Cascade Holds Off Central’s Second Half Rally In CCC Opener

By Jeremy McDonald

SALEM, Ore.– Central didn’t make life easy for Cascade in their second meeting of the season to open the Capitol City Classic at Willamette University Saturday.

Down 40-18 to start the second half, the Panthers started hot.  The little things, the shots, the rebounds, their defense, the list goes on, started to work in their favor to pull back to within ten of the Cougars in the third quarter down 44-34.  Seemed as if the fortunates of Central was back in favor of the 5A squad looking to redeem themselves after losing to the 4A State Champions on December 2.

“We knew we had to step up, we lacked hard work in the first half so we just had to pick it up there in the second half and put as much pressure on them as we could,” Central’s Estaben Chavez said.  “It was really big, we were trying to catch up as best as we could.”

For the Cougars, they knew this was going to be a battle.  A war almost as they pushed their lead back out with a 7-0 run as they locked it back in, trying to stay ahead of the Panthers who would get the deficit back down to ten once more, threatening to do further damage coming down the stretch after Cascade’s fast start to the game.

“We finally got Sam (Horne) back and we came out hot, everyone knew what they were doing defensively and offensively.  We started off a little bit slow (in the second half), then after about two minutes we locked it in,” Spencer Horne said.  “We knew they were scrappy, we knew it was going to be a bloodbath, so we had to come out with everything we had.  We knew it was coming and we were trying to bring more than what they brought.”

Cascade shutdown the Panther threat once more, pulling away for good in their 78-57 win over Central.  They await the winner of Sprague-St. John Bosco Monday in the Round of 8 at the CCC.

“We’re just going to have fun, try our hardest and compete,” Horne said, who finished with 20 points in the win and seven rebounds.

As frustrated as this defeat was,  the Panthers know they have a few more games left in the CCC and finish the tournament strongly as they await the loser of the Olympian-St. John Bosco game too on Monday.

“It was really frustrating,” said Chavez.  “Just attack the hoop as much as we can, give it to our best players and just do what we do.”

Chavez finished with 14 points and two steals.  Dom Castanon contributed 12 points for the Panthers.

Photos By Jeremy McDonald


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