LIZTON — The Tri-West boys’ basketball team took a small 6-point lead after one quarter, expanded it to 17 points at the half against Cascade, and cruised to victory. Tri-West led wire-to-wire Wednesday night as the Bruins won going away, 72-41.
Trevor Waite’s nine second quarter points — on 4 of 5 shooting from the field — outscored Cascade by a point. Waite, a 6-foot-2 junior guard, led all scorers with 18 points on 7 of 13 shooting, including going 2 for 2 from behind the arc. He also led Tri-West with five assists and two steals, two of which went for layups.
Tri-West coach Adam Bontreger said the length of his starting lineup — four starters measure 6-foot-2 or taller — gave Cascade fits and is a product of the program’s evolution.
“It gives us an advantage on the defensive and offensive end(s), if we use it properly,” he said. “On the defensive end, that was a key. This year, more so than ever, we’ve really been focused on our defensive end. To hold them to 41 points is a testament to our guys and the work that they’ve been doing in the offseason.
“Any time you have that length, you’re able to contest shots, you’re able to rebound better if you’re in good position. For the most part, we did that tonight. I was really pleased with our first night out.”
The host Bruins spent a lot of time in Cascade passing lanes, an aspect Cascade coach Chris DuBois said his team cannot prepare for in practice.
“You can’t coach length,” DuBois said. “You have that length, it’s gonna hurt you. In practice, we don’t get to go against guys like that. Of course it’s going to hurt us when we go in the game. It doesn’t matter who you play.”
Cascade’s ball movement in the first quarter got the Cadets open looks. Juniors AJ Parsons and Ty Comer, as well as senior Colton Jones, each hit 3-pointers in the first quarter, allowing them to stay close at 19-13. The Cadets missed their last 12 attempts spanning the final three quarters, including going 0 for 8 in the final period.
“In our offense, it’s very important,” DuBois said of three-point shots. “We look to penetrate and kick for a three. There’s some that we should’ve taken. We need to take ‘em, but we have to be able to knock ‘em down.
“Tri-West, give them credit. They defended well and they were strong and physical with us.”
DuBois praised Waite, calling him a “great, great player.”
Bontreger mirrored that sentiment.
“Trevor Waite played a heck of a game tonight,” the fifth-year coach said, “I thought he did a nice job getting everybody involved, early on, attacking. Once he started attacking, it kind of opened things up for everybody else.”