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Champs hit century mark on Senior Night

By WILL CARTER ~ Sports Writer
Posted 2/3/23

BELL BUCKLE — Some nights the rim looks bigger than usual and almost every shot seems to go in. That was true for the Cascade Champions on senior night Tuesday as they lit up the nets for a …

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Champs hit century mark on Senior Night


BELL BUCKLE — Some nights the rim looks bigger than usual and almost every shot seems to go in.
That was true for the Cascade Champions on senior night Tuesday as they lit up the nets for a 104-73 victory over the Huntland Hornets and their 20th win on the season behind 61 combined points from Jackson Davis and Lucas Clanton. 
The duo got off to a hot start as they accounted for all 27 of Cascade’s first quarter points, with Davis’ 14-point start and four three-pointers leading the way. 
“Those two have been our leading scorers all year and they got going early tonight,” Champion head coach Chris Lawson said.
“Both of them started hitting their shots early and everyone around them followed their lead. I can feel it building a little bit with how we’re playing lately.”
Cascade went on a run of 7-0 and 9-0 separately in the opening quarter for a 27-18 lead heading into the second. 
They continued their hot start into the second frame as they opened on an 8-2 run up until just under the seven-minute mark when Huntland used a timeout to change their attack. 
But the Champions couldn’t be stopped as six different players scored in the quarter for another 27-point frame.
Over the first two quarters, Cascade knocked down eight three-pointers and they matched that in the second half for a total of 16 long balls on the night. 
“We’ve been working for several weeks at trying to get everyone on the same page shooting the basketball with confidence,” Lawson said. “There’s been games where this guy has a good night or that guy has a good night, but now we’re getting to the point that everyone is feeling it and contributing.”
At the half, the Champions led 54-36.
While Cascade’s lead never dropped below double-digits, the Hornets never stopped playing and were able to put up an abundance of points themselves. 
Huntland exploded for 24 points in the third quarter to outscore the Champions by two, but it wasn’t enough to bring the game within reach in the end. 
With a 76-60 lead in hand heading into the final frame, Cascade set its sights on surpassing 100 points for the first time this season. 
With just under three minutes remaining in the contest, Cascade was only 10 points away from reaching that accomplishment. 
Senior Jayden Gulick found his range in the final few minutes and knocked down a pair of triples to bring their total to 96, and everyone in their gym got on their feet for the final push. 
Gulick knocked down five three-pointers on the night for a total of 17 points. 
With a 30-point lead in hand, Lawson looked to his bench and put some of his younger players in to be a part of the monumental game. 
Junior Nick Harris stepped to the free throw line with a minute and a half remaining and knocked down both chances to bring their total to 98 and fellow junior Tucker McGee closed the deal soon after with a layup. 
Freshman Henry Stone capped off the game with four points of his own to close out the 104 point Cascade outing. 
While Lawson and the Champions pride themselves on their defense, Lawson was happy to see his team play freely and explode on the offensive end. 
“We hang our hat on defense, but I know that we’re going to have to be successful offensively to get where we want to go,” he said. “I’m sure there will be games coming up that we have to play better defensively, but I feel good about our offense and where we are right now. We were unselfish and played together all night.”
Cascade will travel to Grundy County on Friday night for their first matchup of the season with the Yellow Jackets.

Cascade 27 27 22 28 — 104
Huntland 18 18 24 13 — 73

Cascade: Jackson Davis 31, Lucas Clanton 30, Jayden Gulick 17, Thomas Gentry 9, Isaac McElroy 5, Saebyn Burris 4, Henry Stone 4, Nick Harris 2, Tucker McGee 2. 
Huntland: Eli Wiggs 23, Braylen Phillips 18, LaShawn Kimmons 8, Trace Kilpatrick 8, Kannon Lefevers 6, Landon Farmer 4, Cade Limbaugh 3, Avery Petty 2, Jarren Kinslow 1. 
3-point goals: Cascade (16): Davis 5, Gulick 5, Clanton 4, Gentry 2.; Huntland (7): Kilpatrick 2, Phillips 2, Kimmons, Limbaugh, Wiggs.
Halftime score: Cascade 54, Huntland 36.