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Cascade’s 2019-20 varsity boys’ basketball team: front from left, Will Potter, Luke Miller, Brody Supple, Hugh Molony, Cooper Rausch, Connor Booth and Carter Green; back row, sophomore coach Nate McMullen, assistant coach Roamn Hummel, Jonah Manternach, Caden Reinke, Michael Trumm, Cael McDermott, Jackson McAleer, Alex Aitchison, Cole McDermott, Eli Green, varsity coach Jacob Brindle and freshmen coach Tyler Menke.

For the past nine years, the Cascade boys’ basketball team has played their way into the district championship game and the Cougars have come home with the district title nine times.

During those years, the Cougars have been loaded with talent and, even though they are two years removed from winning the state championship, this season looks like a year that they will be trying to figure things out. One of the things is how to replace not only their two leading scorers from last year but the 27.5 points a game they scored each game.

Backcourt mates Carter Green (6.1 ppg) and Michael Trumm (5.5 ppg) are two of the starters returning from last season as is Alex Aitchison (3.5 ppg). All of them are seniors and all of them showcased offensive skills capable of putting more points on the board than they did last season. Green’s ability to get into the lane will open more scoring opportunities for him when he decides to finish. Trumm has worked on improving his three-point shot during the off-season. Aitchison, the biggest of the Cougars’ big men at 6-6 will look to be more active in the paint rebounding the basketball and putting it back into the hoop. It looks like he’ll also have help on the boards with the likes of freshman Cole McDermott (6-6) and junior Eli Green (6-4) joining the player rotation along with senior Caden Reinke (6-4). But the person who might make the biggest contribution to this year’s team could be Cooper Rausch, a streaky outside shooter who is a threat to put the ball up once he crosses half court. Will Potter, 6-2 guard, is also showing promise as he’s fighting to find a role on the team.

“Our strengths will be our size and length, especially defensively. We’ll be able to play six or seven guys who are between 6-2 and 6-6 or so,” said Jacob Brindle, head coach of the Cougars. “We will also be able to feature four players who played significant minutes in big games on a district championship team last year.”

The Cougars play in the North Division of the River Valley Conference and believe they will be competitive for the top spot, but they will find out exactly how close they are to the top of the mountain when they travel to Camanche Dec. 6. Even though it’s just game two of the year, the Cougars will be battling against the team most people think is the top team in the RVC. Cascade and Camanche split last year’s contests with each team winning on their home court. Home games of interest for Cougar fans will be against Beckman (Dec. 21), Regina Catholic (Jan. 7), Camanche (Jan. 21) and Monticello (Feb. 7).