|2/1/2013 1:59:00 PM|
Cascade boys hoping to finish strong after tough week
It proved to be a tough week for the Kodiaks last week as the team lost three games to Cashmere, Chelan and Tonasket. With the losses, the team is now on the outside looking in as far as making the playoffs.
Cascade Head Coach Micah Rieke was hoping to make the playoffs, but that might be out of reach at this point. The top six teams make the playoffs, so the Kodiaks (2-9) need to win their final two games against Quincy (4-8) and Omak (0-12) while Tonasket (3-9) needs to lose one of their final two games to Quincy and Omak. If the teams tie, since they split the regular season games, there would be a play-in game at a neutral site on Feb. 4. District playoffs began Feb. 5.
On Jan. 22, Cascade lost on the road to Cashmere 69-25, in a humbling game for the Kodiaks. Cashmere dominated the entire game, leading 21-6 in the first quarter and 47-14 at the half. Cascade was held to 21 percent shooting in the first half.
"They were just better," Rieke said. "They had defensive pressure. Every phase of the game. They shot better. Rebounded better. Better job in transition defense."
The second half was closer, as Cashmere outscored Cascade 23-11. Cascade shot 9-for-34 in the game and 1-for-6 on threes. The Bulldogs shot 50 percent from the field and were 5-for-10 on threes. Senior Gerardo "Gerry" Mendoza had seven points for Cascade.
"It was humbling for our team," he said. "Every game is a learning experience. We're learning from every game. That's what we need to get out of every game."
The offensive game was not much better in a lopsided 67-26 loss to Chelan on Jan. 24 at Cascade High School. Despite the two lopsided losses, Rieke said his team has not taken a step back, but rather has matched up against two very good teams.
"The second time around, teams have been scouting us. They have been playing lockdown defense on some of our best shooters," he said. "With Gerry and Tristin (Parton), they are not giving them any breathing room. They are locking down and making it very difficult. That's a big factor."
And when the threes are not falling, it does impact the team, he said.
"It's amazing. When you knock down threes, the confidence and momentum it gives your team is really big," he said. "When the threes aren't falling, it definitely stops the progression of your offense. It definitely doesn't help the team."
Against Chelan, the Goats jumped out a 14-3 first quarter lead. By halftime, Chelan was up 31-16. The third quarter saw the Goats expand their lead as the shooting woes for Cascade continued. Chelan blitzed Cascade 36-10 in the second half.
Cascade shot 30 percent from the field and just 2-for-14 on threes. Chelan shot 54 percent from the field. The Kodiaks had 21 turnovers. Mendoza had eight points to lead the Kodiaks.
"The main thing is shooting 30 percent. It's because they are taking away our shooters," he said. "It's a lot easier to shoot when you are wide open than when someone is lockdown in your face. They challenged every shot."
Rieke felt like they were leaving point guard Mendoza on an island too often, not giving him anywhere to pass the ball. He wants to get more guys open, to give his point guard somewhere to pass the ball.
Many young Kodiaks are getting their first taste of varsity ball, especially in these lopsided games.
"You want to give other guys opportunities, especially when the game is a little out of hand," he said. "It's important to let the guys get in there and experience the level of play at varsity."
The Cascade offense again struggled in an all important game at Tonasket last Saturday. The Kodiaks were outscored 24-12 in the first half. Cascade shot 5-for-25 in the half. Tonasket came out firing in the third quarter expand their lead, 40-20.
Cascade came back with a good fourth quarter, outscoring Tonasket 24-15, but it was not enough as the Kodiaks lost 55-44.
Parton had 15 points and Mendoza 10 points for the Kodiaks. Senior Santos Lopez had nine points and 13 rebounds. Cascade shot 29 percent in the game, including 6-for-21 on threes. The Tigers shot 36 percent and 4-for-14 on threes.
Ian Dunn can be reached at 548-5286 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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