By Jeremy McDonald
TURNER, Ore.– Middle School has an unique set of rules when it comes to playing games. Up 20, you can’t press. Up 30, automatic running clock.
Right before halftime, Cascade Middle School cracked that 20-point lead thresthold over Neil Armstrong with clean, crisp passes on offense that led to points and strong defense.
For Brookelyn Worst, she points to the team work that this squad has and the togetherness they have compare to last season as they entered the halftime break with the lead.
“I just feel like we did really good as a team and working together and not being selfish with the ball because we just improved a lot from last year,” said six-foot-one eighth-grader. “We were definitely not this close as a team last year and this year we definitely changed a lot.”
It isn’t abnormal that Middle School are in-line with the High School programs, but it helps a lot with the High School program when the family of the Varsity High School program is helping out with the Middle School program.
Ariel Tobiasson points out for as they called themselves as ‘Future Cougars’ instead of ‘Tigers’ as they look up to the girls on the other side of the campus at the High School-level, the Steven-family is a basketball family (surprise, surprise haha) and you can see the fruit of their labor of their basketball love with their players.
Even on occasion, Mark Stevens would stop by and may interject some feedback once-in-a-blue moon even though there’s some intimidation with having the Varsity coach of the High School help them correct a miss-step in their technique.
During Monday’s game, Mark Stevens was up in the upper right corner of the lower stands taking in a Middle School game as a fan instead of being down on the bench as a coach.
“It’s really nice because he’s usually gives us tips and yelling from the bench on what we’re suppose to do,” Tobiasson said on the Stevens family. “His family is like a basketball family and their training us to be, they’re training us for the High School level and how we’re going to do in there and it’s such a great family to learn from.”
“It’s scary but it’s good to know that he’s looking out on our team to step up next year,” adds Worst on the Mark Stevens-effect. “It’s really nice because he would show up to our practices and help out and it really helps me because he would step out and point things out to me on what I could do better and to improve on to make me ready for next year.”
As Worst, Tobiasson and the starters went out to the court for the third-quarter; Cascade found their big post in Worst several times and entering the fourth-quarter, the game was under it’s running clock as the Tigers prepare for the second half of the season as they finish up the first half of the season this week.
“This team is coming in good, we all work really well together as a team and I think if we can keep all the same people playing basketball we’ll be able to exceed in the future,” said Tobiasson.
And it’s not too often, as was the case after their 69-20 win Monday night and sitting undefeated on the year, to see girls like Tobiasson out on the court practicing their shots to improve and get better like some of their High School counterparts on the other side of the school.
“The extra work, I stay after practice every day practicing what I need to improve on,” said Tobiasson. “Extra work is usually…hard work usually pays off and that’s what we try to do.
“I want to succeed in the future. I want to be like the other girls, so I put in the time after practice.”
Photos By Jeremy McDonald