For most players, a 25-point, eight-rebound performance like the one Drew Cook put up Friday night would be a season or even a career highlight.
For Cook, it was just a warmup.
Cook poured in a career-high 38 points and grabbed 14 rebounds as Regina (10-0) rolled to a 71-49 win over Washington in a non-conference game Saturday at Regina.
“Each and every day we are just trying to get better,” Cook said. “I try to get better every game and we want to get better as a team every game. We want to be the best, we want to win every game, that’s always the goal and tonight wasn’t any different.”
Cook was as good as he’s ever been on Saturday.
Despite constant double teams and even a box-and-one defense, the 6-foot-5 junior was nearly unstoppable.
Cook hit 16-of-22 field goals Saturday, with most shots coming from inside the paint, as he continually scored over defenders at the rim.
“I have to give credit to our guards, they did a great job of finding me,” Cook said. “They thread the needle on almost every pass. There were some tight windows there but they were able to get me the ball and I was able to finish.”
Cook took control early, scoring eight straight points in a two-minute span in the first quarter that gave Regina a 10-9 lead.
The Regals finished the first quarter on a 12-2 run and led 18-11 after the opening quarter.
Regina led 23-19 with five minutes to play before halftime when Cook took over again.
The junior scored nine points during an 11-0 run that took just 1:40 and pushed the Regina lead to 34-19.
“Drew was great tonight,” Regina coach Randy Larson said. “He’s such a great guy to be your best player because he is always going to do everything right, he’s always going to give 100 percent effort and he’s always looking to be a team player.”
Cook was far from finished.
He scored the first four points of the second half and then beat a double team with an assist when he found a wide open Phil Arendt under the basket for a layup that put the Regals up 41-28.
Arendt was the only other Regina player in double figures as he finished with a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds.
“If you double Drew, it leaves Phil open and he took advantage of that,” Larson said. “It really helps each of them with rebounding. There is always going to be room for one of them if they just keep hustling.”
Cook then scored Regina’s next 10 points and to account for 14 of Regina’s 19 third quarter points.
Each time the Demons would make a run, Cook had the answer.
Washington scored seven straight points to cut the lead to 46-37 with 2:51 left in the third quarter but Cook responded with back-to-back dunks, the second resulting in a conventional 3-point play to push the lead back to 51-37.
“We knew we had to the size advantage coming into tonight,” Cook said. “The game plan was definitely to get the ball inside and I felt like Phil and myself did a good job and Mike Sehl did as well.”
Cook had 36 of his 38 points in the first three quarters as Regina cruised to its 10th straight win to open the season.
“We are going to keep going game by game and working hard every day,” Cook said. “The goal is to win a championship.”
Regina improved to 10-0 and scored 71 points despite struggling from the floor as a team.
Outside of Cook’s 16-of-22 performance, Regina was just 13-of-45 from the floor and finished 3-of-19 from 3-point range.
“If you play defense and you rebound, you can withstand a bad shooting night,” Larson said. “We’ve had several bad shooting nights but you have to be the type of team that can have a bad shooting night and still win, and tonight was a good example.”
Washington was led by Gage Redlinger with 14 points and nine rebounds.
WASHINGTON (49) – Mason Quigley 4-14 1-2 10, Gage Redlinger 6-12 0-0 14, Thomas Bump 4-14 3-7 12, Daryn Sebelius 2-9 0-2 4, Elijah Wood 2-9 0-1 5, Brett Wright 1-2 2-2 4, Walker Breard 0-4 0-0 0, Totals 19-64 6-14 49.
REGINA (71) – Nathan Stenger 0-4 0-0 0, Conner Brown 1-5 0-0 2, Ethan Suchomel 1-7 0-0 3, Nick Ziniel 0-2 0-0 0, Nick Phillips 1-6 0-0 2, Drew Cook 16-22 5-7 38, Zach Fackler 0-1 0-0 0, Mike Sehl 2-5 3-4 7, Grant Hogan 1-1 0-0 2, Adam Demory 1-1 0-0 3, Phil Arendt 6-13 2-7 14, Totals 29-67 10-18 71.
3-point field goals – R 3-19 (Stenger 0-2, Brown 0-4, Suchomel 1-5, Ziniel 0-2, Phillips 0-2, Cook 1-1, Fackler 0-1, Sehl 0-1, Demory 1-1), W 5-26 (Quigley 1-7, Redlinger 2-3, Bump 1-7, Sebelius 0-5, Wood 1-3). Rebounds – R 51 (Cook 14), W 44 (Redlinger 9, Sebelius 9).Turnovers – R 9, W 13. Total fouls – R 18, W 19. Fouled out – None. Technicals – None.