CLAYTON — Luckily, the Cascade Cadets boys’ basketball team had built a lead, because the Bethesda Christian Patriots never quit.
Cascade withstood a sloppy second half and a late 9-0 fourth quarter run by Bethesda to win, 53-43.
Through a 26-16 advantage at halftime, the Cadets (5-11) had turned the ball over five times. In the second half, Cascade gave the ball away 17 times. Those turnovers helped allow the Patriots (3-11) back into the game.
“We took care of the ball when we needed to,” Cascade coach Chris DuBois said. “We turned the ball over 17 times in the second half and that killed us. That’s why Bethesda could make a run. Give credit to them. They were hustling, they were trapping and we weren’t taking care of the ball.”
Junior Hayden Suter led the Cadets with 15 points, senior Daljot Bajwa scored 13 points and freshman Zac Butler added eight points off the bench.
Bethesda’s senior two-man combo of Malik Roper and Deonte Gates combined to score 39 of the Patriots’ 43 points. Roper scored a game-high 24 points and Gates added 15.
“Malik and Deonte when they kicked into that higher gear, our team feeds on them,” Bethesda coach Justin Cook said. “And to credit their growth, they probably would have fractured and splintered earlier in the season. You see them feeding off each other in the last five or six minutes and that’s leadership.”
Of Bethesda’s 52 shots, the combo of Roper and Gates accounted for 44 of those attempts. Both players serving as the main scoring options for the Patriots works both positively and negatively.
“It’s a two-edged sword,” Cook said. “You are so thankful to have kids like that who are bulldogs and are going to go after it. At the same time, I thought we got a lot of really good looks that didn’t go down from the other guys.”