By Ryan Palencer
INDIANAPOLIS — For the Covenant Christian boys’ basketball team, defensive intensity was the key to its 47-30 victory over visiting Cascade Saturday night.
“Playing Cascade, we are familiar with each other,” Covenant Christian coach Scott Flatt said. “They prepare well and the kids are always ready, so I always know that we are going to get their best, and we did. They took away (Jarek) Brents and (Kenton) Hipsher. We struggled offensively.”
Despite their complications in the half court offense, Flatt said the difference in the game was on the defensive side, where the Warriors forced 25 turnovers, leading to several transition opportunities.
“I thought that (defense) won the game for us,” he said. “Our defensive pressure and creating turnovers won the game for us. It wasn’t our half court offense, which was non existent at times … scoring in transition was really where it was at for us tonight.”
After an evenly played first half, the Warriors (3-0) took a 21-20 lead into halftime over the Cadets (0-3).
However, as Covenant Christian’s defensive pressure intensified in the second half, they took over the game, outscoring Cascade 14-4 in the third quarter. The Warriors built on their lead in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Cadets 12-6, and claimed the 17-point victory.
For Cascade coach Chris DuBois, it was not a lack of effort that led to the downfall of his squad.
“Every game this year, the players have worked their tails off,” DuBois said. “We just need to execute while we are working our tails off. We can’t turn the ball over 25 times and expect to win. One of the big keys tonight was taking care of the ball. When you turn the ball over, you get less shots. When you take less shots, you get less points.”
DuBois said Cascade was only able to take 30 shots, as opposed to Covenant Christian’s 62.
“Our defense was great tonight,” he said. “We had our starting point guard not play and we had other guys step up.”
Cody Owen led the way for the Warriors with 12 points, and Hipsher and Chris Seifert added eight points each.
Hayden Suter paced the Cadets with 11 points, while Daljot Bajwa and Zac Butler chipped in six each.
Cascade will try to rebound from the loss when they battle South Putnam Dec. 7 and then play Danville the following night at Banker’s Life Fieldhouse.
Covenant will look to build on its momentum when the team faces Park Tudor Dec. 8.