JAMESTOWN — A brilliant season by the Cascade Champions that included a District 7-AA title, Region 4-AA runner up and a state sectional appearance came to a close on Monday night in the …
JAMESTOWN — A brilliant season by the Cascade Champions that included a District 7-AA title, Region 4-AA runner up and a state sectional appearance came to a close on Monday night in the Class AA sectional round at York Institute.
Cascade battled York through a close first half, but saw the Dragons pull away in the second half for the 57-38 win over Cascade.
Out of the gates, Cascade struggled to consistently score and with York able to limit second-chance scoring opportunities.
“I felt like we got out-played overall, but also thought we still had enough to get it done. We were just a little bit out of sync,” Cascade coach Chris Lawson said.
Cascade spent the final two games of the season without a key piece of the successful equation in senior Thomas Gentry, who was sidelined with a knee injury.
“To me, we looked a little bit out of sync at times not having Thomas Gentry out there, just as far as figuring out where we’re supposed to be. We went from knowing where the five we had started games with all year, we had really gotten in a groove,” Lawson added.
With Gentry on the sideline, the roles for the players on the court changed and the familiarity in their established roles on the court changed.
After Cascade took a slim, 8-6 lead with just inside of four minutes to play in the first quarter, York went on a 7-0 run before Champion senior Lucas Clanton hauled in a rebound off a miss and hit the put-back to cut the York lead to one possession by the end of the quarter.
Cascade opened the second quarter ice cold from the field, and while York wasn’t able to light it up, the Dragons did extend their lead back to seven points before Jackson Davis was fouled and sent to the line for a pair of free throws with 3:49 left in the half.
Cascade didn’t manage a shot from the floor until Davis hit a shot with 3:00 left in the second quarter.
Even with the struggles and a scoring drought that lasted over four minutes to start the quarter, York still only led by six points at the half.
Early on in the third, Cascade cut the York lead to three points on two separate occasions, but after Clanton drilled a three-pointer with 4:35 left in the third, York responded with a 9-0 run to push the game back to double digits and Cascade was never able to recover.
Following the made trey by Clanton, the Champs managed just seven more points in regulation.
York’s ability to rebound, as well as defend in transition, gave Cascade fits the entire game.
“All year long, we were a good transition team. We were never able to get anything easy in transition. Anytime we got a 3-on-2 or a 2-on-1, they did a great job sprinting back. They came behind us two or three times in the third and fourth quarter and knocked the ball loose. You have to give them a lot of credit. They hustled,” Lawson said.
Clanton led Cascade in scoring in his final game with the Champions, scoring 17 points, leaving him just 44 point shy of the all-time scoring record.
“He’s a big time player and you can count on him to get you some buckets. Even going back to Pearl Cohn in the region final. he found a way. He made some tough shots. At York, we needed one or two other guys to step up and get a couple buckets and relieve some pressure. Have to give Lucas a lot of credit. He had a great career,” Lawson said.
Jackson Davis also hit double figures and finished his career with 12 points.
While it went down as a loss, Monday night’s game capped the Champions’ third season with Lawson at the helm, that’s included two state sectional appearances.
“We won a ton of basketball games, went to the sub-state two times, all three years made a good run in the postseason. I think they have built on what was already tradition here of being successful. Now I think the expectation is to take the next step. I really feel like a state tournament appearance is coming for this program in the near future,” he said.
Cascade finishes the season with a 27-7 overall record.
Cascade 10 11 12 5 — 38
York Institute 13 14 19 11 — 57
Cascade: Lucas Clanton 17, Jackson Davis 12, Jayden Gulick 3, Isaac McElroy 2, Zach Crosslin 2, Tucker McGee 2.
York Institute: Bryson Bilbry 25, Heath Wattenbarger 15, Blain York 6, Myles Leffew 5, Jackson Conaster 4, Will Beaty 2.
3-Point goals: Cascade (3): Clanton 2, Gulick; York Institute (2): Leffew, Wattenbarger.
Halftime score: York Institute 27, Cascade 21.