By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– It was a good test of composure with the league seasons coming up for both Salem Academy and Cascade in the fifth-place game of the Capitol City Classic at Willamette University Wednesday afternoon.
The game was aggressive and physical as the Cougars, one of 4A’s top teams, edged one 2A’s best in the Crusaders in the 59-50 game as both teams wrapped up the four-game tournament.
“it was really good. I think, like any other game against bigger schools, higher competition, we’re going to have more pressure than we would in a typical league game and I think it’s good for us,” Ty Best said.
Best finished with ten points and eight rebounds in the contest as Cascade paced the Crusaders behind 17 points from Spencer Horne in the win. Their opposition in Salem Academy had been battled tested the past few games as they took both Corvallis and Crescent Valley to overtime, taking down the Raiders in double overtime 59-57.
“I think it’s helped us. A lot of excitement than the first two games we played and figuring it out late game, especially against Crescent Valley figuring it out late game will help us later in the season,” the Crusaders’ John Pass said.
Pass finished with 15 points as Salem Academy finished the tournament 1-3 with their Crusader Holiday Classic coming up December 30 through January 1. Facing the height of Cascade in Dom Ball and Best will help them when they face the height that Western Christian and Sheridan have come to Tri-River Conference play.
“Just figuring out our zone, dialing in our zone. Even with Man with Jackson (Oglesby), he’s figuring out how to play the six-ten kid (in Ball) which is good,” Pass said.
For the Cougs, who enter the 2022 Calendar year 7-2, the nine-point win to win the consolation side of the bracket was a nice way to end 2021.
“Coming into this tournament we were placed at 14, so it was good to show everyone that we’re not number 14 and that we’re number five. So it felt really good to end five and having fun,” Best said.
Cascade plays host to Valley Catholic on January 5.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald