(T-G Photo by Chris Siers)
That rigid mental prowess was put to the test in a 9-A clash against Eagleville on Friday night. Despite falling behind by as many as 14 points early in the second quarter, the Champs were able to keep their composure and secure the come-from-behind win over the Eagles, 58-45.
"They never get too high and they never get too low. They keep their composure, whether we're ahead by 10 or down by 10. These guys don't get caught up in the emotions of the game. They just keep playing," Edmondson said.
That composure was key for the Champs as Eagleville ran rampant in the first quarter, racing out to a 20-12 advantage.
In the first quarter, Eagle forward Ben Kelley was nearly unstoppable. He banked 11 of the team's 20 points, including a 3-pointer with just over three minutes to go in the opening frame.
While Kelley continued his first-quarter tear, the Champs found success with Jesse Barnes, who led the team with eight in the first frame.
The Eagles' hot streak continued into the second quarter and pushed the advantage to 14 points.
But Cascade eventually found its rhythm.
Even though Kelley showed the hot hand in the first half, the second half was all Barnes.
He added eight more in the third quarter, and another six in the fourth for a game-leading 22 points.
"Jesse played well. We told them to just keep going to Jesse. We took advantage of what they gave us," Edmondson said.
While offensively, the Champs found their go-to guy in Barnes, Blake Floyd marked Kelley in the second half and limited his offensive performance in the final two quarters.
"We tried to do something a little different. In the second half, we just had Blake guard him. He's just so hard to guard," Edmondson said.
Having trailed for nearly three and a half quarters, Cascade finally took the lead with 1:21 left in the third when junior Will Holt drilled a triple from the wing, putting the Champs up 40-38.
Cascade didn't trail again--which was a direct result of the work put on the defensive end of the floor.
Kelley was held to just five points in the second half, three of which came from the free throw line.
In all, Eagleville connected on 11-of-14 tries from the free throw line, while Cascade made good on 12-of-14 attempts.
Cascade got some extra help on the offensive end of the floor in addition to Barnes' 22 points. Floyd added 14 while Holt connected for 11, including a 6-for-6 night at the line.
Kelley paced the visitors with 18 points while Josh McCrary added 12 more for the Eagles.
Cascade collects the district win and moves to 7-3 in district play with a showdown against Fayetteville City scheduled for Tuesday.
Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m.
Eagleville 20 11 9 5 -- 45
Cascade 12 13 19 14 -- 58
Eagleville (45): Ben Kelley 18, Josh McCrary 12, Chris Hale 8, Jason Hawks 4, Darin Knox 3.
Cascade (58): Jesse Barnes 22, Blake Floyd 14, Will Holt 11, Jake Pimental 4, Bryce Clinton 3, Alex Hatchett 2, Sam Gardner 2.
3-Point goals: Eagleville (3): McCrary 2, Kelley; Cascade (2): Holt, Clinton.
Halftime score: Eagleville 31, Cascade 25.