CLAYTON — Cascade held its first-ever annual Cadet Holiday Classic Basketball Invitational on Saturday. Cascade’s girls made it to the finals and the boys ended up in the consolation game following the first round of action.
Cascade’s girls fell 54-43 to Mitchell after coming back to take a 44-42 win against Oldenburg Academy and finished as the tournament’s runner-up. Cascade’s boys lost each of their games by 20 points, one to Lake Station 61-41 and then a 69-49 defeat against Hagerstown.
Cascade’s girls got off to a slow start against Mitchell in the final and the lack of energy plagued the Cadets throughout. Cascade had to battle back from a 21-point, third quarter deficit against Oldenburg Academy to pull out the win, something coach Don Helmick said may have contributed to the Cadets’ slow start against Mitchell.
“Not making excuses but after coming back and exerting so much energy to get the first win and then they lay around all day then come back, I knew our legs would be shot at the end of it,” Helmick said. “They hit free throws and we didn’t and maybe that’s why we didn’t hit our free throws as we were short on a lot.”
Mitchell went 28 of 33 from the line and Cascade hit 11 of 28.
Foul trouble also hindered Cascade’s efforts down the stretch as Mallorie Smith, Sydney Stein, Roxanna Gaddis and Audra Smallwood all fouled out, leaving Cascade with four players on the floor in the closing seconds.
Stein finished with a team-high 13 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Cadets, but each came with a physical toll.
“(Mitchell) had three girls to body Sydney and give her a beating and they had three girls that could do that,” Helmick said. “When you have enough girls to do that, that’s the way to go.”
Cascade shot 3 of 35 from the floor in the first half and went 11 of 25 after the break, but could not close the gap.
“It was horrible, I don’t really know what to say. We struggled all day hitting shots,” Helmick said.
Gaddis hit with five seconds to go against Oldenburg to secure the trip to the finals after Cascade got the ball back with 22 seconds left and a chance to win the contest.
Cascade’s boys played a tight first game against Lake Station right up to the third quarter and that’s when coach Chris Dubois said his team did something he couldn’t explain.
“We got down in the third quarter and we quit. We didn’t have the pride, the passion, the heart to even try to get back and that was really disappointing,” DuBois said. “We didn’t show up the first game, weren’t trying, weren’t going hard, we weren’t ready to play.”
Cascade tied the game at 21-21 early in the third and Lake Station went on a run, pulling away from Cascade for good.
Hayden Suter led the Cadets with 13 points and teammate Schuyler Hart tallied 10 as the team regrouped for a meeting with Hagerstown in the consolation game.
After trailing 20-13 in the first quarter, Hagerstown went on a 10-0 run and took a 44-26 lead at the half. However, DuBois was pleased with how his team responded as opposed to the game against Lake Station.
“In the second game we had those things I mentioned (we were lacking) earlier,” he said. “Everybody kept trying and didn’t give up. It just got away from us.”
Colton Jones kept Cascade alive in the second quarter, scoring 10 of the Cadets’ 13 points. ones would go on to lead Cascade with 19 points and seven rebounds. Suter would finish the night with 12 points.
Hagerstown’s uptempo style continued through the second half and Cascade did not have an answer defensively.
After starting the year at 2-2, Cascade has lost five straight, leaving DuBois looking for ways to get the Cadets back on track before the county tournament.
“We’ve got to find six to eight guys that are willing to do everything we ask them to do for 32 minutes,” DuBois said. “That’s what we will be doing the next week and a half.”
— Follow Hendricks County Flyer sports editor Jake Thompson on Twitter @JacobEThompson.