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Champs' lockdown defense secures another win

By CHRIS SIERS ~ sports@t-g.com
Posted 12/6/22

BELL BUCKLE — Even just six games into the season, it’s becoming almost a broken record of what to expect from the Cascade Champions—quality scoring from the senior starters, lock …

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Champs' lockdown defense secures another win


BELL BUCKLE — Even just six games into the season, it’s becoming almost a broken record of what to expect from the Cascade Champions—quality scoring from the senior starters, lock down defense and different players chipping in off the bench.
That trend continued in Monday night’s non-district matchup against Watertown (3-5) as Cascade improved to 6-0 with a 30-point, 68-38 win over the Purple Tigers.
“The biggest thing that I think we take the most pride in is our defense. Holding a team to 38 points is a big, big deal for us. That’s what I’ve tried to build the foundation on,” Champion coach Chris Lawson said.
In the Champs’ six-game win-streak to start the season, opposing teams are scoring an average of 48.2 points per game.
On Monday, every player that dressed for Cascade (6-0) saw playing time and 10 total players penciled their name in the scoring column.
It wasn’t the best of starts for Cascade against the Purple Tigers, at least on the offensive end of the court.
Cascade jumped out to a 6-2 lead, but saw a scoring lull for the following three minutes.
“We’ve definitely got to get better in half court execution on our offense. We have to do a better job of getting good shots. We had six possessions in a row that were negative at one point. Just a lull right there. Things like that, as we go through the season, we will get better and better at not having those low spots,” Lawson said.
Still, Cascade locked down on defense and aside from a buzzer-beater three-pointer by Watertown’s Trent Spradlin that came from well beyond half-court, the Purple Tigers managed a single field goal against a stingy Champion defense.
Following the lull to start, Cascade eventually broke loose and saw five different players total 22 points in the second quarter, which allowed the Champs to build a 33-17 halftime lead.
Not much changed into the second half as Lawson was able to work the entirety of his bench onto the floor.
“We played everybody, didn’t play any starters in the fourth quarter, extended the lead and still continued to play good defense,” he said.
That depth will continue to play a key factor in what Cascade is able to do this season.
But in a busy week of three games, being able to put every player on the floor and not just maintain, but build on their lead, the Champions are comfortable with no matter who is on the floor.
“We tried to play more guys tonight. That means less minutes for the top guys, but we have a quick turnaround. We play again tomorrow night and we play again Friday night. Both of those are going to be tough games,” Lawson said.
Clanton went for a game-high 20 points, while senior Thomas Gentry chipped in 11.
In total, 10 players for Cascade scored.
Spradlin was the top-scorer for the Purple Tigers, totaling 16 points, including four treys.
While it’s still early in the season, the challenge for Lawson’s squad is to not be complacent with a hot start and to continue playing at a high level through Christmas and into January when district play starts.
“It’s not easy at all. I was worried today. I didn’t think they were as focused as they needed to be. They came out and proved me wrong. They did what we were supposed to do, defensively. We didn’t have a great offensive start. But on defense, we just continue to do a good job,” he said.
Cascade continues its busy week of action on the hardwood on Tuesday night at Moore County before closing the week on Friday night at Fayetteville City.

Watertown 5 12 13 8 — 38
Cascade 11 22 21 14 — 68

Watertown: Trent Spradlin 16, Chase McConnell 10, J.J. Goodall 4, Greer Davis 4, K.J. Woods 2, Garner Creswell 2.
Cascade: Lucas Clanton 20, Thomas Gentry 11, Jackson Davis 8, Saebyn Burris 8, Isaac McElroy 7, Tucker McGee 4, Henry Stone 2, Eli Elliott 2, Nick Harris 2, Zach Crosslin 2.
3-Point goals: Cascade (7): Clanton 3, Gentry 3, McGee; Watertown (4): Spradlin 4.
Halftime score: Cascade 33, Watertown 17.


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