|12/12/2012 2:43:00 PM|
Kodiaks fall short against Cle Elum, Riverside Christian
|Photo submitted by Mike Hill|
Cascade senior center Santos Lopez, the Kodiak’s leading scorer this season, goes up for a basket against Riverside Christian last Saturday at CHS. Cascade, 0-3 on the year, opens league play at Okanogan on Friday.
In their second game of the season, the Cascade Kodiaks lead Cle Elum on the road on Dec. 4 before losing 60-53.
Cascade (0-3) lead in the opening quarter 13-11 and trailed 27-26 at the half. In the third quarter, Cascade surged ahead once again, and led 42-40 after three quarters. But the Warriors outpaced the Kodiaks in the final period 20-11 as the team was unable to convert some key free throws down the stretch.
"The game was close. We had the lead for most of the game," said Micah Rieke, Cascade head coach. "We couldn't hit free throws down the stretch. We struggled with that. And we had some crucial turnovers in the fourth quarter."
The Kodiaks shot 34 percent from field on 21-of-61 shooting, and 29 percent from three, on 4-of-14 shooting. The team was 7-of-15 at the free throw line. The Warriors shot 33 percent in the game on 19-of-57 shooting, including 5-for-15 on threes. Cle Elum was 17-for-31 at the free throw line.
Cascade out-rebounded Cle Elum 47-45, but had 28 turnovers. Cle Elum had 20 turnovers.
Kodiaks seniors Gerrard Mendoza and Santos Lopez had solid games. Lopez had another good game with 19 points and 11 rebounds, while Mendoza had 12 points and 15 rebounds.
"Our seniors are stepping up, showing that senior leadership. That is really important with this team that is trying to grow," said Rieke said.
Rieke seems to be getting a lot out of the previously little used 6-foot-4 Lopez.
"We are trying to get Santos to realize he can use his height and wingspan to his advantage. He just needs to get good post-up angles on the floor," he said. "He just needs to keep the ball high and score. If he does that, there aren't many players that can stop him. He has a really soft touch around the basket."
The 15 rebounds for Mendoza represents a career high. Rieke said he just seems to have a nose for the ball. "He has really active hands. If there is a loose ball, he gets there quickly," he said of Mendoza. "He's not snatching the ball from the air. If the ball is on the ground, he gets there quickly. He has a knack for rebounding."
Cascade dropped their third straight game with a close 59-57 loss to Riverside Christian last Saturday in their home opener at Cascade High School.
The Kodiaks jumped out to an early lead but Riverside Christian came back 29-26 at the half. The visitors built up a 12 point lead in the third quarter before Cascade mounted a comeback, outscoring Riverside Christian 21-13 in the final period.
"We fought through adversity and came back and made it a game," he said. "We are still looking for that breakthrough win. We've lost by 13, then by seven, now by two. We are starting to compete. We are starting to battle. We are starting to understand what it really takes to make a game out of it."
Junior Tristin Parton led the Kodiaks with 17 points. Senior Derek Darlington added 13, and Gerrardo Mendoza 12. Cascade shot 37 percent from the field on 22-for-59 shooting, including 9-for-20 on threes. Riverside Christian shot 44 percent from the field.
Each team had 36 rebounds. Cascade had 17 turnovers versus 12 for Riverside Christian.
"Tristin is coming around. He's a huge surprise, not only on the offensive side. He's our second leading scorer, but I am impressed with him on the defensive side. Right now, he's our best defender, which is a tribute to his work ethic," he said.
Sophomore Dennis Merritt is still out with sprained ankle, suffered in football. Rieke is hoping to have him back on Jan. 3.
Last night, Cascade hosted Royal. Results were not available before press time. On Friday, the Kodiaks open league play at Okanogan. Next Tuesday, they host Cashmere.
"Okanogan is putting up some big numbers, 70 points per game. Looks like they run and gun, so we are going to have to get after them defensively," he said. "They are good, so this will be a good test."
Ian Dunn can be reached at 548-5286 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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