By Corey B. Elliot
WARREN — South Putnam was too physical for Cascade last night as they overpowered the Cadets en-route to a 67-53 victory.
“They punched us in the mouth, basically,” Cascade coach Chris DuBois said. “They were so physical. They are a very physical team and I knew that was one of the things we wouldn’t be ready for. Those things you can’t simulate in practice; we talked about it and talked about it but you can only talk about it so much. They came out and had a really good start and we couldn’t do much.”
South Putnam (12-9) clearly had a size advantage. The Eagles went inside with ease in the first quarter and for much of the game. After a few Cascade (7-15) turnovers that resulted in South Putnam baskets, the Eagles took advantage of the flustered Cadets by expanding their 15-10 lead in the second quarter with an 11-0 run that put the Cadets in 33-17 hole at halftime.
“When one guy is hitting some shots it’s contagious and we didn’t have anybody hitting shots in that first quarter so we didn’t play very well,” DuBois said. “One of our goals at halftime was to get it under 10 in the third quarter and we got it down (the lead) to seven but after that we couldn’t get any closer.”
The Eagles pulled away again from the Cadets and ended up leading by 15 at the end of the third.
Senior Eric Bobadilla was the tip of the sword for the Cadets all evening as he led Cascade with 14 points and an effort that never faltered regardless of the deficit. Junior Hayden Sutor scored 10 points.
Although Bobadilla’s career has ended along with the season for the Cadets, DuBois has a lot to look forward to because of the lasting influence his seniors have left on his team.
“All four of these guys, Daljot Bajwa, Eric Bobadilla, Colin Smith and Jake Canaday, they saw what the seniors have done in the past and used that to build the foundation that shows these younger guys how to compete and what they need to do,” DuBois said. “You look at those four seniors and what they were able to do in practice, preparing the foundation for our younger guys to come out and keep on working hard; that’s one of the biggest things we can ask from our seniors.”