Timberwolves beat Lions, set school records

Zach DiSchiano

Senior night was a memorable evening for both the Timberwolf basketball players and the Timberwolf basketball record book. A 12 point victory over district rival Leander gave the Timberwolves their first 20 win season in the history of CPHS basketball. The guys finish out the year with a 20-12 overall record, which is the most wins and fewest losses in Cedar Park history.

The game started off slowly as the score at the end of the first quarter was 7-4, in Leander’s favor. Dylan Cox scored all four of Cedar Park’s points, as everyone on the team was showing signs of anxiety.

“We came in with the mentality that we needed to win this game to get into the playoffs,” Evan Oddo, senior forward, said.

 The game picked up intensity in the second quarter as the Timberwolves began to heat up from beyond the arc. The Timberwolves saw three pointers from Dylan Cox, Alphonso Fields, Brandon Allen and even the center, Tyler Stromberg. At the half, the Timberwolves found themselves down 22-21. Cox led all scoring after two quarters with seven points, followed by Stromberg with six and senior forward Kollin Steichen with five.

A scary event occurred with six minutes left in the third quarter. As Cox was driving into the lane, he was fouled hard to the ground. It took him a few minutes to get up, and even then he could only walk with the aid of his trainers. He did not return to the game.

Ironically, after their leading scorer left the game, the Timberwolves started scoring more. The two big guys, Tyler Stromberg and Matt Gallagher, stepped up in the third quarter, ending the quarter with seven and ten points respectively. Not only were the Timberwolves stepping up their game offensively, Leander was having a tough time scoring.

“In the second half we played much better defense,” Steichen said. “We held Blanchard down, too.”

Blanchard was the high scorer of the game, dropping fifteen points, and most of his field goals came in the first half, and the majority of his second half scoring was from free throws. The Lions tried stepping up their defense in the second half, running a full court zone press after every time they scored.

“We just need to look ahead for open players,” Fields said. “The only thing that affects us when they press is being nervous.”

Despite having some troubles inbounding the ball, the Timberwolves managed to refrain from turning the ball over while being pressed. With the continuing domination from Stromberg and Gallagher, the Timberwolves were just too much for the Lions late in the game. The final score was 51-39 and the guys celebrated by cutting down the nets as the 2009-2010 district champions.

“This season was the time of my life,” Gallagher said. “As a senior, it’s exactly how you want to go out, as district champs.”

The Timberwolves will find out who their playoff opponent is within two days, and the guys will look to carry their momentum into round one of the 2010 post-season.