Champions give coach 100th victory at school
TULLAHOMA — It’s been 288 days since the Cascade Champions won their last game. While it’s been a long wait, Tuesday night’s first win of the 2017-2018 season may have been just a little sweeter.
Not only did the Champs’ 67-57 win over the Wildcats mark the first of the season, but it marked the 100th career victory for Champion coach Mike Edmondson at the helm for Cascade.
“It means a lot to me because we’ve had such good guys on the teams. They get all the credit. We’ve had really good players. They’ve worked hard and done everything we’ve asked them to do. It’s special to be here and able to do it,” Edmondson said.
The win couldn’t have come at a better time for his Champion team that is still piecing together its identity.
Cascade entered Tuesday night’s non-district tilt against the Wildcats with the goal of pounding the ball inside the paint and forcing Tullahoma to match up in the post.
The plan worked, for the most part, as Cascade leaned heavily on six-foot-seven senior Landon Parker, who paced the Champs with 19 points in the win.
The Champs started off on a blistering pace and led 20-8 at one point late in the opening frame.
The Wildcats unloaded from the perimeter in the second quarter and spurred on a 20-point rally thanks to six treys.
Jake Hollandsworth connected on four triples in the quarter to bring Tullahoma within four by the half.
“We thought No. 32 (Race Mavin) was supposed to be the shooter. We didn’t expect it to be No. 31 (Hollandsworth). But we knew they were going to shoot a lot of 3’s because they’re basically five guards,” Edmondson said.
Tullahoma connected on 10 treys in the game, with Hollandsworth knocking down four.
Nic Barstad added three for the Wildcats.
As Tullahoma closed in on the Champs’, the Wildcats took a brief lead when Barstad was fouled on a layup and connected on the free throw for the three-point play with 4:57 left in the third.
But as Barstad and the Wildcats continued to threaten the Champs, Jake Vincent answered with nine points in the quarter, including a pair of clutch 3’s.
“We got some really good minutes from Landon. He really powered it home tonight. And Jake gave us a nice spurt in the second half,” Edmondson said.
Tullahoma went on to tie the game at 48 apiece with 7:40 left in regulation before Jaden Russell hit a five-foot put-back to give the Champs the lead for good.
Joining Parker in double figures was sophomore guard Brandon Heath, who scored 14 in the win.
Vincent chipped in 11 as well.
Cascade took advantage of every opportunity given in the win.
The Champs spent their share of time at the line, making good on 20 of 26 attempts in the win.
Parker led the way with his 70-percent night at the charity stripe.
Barstad led Tullahoma with 22 points, while Hollandsworth added 14 as well.
The win snaps a near three-week long skid to start the season.
“It does feel good to finally get it. We really played well tonight. We executed our offense and was able to get the ball inside. If we play like that, we’ll be alright,” Edmondson said.
The win marks another step forward for the Champs, who have shown more consistency over the past week.
“We’ve really played well for about three games now. That’s what we want to do, just keep improving. We’re not there, but we’re getting there. We took a lot of steps forward tonight and I’m proud of them,” Edmondson said.
Cascade will be back on the road on Friday night and will take aim at avenging last Friday’s loss to cross-county rival Community.
Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m. in Unionville on Friday.
Cascade 22 12 14 19 — 67
Tullahoma 10 20 16 11 — 57
Cascade: Landon Parker 19, Brandon Heath 14, Jake Vincent 11, Jaden Russell 8, Steele Carter 7, Chay Chumley 6, Noah Maddox 2.
Tullahoma: Nic Barstad 22, Jake Hollandsworth 14, Ben Fulton 8, Race Marin 6, Corvion Fields 3, Sam Brock 2, Matt Ross 2.
3-Point goals: Tullahoma (10): Hollandsworth 4, Barstad 3, Fulton 2, Fields; Cascade (5): Heath 3, Vincent 2.
Halftime score: Cascade 34, Tullahoma 30.