By Jeremy Mcdonald
TURNER, Ore.– This was one of those black-and-blue, bruising-type of games. A leave it all-out-there game as Stayton had made life absolutely hellish for Cascade Friday night.
Their defense was locked down with the game plan to lockdown Ty Best and Dom Ball. Holding the two big posts to 14 points combined with Ball having two. Challenging the Cougars to beat them elsewhere in Cascade’s 39-35 win.
But even then, life was not easy for the Cougs nor the Eagles with Stayton leading 27-21 in the closing seconds of the third. Setting up for the wild finish ahead starting with Kellan Sande’s lay-in at the third quarter buzzer.
“A game like that, it’s all heart. It’s about who wants it more and I thought we wanted it more tonight,” Sande said. “I thought the run was huge. We were down four, answered 16-0 and basically put the game away. That was big.”
What started following Sande’s buzzer beater that pulled Cascade to four of the Eagles slowly snowballed into a momentum wave that swept the Eagles off their feet. Stayton struggled to find an answer going into the final minute down 39-29 after a strong three quarters of play.
“That run that they had, that was the game right there. We were up by five-or-six and they went on a 9-0/10-0 run that we couldn’t come back from,” Stayton’s Jacob Axmaker said. “We got to get ready for Newport tomorrow. They’re talented, they can slip in and beat someone good.so we got to prepare for them now.”
In the final 45 seconds of the game, the Eagles made one last desperate push for the lead. Finishing on a 5-0 run to build some momentum for Saturday afternoon’s game against Newport. Axmaker was held to ten points while Garrett Callsen finished with a team-high 13 points.
“I just huddled our guys up and was like ‘it’s a ten-point game. We got 45 seconds left. Let’s stretch this out as long as we can’,” Axmaker said. “We got a few buckets and that’s good for our experience for the next time we play them we’ll have late game experience and hopefully it’ll lead to a lead.”
Following a game like this, a game like Philomath last Friday. They were a new welcome into the madness that is the Oregon West Conference for Cascade. as they know night-in and night-out there’s no gimmes in league now that they’re in it sitting 1-1 in league play.
“Our league is very tough, we have the best league in the State I believe. We just have to play our hearts out every game and bring that energy every game,” Sande said. “Philomath’s a tough place to play, so (tonight) was big. A big moral booster for sure.”Sande led the game with 16 points, two points more than Best who had 14 points in the win as Cascade hosts Woodburn Tuesday.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald