By Jeremy McDonald
STAYTON, Ore.– With only four returning Varsity players with this upcoming Cascade Boys Basketball team, there is no time to waste in trying to give everyone enough experience this summer so when November comes around, it’s not too much of a shell-shock the pace of the game and the lingo isn’t too foreign they won’t understand.
For one of those newer kids, Jordan Sampson, who transferred in from Salem, the summer has given him an opportunity to get used to a new system as Sampson enters his senior season now with the Cougars.
“It’s really important, I got to learn how to help the team a little bit, it’s going to take some time but I think I did well,” said Sampson on his first four-games in the Black and Yellow.
Sampson, a six-foot-five-inch post player joins fellow Cascade Big Man Damian Ball as the Oregon West Conference in 2017-2018 will definitely showcase some height with Riley Nichol (6’6) and Kaleb Annudi (6’7) at Stayton, and Hunter Martin (6’5) and Trevor Ensign (6’8) at North Marion as the ‘Twin Towers’ of the Cougars.
For Ball, he knows how important it’ll be to come together with his fellow post to go up against the Eagles and the Huskies Big Men this season as they try to make a deep run this year.
“It’s very exciting because not a whole lot of teams have multiple bigs and just the overall athleticism of this team, we’re going to be dangerous this year,” said Ball.
The excitement is there overall, adds Ball, as the team will continue to develop together this Tuesday at North Salem High School as they finished 2-2 in this past weekend’s Cascade-Stayton Crossover Tournament.
“This weekend is our first-time playing together as a group and it was really a big experiment four us but we have so much room for improvement,” said Ball. “I truly believe that we will be a State Contender with the potential that this group has.”
The older Ball, Head Coach Steve Ball, he too knows that this weekend is just a stepping stone to where they want to be at here in a few months and Tuesday’s games are just another stepping stone in where they want to be at when the time comes.
“The biggest thing is for us is structuring and terms of where we want to get the ball in our offense, where can we be effective in our scoring opportunities,” said Ball. “Limit our bad shots opportunities, no turnovers. Making sure we’re making a quality shot every possession.
“And Defensively, keeping the ball in front of us. We got to get more stronger and physical, more dedicated not getting to be one-on-one. So that’ll be a little new for us, we just got to be a little bit more tougher on our defense.