By Justin Whitaker
WARREN — Just like in the regular season against Cloverdale, Cascade’s boys’ basketball team took care of business in the postseason too.
The Cadets won their sectional opening game against the Clovers 56-47 in sectional 44 at South Putnam High School.
This Cascade win backs up the Jan. 11’s 56-48 regular season victory over its West Central Conference.
“We beat Cloverdale in the middle of the season and the good thing is we came back and did it again,” Cascade coach Chris DuBois said. “That shows we are getting better and the players are competing, still working hard. Plus, it’s that time of year. Anytime you can advance, if it’s by 10, 20 or 1, it’s a positive.”
DuBois told his players three things were key to beating Cloverdale and they did them all.
“We beat them on the foul line, we beat them on the offensive glass and we have five less turnovers than they did,” he said.
The charity stripe was a difference maker for the Cadets as they made it to the line 29 times compared to the Clovers 12. When Cascade got to the line, they shot 22 of 29 from the free throw line, good for 81 percent.
“It’s one thing that we have stressed the last two or three weeks of practice,” DuBois said. “And we made them run when they missed their free throws and it paid off tonight. That might be the best we’ve shot all year with that many attempts.”
Junior Hayden Suter led the Cadets with 16 points. He had eight in the first quarter as the Cadets led 14-7 and Suter outscored Cloverdale single handily through one.
“It’s not only his scoring,” DuBois said. “(Eric) Bobadilla got in some foul trouble for us and he handled the ball for us. He was key handling the ball and taking care of it. And he made some shots, that’s what he needs to do for us.”
Cascade took a 30-19 lead into halftime as Suter drilled a 3-pointer from the right wing with just under seven seconds remaining in the second quarter.
The Clovers got as close as seven points in the second half, but never was able to get within striking distance near the end of the game.
Cloverdale’s 6-6 junior center Zachary Dorman led all scorers with 18 points. He was able to get some steals for easy layups and he hurt the Cadets at times with his size.
But Cascade’s duo of senior Jake Canaday (6-4) and freshman Zac Butler (6-3) limited the Clovers’ big man damage in the post.
“Both of those guys worked hard in the post, getting where they needed to be,” DuBois said. “If they don’t work hard, then the rest of us can’t help them as a team. It started with them and ended with us as a team.”
Canaday added 10 points and Butler contributed eight off the bench. Senior Eric Bobadilla scored nine points.
Cascade advances to face 11-9 South Putnam at 6 p.m. Friday. In the Cadets’ fourth game of the season on Dec. 7, they fell to the Eagles 49-38.
DuBois knows what his team will have to do in the rematch.
“South Putnam is big and strong and we’ll have to match that intensity,” he said. “They are physical, so just like tonight, they have a couple big kids and we have to match that physicality and intensity and we should be OK.”