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The Lake News Online
  • Cougars' Wallace already off to record-setting season

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  • Climax Springs, Mo. – Climax Springs has produced a number of talented athletes, but only a select few have set school records.
    The Cougars' boys basketball coach, James Butterfield, is one of those few, having set a school record of 49 points in a game.
    But this season, his record is being threatened by one of his own.
    Chase Wallace, one of the Cougars' guards, has been starting since his sophomore year.
    In that time, he has managed to score over 1,000 career points, which he finally managed two weeks ago in Climax Springs' rout of Bunceton.
    "We were playing Bunceton that night, and we won 73-29," Wallace said. "Our team played hard and got me open, so I scored."
    But even more importantly, Wallace tied Butterfield's record in that game. He had no idea he was threatening Butterfield's record or that he was close to the 1,000 mark that night.
    "I didn't know until the end," Wallace said. "He (Coach Butterfield) kept saying 'Come on, Chase, come on.', and I was thinking 'What are you talking about?'."
    "He had a chance to break it," Coach Butterfield added. "I didn't want to put any pressure on him."
    Of the 73 points scored by Climax Springs that night, Wallace scored 49.
    He only scored two of those points in the second quarter. After scoring double digits in the first quarter, he rested in the second quarter before continuing the mad dash in the second half.
    Wallace is an offensive weapon, so by focusing his efforts on defense in the second half, he accumulated more points by forcing steals and working the trap defense to intercept passes.
    "He did a great job defensively," Coach Butterfield said. " He scored 10-12 points just off of breakaways, while knocking down three's like they were going out of style."
    Wallace's favorite shot, however, is just driving in.
    His coach says he's a true combo, and can score anywhere on the court.
    Wallace's playing has been stellar in his past two seasons, as he started in his sophomore year, when the team finished 24-6, and it looks like Coach Butterfield and the Cougars are primed for a good season.
    Led by Wallace's offensive attack, the Cougars are transitioning this season into a more up-tempo offense, as they lack true size, but that hasn't slowed them down yet.
    The 5'9" right-handed senior guard isn't an imposing figure by any means, but Coach Butterfield recalls last season's game against Thomas Jefferson, when Wallace drove up the middle against a guy nearly a foot taller for two points.
    "I believe it was the first play of the game," Butterfield recalled. "We threw Chase the outlet, and the 6'10" kid comes out to contest him, and Chase just runs right to him and shoots a floater right over him. You could see the air just come right out of them."
    Page 2 of 2 - And according to Coach Butterfield, that's the kind of athlete Wallace is.
    "Chase is just a player," Butterfield said. "Just roll the ball to him and let him go, and he gets the job done. Just let him stay clear and watch him go."
    This season, Wallace has transitioned from the shooting guard to the point guard, taking duties at both positions.
    Wallace has been playing since he can remember, learning the game from his dad. Coincidentally, Wallace's dad and his current coach both played on the same team.
    Wallace has consistently put up big numbers every game, so is it possible he could break the school record this season?
    His coach thinks so, and after his 30+ point game the other night, it is definitely not too far of a stretch.

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