As Cottonwood coach Blair Martineau made up the Colts' game plan for facing Jordan, he thought he found something the team could exploit.
"They have a whole bunch of terrific athletes," said Martineau. "But we noticed they weren't really all that big. We thought we could try to take advantage inside and see what that could get us."
What it got the Colts was a 56-43 victory over the previously unbeaten Beetdiggers. Cottonwood stuck to its game plan as the inside presence of Ben Canevari, who scored a game-high 19 points and pulled down nine rebounds, got the offense rolling, and the tough man-to-man defense held the Jordan offense in check.
"I thought it was a whole team effort," Martineau said. "Ben did a good job inside, and then everybody fed off that. We had eight, even nine guys that stepped up and played a great game for us."
It was evident early what Cottonwood wanted to do with the ball. After one quarter the score was Canevari eight, Jordan seven. The senior post player scored all of the Colts' points as he had three inside buckets and two free throws. Hitting his free throws became quite common for the big man as he finished the night 11-for-12 with seven of the makes coming in the decisive third quarter.
With Jordan leading 24-23 at the break thanks in large part to Preston Richards' nine first-half points Cottonwood came out after the break and promptly went on a 9-2 run to capture the lead, which it would never relinquish. The Colts finished the third up 40-32 as Canevari hit his free throws, Anthony Scalabrin nailed a couple of jumpers and Nai Mila came off the bench to nail one of his four 3-pointers on the night.
"Nai did a good job hitting some open shots for us," added Martineau. "We needed someone to hit from the outside to keep the offense going and he did that."
While his name wasn't the one that stood out on the score sheet he finished with only two points it was point guard, Taylor Allen directing the Colts' efficient attack.
"He doesn't really get recognized all that much, even last year when we won the Region 6 title," said Martineau of his floor general. "He is the one that makes us go. He runs the offense and then makes the other team struggle a little by playing some pretty good defense."
Jordan never got closer than five points in the fourth quarter as the Colts stayed poised and composed with the basketball to pull away down the stretch.The 'Diggers, who fell to 4-1 and has a week off before facing Bingham, were led by Larry Miller's 13 points.
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