OLYMPIA - Basketball coaches often judge the progress of their team on how it plays during the holiday break.
With Capital having been out of action for seven days, the Cougars played less than perfect but still came away with a 58-49 boys basketball victory over Scappoose (Ore.) on Wednesday night in the first Capital Holiday Classic.
In Wednesday’s first game, Bremerton edged Seaside (Ore.), 49-45. The four-team tournament concludes today with Bremerton and Scappoose tipping off at 5:15 p.m., followed by Capital and Seaside at 7 p.m.
“It was a good game for us,” Capital coach Doug Galloway said. “To play a good team and come out with a win is a positive for us,”
After what was a solid first-half performance on offense and defense for Capital, it was a back-and-fourth game in the final 5 minutes. Scappoose (4-4), a Class 4A school in Oregon, trailed the majority of the game but used clutch shooting in the fourth quarter to take its first lead at 45-44 on Joe Nelson’s jumper. Scappoose’s previous lead was 6-5 after starting off the game with back-to-back 3-pointers. But Capital countered with 18 consecutive points to end the first quarter with an 18-6 lead.
Cody Stutzer increased the Indians’ lead to 47-44 with 1 minute, 32 seconds left, but a key steal and lay-in by Alex Smith and a rebound and putback by Mat Cox gave Capital the lead for good at 48-47 with 35.7 seconds.
Capital then put the game away at the free-throw line.
Another positive to the victory that Galloway noted was how his players could step up late in the game.
Capital senior guard Colin Bossio, who finished with a game-high 17 points, fouled out with 3:13 left in the game.
Luke Olson came in for Bossio and scored six of his 12 points in the final 3 minutes.
“It was nice to see the kids come in and play well, and figure out how to get it done,” Galloway said.
Scappoose trailed by as many as 12 points on a few occasions in the game but stayed close thanks to its 3-point shooting. The Indians, who trailed 28-22 at halftime, converted seven 3s, compared with Capital’s one.
Stutzer came into the game averaging a team-best 14.1 points per game for the Indians but was held scoreless in the first half. He scored nine of his team-best 11 points in the fourth quarter.
Bremerton 49, Seaside (Ore.) 45: Tied at 45-all with 28.6 seconds left in the game, Bremerton’s Andre Coleman sank a 10-foot jumper with 3.4 seconds remaining to give the Knights a victory over the Seagulls in the tournament’s opening game.
Coleman finished with a game-high 19 points.