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Seton Catholic boys fend off La Center 71-56 to improve to 5-0 in league play

Freshman Kaiden Wilson scores 24 to lead young Cougars

By Tim Martinez, Columbian Assistant Sports Editor
Published: January 23, 2024, 11:09pm
8 Photos
Seton Catholic freshman Kaiden Wilson drives to the basket against La Center during a boys basketball game at Seton Catholic College Prep on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024.
Seton Catholic freshman Kaiden Wilson drives to the basket against La Center during a boys basketball game at Seton Catholic College Prep on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024. (Tim Martinez/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

Seton Catholic boys basketball coach Donald Wilson likes when his team is playing with passion and intensity.

But he’d also like it to be a little more focused.

Late in Tuesday’s home game against La Center, Kaiden Wilson went out to challenge a 3-pointer shot. But the 6-foot-4 freshman was late, the shot was good, and Wilson fouled the shooter, resulting in a four-point play.

The freshman gave a sheepish shrug and grin toward the Seton bench. Seton’s coach shook his head.

“He’s a freshman,” Donald Wilson said. “He’s a freshman.”

The momentary lapse could not undo the good things the Cougars did Tuesday, as they pulled away for a 71-56 win over La Center, improving Seton to 5-0 in Trico League play.

“When we’re playing well, we’re defending and rebounding and we get a chance to run,” Donald Wilson said. “And when we get man movement, body movement and the ball is flying around, then guys get the opportunity to attack like they want to, shoot open shots like they want to. And then they just like playing with one another. It’s a really good group.”

Seton Catholic jumped out to a 21-12 lead early in the second quarter only to watch La Center close to within 23-21. Then the Cougars scored the final eight points of the half to take 31-21 halftime lead.

Seton used an 8-2 run to open the third quarter to open a 39-23 lead. But by early in the fourth quarter, the Wildcats had fought back to get within six.

“They’re 15-to-17 year olds,” Donald Wilson said of his team that has only one senior. “So that lack of concentration sometimes can creep in.”

Mason Glassmire then scored all 10 of his points during a 12-2 run that helped seal the win for the Cougars.

Kaiden Wilson finished with 24 points, and Brady Angelo added 15 as the Cougars continued to keep things rolling in league despite a layoff because of the weather.

“When we went to King’s Way (on Saturday), I told them ‘hey, we’re going to be a little rusty. Just shoot it out and then hopefully shots will start to fall,’ ” Donald Wilson said. “But if we defend and rebound, those things will always happen. So if the shots don’t always fall, but you can defend, you can rebound, you can run and get layups and we’ll be OK. The past two games, that’s what we’ve been able to do.”

The team’s youth showed in the early part of the season, as the Cougars stumbled out to a 4-5 start in non-league play.

But Donald Wilson likes how his team has performed in league play, but added that improvement will need to continue if the Cougars hope to make a run in the postseason.

“We’ll have to clean up on our defensive rotations, finishing better at the rim a little bit, then stay out of foul trouble,” the coach said. “Teams catch us out of position sometimes. And that’s just being a young team and understanding your defensive assignments. But as long as we can clean those things up, we can go far.”

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