COTTAGE GROVE — What started off as a single 3-point shot by the Marist High School varsity boys basketball team ended with the Catholic school defeating Cottage Grove Feb. 18 by 44 points. And who made the illustrious first basket? It was 5-foot-11 inch senior shooting guard JJ Anderson, known as an important defensive player on the Eugene team.

Anderson was solid, said Marist boys basketball coach Bart Pollard. Marist defeated Cottage Grove 87-43.

“He started us off making our first basket, then he led with his defensive pressure,” said Pollard.

Anderson is one of two seniors on the Spartans’ varsity. He’s a role model for the younger players.

“He’s really hard worker,” said Pollard. “He’s a very good teammate and always willing to do whatever it takes to win.”

Anderson excels in locking down whatever player he’s supposed to defend, said his coach.

Often, the senior is given the job of guarding the best perimeter player on the opposing team, and that works for him.

During the February game against Cottage Grove, Anderson not only scored five points, but he had four rebounds, two steals and three assists.

“He did a great job being a senior leader,” said Pollard.

Anderson and the boys at Marist finished their league season undefeated after the game in Cottage Grove.