Carter Green’s three-pointer with less than two seconds to play in overtime capped a double-digit comeback for the Cascade boys’ basketball team nipping Easton Valley, 49-48, in the Hall Of Pride scrimmage played in Cascade, Nov. 30.
“It’s amazing what happens when you make a few shots. This was a pretty good basketball game,” said coach Jacob Brindle, moments after his team came back from 10 points down to win the game in overtime. “Our kids found out how hard you have to play in a game like this, whether it be for 32 or 36 minutes. Win or lose, both teams are going to be 0-0 tomorrow, but now we understand how to handle late game situations. Now we understand that it doesn’t matter how many shots you have made in the game, you have to still be able to shoot your next shot with confidence.”
Down 33-23 with just over a minute to play in the third quarter, the Cougars started their comeback when Elijah Green knocked down a short jumper in the lane. The fourth quarter started with Cascade down 33-27, but they kept coming and it was fueled by this team’s calling card, being able to apply defensive pressure anywhere on the court.
“We are who we are. Come in, battle and whatever happens, happens,” said Brindle. “This is a fun group. We’re going to have a lot of games like this. Aim to keep our opponents in the 40s and then we’ve got a chance.”
The Cougars’ defense ignited their comeback as they frustrated Easton Valley’s offense, not allowing them to do anything uncontested. Defensively, they started jumping the passing lanes and the team figured out how to put pressure on the ball. That resulted in turnovers, which helped create easy shots on the offensive side for Cascade. The shots finally found the bottom of the net as they managed to tie the game at 39-39 at the end of the fourth quarter.
Early in the overtime, Easton Valley jumped to a 46-40 lead and held that lead until Michael Trumm knocked down a three with just over a minute left, cutting the lead to three, 46-43.
Kaleb Cornilsen hit two free throws to extend the lead back to five at 48-43 with 43.8 seconds left to play.
From there, it was all Cougars as Carter led the comeback. His three-point attempt hit the back of the rim, bounced straight up and went through the basket to cut the lead to 48-46 with 20.9 seconds remaining. Full court pressure by the Cougars’ defense forced a turnover and Carter’s three taken in front of the Cougars’ bench touched nothing but net to put the home team ahead 49-48 with 1.6 seconds left to play.
Easton Valley struggled to get the ball inbounds as the Cougars completed their comeback victory.
“We got them playing on their heels. Once we started getting deflections and started making plays then everyone was doing it. They started playing harder for each other,” said Brindle. “We want to go from defense to offense quickly. We’re not going to score 80 points a game, but we were good enough to score on these guys in transition. It was a great test for us tonight. We couldn’t have drawn it up better.”
The Cougars also couldn’t have come up with a better result as they learned how to win on a last second shot by Green.
“Shooting is always the last thing to come along,” said Brindle. “Our calling card for this team is going to be defense. We have some guys that are going to be pretty good shooters, but they just weren’t making shots. Sometimes it just takes making one and sometimes it doesn’t even have to be your shot that was made. We tell them just keep playing hard and that’s what they did.”
Three Cougars finished the game in double-figures with Alex Aitchison leading the way with 12. Carter Green had 11, Eli Green 10, Trumm seven, Willy Potter and Caden Reinke three and Jackson McAleer one.