The 2012-2013 basketball season came to an end for the Cascade Boys Basketball team with losses last week to Quincy and Omak. Cascade, under first year coach Micah Rieke, finished in seventh place, 2-11 in Caribou Trail League play.
Rieke was hoping for a sixth place finish, which would have qualified his team for the playoffs. But a 59-38 loss to Quincy on Jan. 29 at CHS sealed their fate.
Quincy led 15-14 in the first quarter, but Cascade came back in the second and led at halftime, 24-23. A big key was holding down Jack star Jacob Durfee.
"We did a good job against him in the first half. We held him to three points," Rieke said. "Derek Darlington did nice job on him. It's hard to hold a good player down for four quarters. He hurt us on the rebounds and made some more shots in the second half and took over."
Quincy dominated the second half, outscoring Cascade 36-14. Durfee finished with 15 points and 13 rebounds.
"It's tough when a team has a go-to player they can always relay on. They had Durfee, who they counted on all year," he said. "Whereas with us, we had some players that stepped up at times, but we didn't have the consistency of someone stepping up for the entire year."
Senior Darlington had 13 points and eight rebounds for the Kodiaks. Junior Tristin Parton had 10 points. Cascade shot 38 percent from the field in the first half and just 17 percent in the second. Quincy shot 60 percent in the second half. The Kodiaks were 4-for-22 on threes.
Cascade travelled to Omak last Saturday to play the Pioneers, who were the only team winless in league. But Omak prevailed 61-50. It was not a good way to end the season for the Kodiaks.
"It was a tough situation for everybody. I don't know if anyone had experience trying to get up for a game without a whole lot of meaning," he said. "At the same time, we wanted to send off our seniors with a victory. Unfortunately, we were not able to do that."
On Jan. 8, Cascade beat Omak 64-36. In this one, after tying the first quarter 12-12, Omak took the lead in the second. The Pioneers led at half 28-22. Cascade made up some ground in the third quarter, but Omak was able to hold in the fourth for the win.
"We didn't play well defensively. We didn't come out with any energy. We just looked flat," he said.
Senior Gerardo Mendoza had 21 points, seven assists and seven rebounds in his final game for the Kodiaks. Darlington had 13 points. Leading scorer Parton was held scoreless.
Looking back on the season, Rieke said it was a great learning experience for the coaching staff and players.
"We can learn a lot from the season. You never forget your first team. This will be memorable for me," he said. "Maybe not the win-loss column that we wanted, but we still have some guys that put in a good effort. I do appreciate that."
Rieke figures there is nowhere to go but up with the program. The key for him is finding guys that want to play basketball in the off season, gym rats.
"We have to have guys that want to shoot on their own time, not just during summer league games. They need to put the time in themselves. It's going to have to be a commitment from people that love basketball. That's the only way for the program to get better," he said.
There are some hungry players in the program, he said, who want to have a great off season.
"If you don't have a basketball in your hand in the off season, you're not going to get better. You just won't," he said. "You can't magically get better for three months out of the year."
Ian Dunn can be reached at 548-5286 or firstname.lastname@example.org.