By Jeremy McDonald
TURNER, Ore.– With the 4A State Title on the line during the Cumulative Week this past Spring, Cascade’s then-junior Kellen Sande found himself on the bench. Broken right hand from the second quarter playing against Marshfield when he decided to re-enter the game.
Knowing he can’t shoot, he had to rely on his defense to make-up for the difference he was giving up as the Cougars battled the Pirates in Marshfield’s 60-54 victory that faithful June evening at Marshfield High School.
“What I got going for me is my offense so when I got that taken away, I was like, ‘I got to do something’. I wanted to win that state title, so I chose to go out there to play defense on their best player,” said Sande. “I thought I did a pretty good job trying to get my team to win.”
Sande is one of several returnees from that 13-3 team. Joining Isaac Schnepp, Dominic Ball, Rogue Newtown, and Brady Rasmussen to name a few as the expectations for the Cougars are amplified entering the Winter season this year. Looking to duplicate their Spring performance this Winter once more.
“I think it was really good for us just to have a good group of returners coming back that have had that experience at the Tournament-level,” Head Coach Calvin Molan said. “Now they bring in the same atmosphere at practice with new guys in the district and the younger guys moving on up. It’s helped establish that new standard the first-day of practice and hopefully build off of it.”
The Horne twins of Sam and Spencer and Ty Best add in some Varsity experience to the roster with Roman Farrell and Jackson Walsh making the move up to the Varsity level from JV this weekend.
Cascade has the height with Ball and Best at about six-eight and above, the guards and wings with Rasmussen, Sande, Austin Thatcher and the Horne twins. It’s now just a matter of gelling all of them together ahead of their season opener against North Marion on December 1 and their first road trip to Monmouth on December 3 to play Central.
“We got a big Team Retreat coming up and I’m struggling with plays so these next couple of games and practices, we got to get them down and I think that’ll be a key part of success for us,” Sam Horne said.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald