid against a big, tall team that has some good players as well,” Knowles said.
The win over Cedar Park Christian moves North Creek to 3-5 overall. The Jags are 1–3 in conference play.
North Creek returns to KingCo Crown action when the Jags host the Redmond Mustangs on Tuesday, Jan. 4. The game tips off at 8:10 p.m.