Maza, Blanchet Spoils Courtney’s Lions Home Opener

By Jeremy McDonald

jeremymcdonald73@gmail.com

JEFFERSON, Ore.–  Blanchet’s Daniel Maza has been on a tear two games into his senior season with the Cavaliers.  The guard’s offseason work is paying off in many ways as he scored 39 points Wednesday night against Valley Catholic in Blanchet’s tough 69-60 in their season opener and duplicated that once more Thursday night at Jefferson High School.  Scoring 29 points in the Cavs 65-39 victory over the Lions and hanging Ian Hutchins his first victory of his tenure as Head Coach of the Blanchet program in the process.

“It’s amazing.  I’ve really worked hard this Summer and I’ve waited for this year for a long time and I think we have the right team, right cast and support and I think we’ll go a long way,” Maza said.  “In previous years, we haven’t had a winning season and this season means a lot to me and my team as well.  The ultimate goal is to make it as far as we can and I believe we have the team for it.”

The last time that Blanchet had a winning record, or a playoff appearance in the boys basketball realm, was the 2017-18 season when they went 25-4 and took third-place in 3A.  Back when these seniors were roughly seventh-graders as they hope that this is the year in which they finally get over the hump on both accounts.

“Truly, it comes down to practice.  Energy, hard work and hussle.  Practice, games, everywhere.  All around us, do that everyday and we’ll be ready for every single team.  Energy has been amazing (to this point), it’s been great,” smiles Maza.

Jefferson’s Hunter Courtney reacts to a pass during Thursday’s home game against Blanchet Catholic. The sophomore led the Lions with 16 points (Picture By Jeremy McDonald)

For Jefferson, it’s a new look team as they fill the void left by departures under first-year Head Coach Roman Thompson.  They trailed Regis 20-13 after the first quarter before the Rams pulled away in Regis’ 84-55 victory to open the season and the Lions fought down double-digits as their home crowd backed them after every basket they made in Thursday’s tough 65-39 defeat to Blanchet.  

Looking to work on their cohesiveness and team chemistry as they kick off this new chapter of Jefferson basketball.

“They were both pretty big games, it really shows us where we’re going to stand in the rankings.  We’re a small team so we’re all going to have a lot of heart.  Battlign is going to be our offense and defense,” Jefferson’s Hunter Courtney said.  “Just working and practicing, get better and keep working on our plays.  All of the above.”

Courtney led the Lions with 16 points and Oswaldo Vasquez had 11 points in the defeat for the Lions, who host Sisters on Tuesday at 7:30pm.  Holden Prime was the lone other Cavs player to score in double-figures with 12 points.

Photos By Jeremy McDonald

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