By Jeremy McDonald
TURNER, Ore.– Two things are for certain entering the 2019 season:
The Cascade Boys Basketball team are going to run. The Oregon West Conference is wide open.
In their intra-squad scrimmage at Monday’s Cascade Winter Sports Showcase, they needed an minute rest with about six minutes left in their scrimmage after going hard for roughly 15 minutes prior.
“We’ve been practicing a lot of running. Every drill involves running, mainly just focus on conditioning for us. Seaside is going to be a really good game for us to see where we’re at the beginning of the year,” said Carson Molan. “So it’s going to be a lot of up-and-down stuff for us, it’s how (Head Coach Calvin Molan) wants to play this year is up-tempo.” 50
It’s very similar to what they ran last year under former Head Coach Steve Ball as the Cougars are a guard-friendly team once more in 2019 entering the new decade. Molan, Elijah Nolan return, David Kanoff adds another shooter Cascade could use.
The transfer-in of Jacob Winstead from South Salem adds some mass to the lineup for rebounds as well as shooting having played with the Saxons Trey Galbraith and current-Portland State freshman Jaden Nielsen-Skinner.
“Driving in kicking, all of that,” said Winstead. “Just because we have so many shooters, it’s hard to guard all of us. Everybody on the floor at the same time, they all can shoot no matter what. So there’s not going to be a lot of helpside defense, so we’re going to be able to drive pretty easy too. If they do help, kick to almost everybody.”
And here’s the thing.
The Cougars are looked at as a quiet team entering this season on the heels of reaching the 4A Play-In round last year, finishing 12-12 overall and 4-8 in league play. But with Sisters graduating seven seniors, Woodburn graduating ten that includes and Stayton graduating the Twin Towers in Kaleb Anundi and Riley Nichol, Cascade could be actually one of the front-runners for the OWC Title with the bulk of their team returning.
But with the 4A State Runner-Up coming to town December 4, we’re still a long ways away from even the start of Oregon West Conference play.
“It’s a lot of hard-work going into it. Each game is going to be tough for us because no one expects it from us,” said Molan of the year this year. “We’re a quiet team last year. We have to know our roles as a team this year and pushing because we’re going to be smaller size. It’s going to be a lot of pushing and a lot of up-and-down playing together.
“We can shoot the ball pretty well so if we can run teams and transition with our conditioning, we’ll wear other teams down during the game and hopefully it’ll be a good season for us this year.”
Tip-off against the Seagulls is slated for 7pm on December 4 with the Cougars traveling to Central December 6 to take on the Panthers at 7pm.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald