By Ryan Palencer
CLAYTON — Despite the energy of senior night, the Cascade boys’ basketball team fell 55-37 to visiting Western Boone Friday night.
“I think that ultimately at the end of this game, we are going to learn from this,” said Cascade coach Justin Spears, who was sitting in for Chris DuBois, who was suspended for one game. “We are going to learn what it takes to play a physical 3A school like that. That’s one of the things that we told them, is that when you play a team that is as big, strong, and physical as they are, you have to execute and break things down even more.”
Western Boone (9-9) got off to a hot start, scoring eight of the game’s first 10 points. The Stars rode this momentum to a 13-8 lead after one quarter and a 33-18 advantage at halftime.
Western Boone’s Riggs Baxter scored 12 of his team-high 14 points in the first half.
However, the Cadets (6-13) came out of the locker room with some energy and cut the lead to nine with a run to begin the half. Spears thinks that some of the experience in the first half fueled the spurt.
“We talked to them at the half about slowing down, executing, and running our offense,” Spears said. “We thought that (Western Boone) did a pretty good job of dictating the pace in the first half, so we talked about running through our offensive sets. We did a really good job of that...With our defense, we fed off some turnovers that they had too that got us back going a little bit.”
In addition, Spears was pleased with the free throw shooting, as the Cadets knocked down 10-of-13 from the line. He was also pleased with their defensive effort in holding the Stars to 55 points, which is around their team goals.
However, that was as close as the Cadets would get, as the Stars knocked down 14-of-16 free throws in the second half.
Hayden Sutter led the way for Cascade with 13 points, while Daljot Bajwa chipped in nine.
Along with Baxter, CJ McMann scored 12 points and Braxton Porter added 11 for the Stars.
In addition, Friday was the final home game for Bajwa, Eric Bobadilla, Collin Smith, and Jake Canaday – all major contributors to the program.
“(The seniors) have meant so much to us,” Spears said. “This is a special group for us. They mean a lot and have worked really hard. They have risen to where they are. They did not just come in and start as freshmen. They are a group who has come in and worked really hard to get where they are today.”