DES MOINES — So many good players over the years, so many good teams. One great former coach.
Yeah, this one was for them.
Cascade won the Class 2A boys’ state basketball tournament championship Friday afternoon by toppling top-ranked Treynor, 49-38, at Wells Fargo Arena. The Cougars did something no other team in the history of this very successful program could do.
“We finally climbed the mountain,” Coach Jacob Brindle said.
Brindle took over last season for Al Marshall, who spent 47 years building something special in the Dubuque County community. He won 738 games, third all time in Iowa.
Most of the guys on this team had relatives who played at one time or another for Marshall. Yeah, this one was for them.
“I grew up watching Cascade basketball,” said Cascade’s Johnny Supple. “I looked up to my uncles who played. I wouldn’t be here today without their support.”
“Obviously, no one would be here without Coach Marshall,” Brindle said. “What he created, he’s as much a part of this right now as we all are. These guys understand that culture, understand that history, respect that history. We talk about how we play here at Cascade. We know who we are. We play hard, respect the game, play the right way. Success is a byproduct of what you do. This trophy is a byproduct of how these guys approached that, approached the culture.”
Gannon O’Brien led this incredibly balanced team with 12 points. Marshall is his great uncle.
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“Everybody knows he’s a successful coach, and he built this successful program,” O’Brien said. “Coach Brindle took that high road and just kept going up with it. I know Coach Marshall is definitely proud of all of us.”
An 18-0 run late in the third quarter and into the fourth was the difference. Cascade trailed by seven points at the time.
Content to shoot 3-pointers up to that point, the Cougars started driving hard to the bucket. The intensity of their aggressive, tough-as-nails 2-3 zone defense picked up.
It was the perfect storm.
“The first half we had 15 3-point attempts, the second half we had three,” O’Brien noted. “(Treynor’s Jon) Schwarte, he’s a good shot blocker, so that scared us a little bit. But once we saw one guy go in there and finish, I think we all kind of figured ‘Well, maybe we can do that, too.’ Just attack the basket.”
A Brock Simon steal and layup began the fourth for Cascade, then he dished off transition to Derek Koppes, who splashed a trey to put the Cougars ahead, 34-32. O’Brien drove to the hoop for two, Simon cut and took a neat pass for another two, then Supple hit a three for a nine-point lead.
He finished with 11 points, Haris Hoffman 10. Luke Clausen had 20 of Treynor’s 38 before fouling out late.
“We were in the huddle, down seven, eight, nine down at the time, whatever it was,” Brindle said. “We said this is a Cascade game. It’s going to be somewhat ugly, we’re going to muck it up, play as hard as we absolutely can. From that point on, they scored six points the rest of the game. If that’s not vintage Cascade from the last 50 years, I don’t know what is.”
It turned out to be a title repeat for the school, whose girls’ team won it all last week. For the first time.
“I saw them celebrate after the game, and I knew I wanted that,” Hoffman said.
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“We saw it done right before our eyes,” Supple added. “We knew we were a pretty good team, too, so there was no reason we couldn’t do this.”
AT DES MOINES
CASCADE (49): Gannon O’Brien 3-6 4-7 12, Haris Hoffman 3-10 4-4 10, Johnny Supple 3-10 2-2 11, Brock Simon 3-10 1-1 7, Derek Koppes 1-2 0-2 3, Reid Rausch 2-3 0-0 6. Totals 15-41 11-16 49.
TREYNOR (38): Luke Clausen 6-12 3-3 20, Jon Schwarte 0-2 1-2 1, Jack Stogdill 1-4 3-3 5, Dillon Faubel 4-14 0-0 9, Jerry Jorgenson 1-4 0-0 3, P.J. Peatrowsky 0-0 0-0 0, Seth Young 0-0 0-0 0, Caleb Larsen 0-0 0-0 0, Matt Dickerson 0-0 0-0 0, Jack Tiarks 0-1 0-1 0. Totals 12-37 7-9 38.
Halftime — Cascade 20, Treynor 20. 3-point goals — Cascade 8-18 (Simon 0-4, Koppes 1-2, Supple 3-5, O’Brien 2-2, Hoffman 0-2, Rausch 2-3), Treynor 7-21 (Faubel 1-6, Stogdill 0-2, Clausen 5-9, Jorgenson 1-4). Rebounds — Cascade 22 (O’Brien 6), Treynor 29 (Schwarte 7). Total fouls — Cascade 11, Treynor 17. Fouled out — Clausen. Assists — Cascade 9 (O’Brien 4), Treynor 9 (Faubel 6). Turnovers — Cascade 4, Treynor 15.
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