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11/21/2012 3:20:00 PM
New coach Rieke hoping his team can peak in the second half of the season
Photo by Ian Dunn
From left, Dennis Merritt, Jose Herrera, Gerardo Mendoza, Josh Brulotte, Derek Darlington, Santos Lopez, Jaxon Watson, Juan Mendoza, Tristin Parton, Lucas Allen, Christian Merritt.
Photo by Ian Dunn
From left, Dennis Merritt, Jose Herrera, Gerardo Mendoza, Josh Brulotte, Derek Darlington, Santos Lopez, Jaxon Watson, Juan Mendoza, Tristin Parton, Lucas Allen, Christian Merritt.

Ian Dunn
Editor


New Cascade Head Coach Micah Rieke has an uphill battle trying to mold a team around a group of mostly first year varsity players. Not to mention, he was not hired until the beginning of school, so he is just know getting to see the guys on the court.

He does feel comfortable at his old school. But he is still getting to know the players, and they are trying to get to know him. After a week of practices, he said they are getting used to his coaching style.

"When you change the coach, you have to get used to a new type of personality. Mr. Fraker (former CHS coach) is a great coach, but every coach, coaches differently," Rieke said.

As for the style of play, Rieke said he is still getting a feel for his personnel. The offense is still undecided, but the defensive philosophy is set.

"We will play a staple, strong defense. Intense, aggressive defense will be a staple of the program," he said.

On offense, he intends to craft it around the players. If they have strong post play, he'll look for more touches on the post. If they have good three point shooters, he'll craft plays to get open shots. If they have a lot of speed, he'll push the ball up the floor.

"It really depends. Dennis Merritt (sophomore) is super fast, so we might want to utilize his speed to get the ball up the floor quickly," he said. "It might take me a few games to get to know the players in a game situation. Practice is always different that a game."

The only player on the roster who played significant varsity minutes last season is senior point guard Gerrado Mendoza. "We do have some height and physicality down low that I like. Derek Darlington (senior) wrestled last year. He is very physical and has a good feel for the game," he said. "He is going to be a great presence. He is a vocal leader. You need a guy like that."

He is also hoping to develop 6-foot-4 senior Santos Lopez.

"My goal as a coach is to really work on his footwork, so halfway through the season, we can utilize his size," he said. "He has a nice wingspan. I think we can develop him."

For Rieke, it is not how his team starts the season, but how it finishes. He doesn't care much for results in the first few games. Since he only jumped into the job in August, the team in learning on the fly.

"It has been a snail's pace teaching them my system, some of my plays, terminology. It is the same terminology as in the past, but I might use different words," he said. "Some have a great basketball IQ. Coach Fraker did a great job with them. Some you can really tell know the game."

Rieke feels like his young charges are ready for the challenge this season. He wants them to play with a chip on their shoulder.

"Our guys have a chip on our shoulder because we don't have a lot of returners. Some people may be doubting them. When you have that, you start to develop a chip on your shoulder," he said. "We are not going to worry about the results the first 5-10 games. That is not our focus. Our focus is on getting better, team chemistry, tough-nosed defense. Things we can control."

There are three things you can control on the court, he said, defense, rebounding and transition back to defense. He is planning being good in all those areas.

Defensively, his team will rely on man-to-man, but not exclusively. He plans to throw a variety of defenses at other teams, but the staple will be man-to-man.

Cascade opens the season Dec. 1 at Sultan. The first home game is Dec. 8 versus Riverside Christian.

Ian Dunn can be reached at 548-5286 or editor@leavenworthecho.com.




Cascade Boys Basketball 2012-13 Varsity Schedule
Date Opponent Time Place

Sat, Dec 1 Sultan 7:15 PM Away SHS

Tue, Dec 4 Cle Elum 7:30 PM Away Cle Elum H

Dismiss: 2:00 Depart: 2:15

Sat, Dec 8 Riverside Christian 7:30 PM Home CHS

Tue, Dec 11 Royal 7:30 PM Home CHS

Fri, Dec 14 Okanogan 7:30 PM Away DG

Dismiss: 12:45 Depart: 1:00

* Tue, Dec 18 Cashmere 7:30 PM Home CHS

* Fri, Dec 21 Brewster 7:30 PM Away BHS

Dismiss: 1:30 Depart: 1:45

Fri, Dec 28 Cascade Holiday Tournament - TBD Home CHS

Sat, Dec 29 Cascade Holiday Tournament - TBD Home CHS

* Thu, Jan 3 Quincy 7:30 PM Away

Dismiss: 2:00 Depart: 2:20

* Sat, Jan 5 Tonasket 7:30 PM Home CHS

* Tue, Jan 8 Omak 7:30 PM Home CHS

* Fri, Jan 11 Okanogan 7:30 PM Home CHS

* Tue, Jan 15 Chelan 7:30 PM Away CHS

Dismiss: 2:00 Depart: 2:15

* Fri, Jan 18 Brewster 7:30 PM Home CHS

* Tue, Jan 22 Cashmere 7:30 PM Away CHS

Depart: 3:20

* Thu, Jan 24 Chelan 7:30 PM Home CHS

* Sat, Jan 26 Tonasket 7:30 PM Away HSGYM

Depart: 12:30

* Tue, Jan 29 Quincy 7:30 PM Home CHS

* Sat, Feb 2 Omak 7:30 PM Away Omak HS

Depart: 1:00

* League game





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