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The new go-to guy Ordonez poised to lead Cougars
Terrence Ordonez wants to win but not for the reasons one might think.
Its not about a personal best nor is it about getting the Cougars to a state championship. While those elements are there, his drive to win is more about quieting the girls squad.
Theres a lot of competition between the girls and boys teams, so that right there is inspiring, Ordonez said with a laugh. But for our team, I just want to play to our potential and not make mistakes because were a young team.
With puffy hair and a championship smile, the 59 point guard is one of just three seniors returning to the Lakewood varsity basketball team. Last year, he was the only one to get any significant playing time, backing up Ryan Boyce and Dan Borsiov. But since they graduated, Ordonez is suddenly the go-to guy. And that, though he kids about wanting to have a better record than the girls squad, adds a degree of gravity to his voice.
Theres a lot of pressure but hopefully Ill get used to it all and will handle it, he said.
Theres no doubt that Ordonez would relish the opportunity to be the guy making that buzzer shot. But he sees defense as his strong suit, which with his speed and an instantaneous ability to change direction that calls to mind Gary Payton, would be evident to anyone watching the stands.
My defense, Im really proud of it because even if youre having a bad shooting day, theres always defense, Ordonez said. I can steal the ball and Im a guard who can actually jump.
But Ordonez is quick to mention supporting player Billy Rist, who will be a starting forward for the team. Ordonez grew up with Rist and played with him on various teams over the years. Rist didnt get a lot of playing time last year, but he has since been lifting weights and shooting every day, one of the players on the team who, Ordonez said, wants to get better.
I was inspired by Billy, Ordonez said, adding that Rists growth as a player might illustrate to rest of the team how much potential there is for winning. Him being better makes me better. I get better every time I play him, Ordonez added.
Ordonez mentioned the league-leading Kings as having big players and being the team to beat. He knows the Cougars are underdogs and undersized, finishing 11-11 last year. But hes counting on that chemistry with Rist, and their desire to take on leadership roles, as being an essential path to victory.
I feel like either one of us will have to step up, Ordonez said. If were down, Id rather have me or him take the last shot.
This year may be Ordonezs last shot at competitive basketball. When he graduates, he is planning to attend either Washington State University or Central Washington University where hell study history or communications. Theres a chance hell play basketball for either of them. Theres an even greater chance Ordonez, who is an accomplished runner and who competes on the high schools track and Ffield and Ccross country teams, will run in college. But only time will tell.