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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Champions nix VIking comeback try

Sunday, December 2, 2012

(Photo)
Zeke Grissom of Community charges the baseline looking for an open shot while Jesse Barnes slide steps to provide the Cascade defense.
(T-G Photo by Chris Siers)
The Cascade Champions got just the start they wanted against their archrivals, the Community Vikings, Friday night.

While the Vikings struggled early, they were able to string together enough points to make a run at the Champs in the fourth quarter, but eventually fell 55-42.

Knowing that playing in a hostile environment in a rivalry game could have an outcome, before the game Champion coach Mike Edmondson told his team to just relax and play basketball, and they'd be just fine.

And that's exactly what they did.

Relaxed

"I told them to just relax and play basketball and they'll be fine," Edmondson said.

Community got several open looks throughout the first three quarters, but for one reason or another couldn't get the shots to fall.

Cascade, on the other hand, had no trouble piling up the early advantage.

"This is the second game in a row we started slow. We had a lot of good looks, but its just like they were hanging on the rim. Scoring 13 points for us in a half is very uncharacteristic for us," said Community coach Robbie Davis.

Stepping it up

Despite the lackluster offensive showing in the first frame, the Vikings regained some composure and matched the Champs in the second with both squads tallying 10 points.

With that offensive resurgence, the Vikings went into the half down just 11 points, even with just 13 points to their credit.

While the teams continued to do battle for control of the scoreboard in the third, the game's fate came down to the fourth quarter.

Led by Tanner Simmons, the Vikings charged ahead and continued to cut into the Champion lead, whittling the advantage down to just three points with 1:29 left to play in the game.

"We got it down to three with less than two minutes to go, but then we had a few turnovers," Davis said.

Foul play

(Photo)
Cascade senior Jake Pimental scoops up a ball after a steal and finishes off the fast break with two points for the Champs.
(T-G Photo by Chris Siers)
With no choice but to foul in order to stop the clock, the Vikings sent Cascade to the line, where the Champs promptly cashed in on 14-of-22 attempts in the fourth quarter alone.

Champion junior Will Holt did the bulk of the damage from the charity stripe, posting near a near impeccable number of attempts. He sank 9-of-10 tries, single handedly giving the Champs the final margin of victory.

Defensively, Edmondson couldn't be more pleased with his team's performance and only expects his team to continue to get better.

(Photo)
Tanner Simmons draws the foul on a put back attempt. He led the Vikings with 13 points.
(T-G Photo by Chris Siers)
"On defense, we played great. I still don't think we're playing as great of defense as we're going to. We're going to get better defensively," he said.

Defense listens

Friday's game marks the second game in a row for the Champs where Cascade has held an opponent to 25 or 26 points through three quarters of play--a statistic any coach would gladly take.

He credited that defensive performance to the Champs' coachability factor.

"We've got a great group of kids. They do whatever you ask them to do and get ready preparation wise. They're very coachable," he said.

While Edmondson was pleased with his teams' defensive performance, Davis was happy with the way his team battled back into contention, despite struggling early on.

"Our guys fought back. We kind of stressed after the Moore County game that when the shots don't fall you have to pick it up on the defensive end," Davis said.

Bright spots

In all, both teams had their heroes and their bright spots throughout the game.

Cascade sported a stalwart defense that led to several points in transition. Community on the other hand lit up the scoreboard with a deadly accurate perimeter shot, banking eight treys throughout the contest.

Logan Pierce, Tyler Cowan, and Taylor Paschal each netted a pair of trifectas, which helped thrust the Purple and Gold back into the game.

Tanner Simmons was the only Viking to hit double digits, while Cascade's scoring efforts were led by Jesse Barnes, Will Holt, and James Lattimore, each of whom scored in the double digit column.

Barnes, along with Simmons, posted a game high 13 points.

Holt and Lattimore added 12 and 10 points respectively.

"I thought James Lattimore did a great job. Jesse has been out all week and didn't practice any. I thought he did a great job for us. I was proud of both of them inside the paint," Edmondson said.

What's next

With the win, the Champs' focus shifts on the next district opponent--Huntland.

While Cascade will play Culleoka on Monday, the Champs will face Huntland in the next district game on Tuesday, both games of which Edmondson says should provide tests for the Champs.

"I told them we take them one at a time and move from there. Huntland is our next district game. We play Culleoka, but Huntland is our main focus," he said.

Davis and the Vikings, however, hope they can snap the two-game skid next week, despite a pair of tough road contests at MTCS and Fayetteville City.

"I told the guys that basketball is three seasons. You have your non-district season, your district season, and the one that matters is the tournament. We want to be good in February. It's one of those things where we hit a skid and the ball just isn't going in the basket," Davis said.

Cascade 14 10 11 20 -- 55

Community 3 10 9 20 -- 42

Cascade: Jesse Barnes 13, Will Holt 12, James Lattimore 10, Jake Pimental 8, Sam Gardner 5, Alex Hatchett 3, Bryce Clinton 3, Blake Floyd 1.

Community: Tanner Simmons 13, Taylor Paschal 8, Tyler Cowan 6, Luke Primm 6, Logan Pierce 5, Zeke Grissom 2, Blake Fanning 2.

3-Point goals: Community (7): Pierce 2, Cowan 2, Paschal 2, Fanning 1; Cascade (5): Gardner 1, Hatchett 1, Pimental 1, Clinton 1, Holt 1.

Halftime score: Cascade 24, Community 13.

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