By Jeremy McDonald
TURNER, Ore.– The Dayton machine had themselves a battle with Cascade midday Saturday. For the core returning from their fifth-place team in 3A, they had their eyes opened by how aggressive the Cougars were in Cascade’s nine-point victory at the Small School Showcase.
But for the returners like Trae Wall, Boston Hodges and Lucas Ashley, it reminds them of the level that they would need to prepare for with the season starting in about five, six months of the level they need to be ready and need to play at.
“Last year was an eye opener going (to Coos Bay) for the first time, it was pretty big. Playing De La Salle (North Catholic) my freshman and sophomore year, they were both physical games. This will definitely help us get used to it, especially with how small we are, it’s going to be a lot more physical games than that,” Wall said of the game. “Like scrapping and stuff, getting after it.”
Playing like Dayton plays, with aggression and physicality points incoming sophomore Lane Garrison, will help them in the long run with Summer League continuing on for them and into another season in the Winter.
“We’re a little team and if we’re going to play bigger teams, we’ll have to play as a team and communicate, use each other. We need to play as a team if we want to beat bigger teams than that. Be aggressive and physical like Dayton plays,” Garrison said.
Garrison, who was a swing player this past Winter, saw significant minutes Saturday against Cascade and Estacada as he hopes to contribute this upcoming Winter as a sophomore. Confidence and understanding of his role within the team right now will help him prepare to possibly step into a big Varsity role this upcoming season with the Pirates.
“Confidence is a big part of this program and knowing your role,” starts Garrison. “Trying to understand and ask questions if you need to. If you ask questions, they’re going to tell you, you have to have confidence.”
Photos By Jeremy McDonald