Prep Basketball

No rest, no worries for Cascade in 2A boys' state basketball semifinals

Cougars whack Sheldon, 65-43

Cascade's Haris Hoffman shoots against Sheldon on Wednesday at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)
Cascade's Haris Hoffman shoots against Sheldon on Wednesday at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)

DES MOINES — They’re kids and full of energy. Playing back-to-back days ain’t no big deal.

That’s why you saw the Cascade Cougars literally sprint off the Wells Fargo Arena court Wednesday night after a 65-43 beatdown of Sheldon in a Class 2A state basketball tournament semifinal.

Of course, they were pretty geeked about their performance, too, as they should have been. They were were dominant on both sides of the ball from virtually start to finish.

“Before the game, our coaches were talking to us about how there are no excuses,” said Cascade’s Brock Simon. “If you’re exhausted, you play through it. They don’t care if you’re tired, they’re just going to try and exploit that. So you go out there and give it your all the whole game.”

Second-ranked Cascade (25-1) — which plays No. 1 Treynor in Friday’s 3:45 p.m. championship game — had a 9:30 a.m. quarterfinal Tuesday against Van Meter and had to come right back 30-some hours later to play this one. Yet the legs were there, with evidence being 11-of-18 shooting from 3-point range.

All five Cougars starters had at least one, with Simon and Gannon O’Brien nailing three apiece. Sheldon (22-4) played its quarterfinal Monday night.

“I don’t think it ever crossed my mind, for sure,” O’Brien said. “It was a long time from yesterday morning to tonight. We had a lot of time to rest and recuperate, get in the gym, figure out some stuff, figure out a game plan.”


Cascade started fast for a second-straight game here, scoring 19 points in the first quarter to build an eight-point lead. It was a nine-point spread at halftime, with Haris Hoffman going on an eight-point spree at the start of the third quarter to blow the game open. He had 14 third-quarter points and finished with a game-high 23.

O’Brien and Simon added 13 each.

“I’ve been putting up a lot of shots in practice lately, and I’ve been feeling really good about my shot,” Hoffman said. “We had a little mismatch where they had one of the bigger guys on one of us guard-type players ... We thought maybe we could exploit that a little bit.”

Cascade’s aggressive 2-3 zone defense also shut down Sheldon’s offense. The Orabs came in shooting it at a 41-percent clip from beyond the arc but went just 5 of 18 here.

Throughout most of the first half, Sheldon’s best offense was 6-foot-6 Kyle Boerhave and beefy 6-5 Ryan Van Marel crashing the offensive boards.

“There was no fancy scheming to it,” said Cascade Coach Jacob Brindle. “It was you’ve just got to close out hard on everybody. Run fast at everybody, run fast at everybody. We didn’t think they’d seen a zone like ours all year, which was to our advantage. Not a lot of teams in their league play zone. That’s one advantage that you have sometimes at the state tournament, when teams haven’t played you before. You don’t see a lot of zones maybe that are as active as ours.”

This is the second time in three years Cascade will play for the 2A title. It lost to Western Christian in 2016, the final game of legendary coach Al Marshall’s career.


CASCADE (65): Johnny Supple 1-5 0-0 3, Gannon O’Brien 5-9 0-0 13, Haris Hoffman 9-13 3-5 23, Brock Simon 4-7 2-2 13, Derek Koppes 1-3 4-4 7, Reid Rausch 1-2 0-0 3, Tom Knepper 0-0 0-0 0, Luke Bertling 0-1 0-0 0, Evan Knipper 0-0 0-0 0, Wil Roling 0-0 0-0 0, Carter Simon 0-0 0-0 0, Nick Welter 0-0 0-0- 0, Logan Otting 0-0 0-0 0, D.J. Miller 0-0 0-0 0, Race Cuckler 1-2 0-0 3. Totals 22-42 9-11 65.

SHELDON (43): Jade Kleinhesselink 1-11 0-0 3, Kyle Boerhave 4-6 3-5 11, Ryan Van Marel 6-9 1-3 13, Tyler Merley 1-3 0-0 2, Phil Cain 0-1 0-0 0, Tyler Johnson 2-7 0-0 6, Brady Prescott 0-0 0-0 0, Trent Van Meeteren 0-0 0-0 0, Steven Van Meeteren 1-1 0-0 3, Tyler Lode 0-0 0-0 0, Luke Van Beek 0-0 0-0 0, Mitchell Wolf 0-0 0-0 0, Marshall Kleinhesselink 1-1 0-0 2, Bryant Dykstra 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 17-42 4-8 43.


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Halftime — Cascade 28, Sheldon 19. 3-point goals — Cascade 12-22 (B. Simon 3-5, Koppes 1-3, Supple 1-3, O’Brien 3-5, Hoffman 2-2, Rausch 1-2, Cuckler 1-2), Sheldon 5-18 (Merley 1-3, Cain 0-1, J. Kleinhesselink 1-5, S. Van Meeteren 1-1, Johnson 2-7, Van Beek 0-1). Rebounds — Cascade 23 (Hoffman 7), Sheldon 26 (Van Marel 8). Total fouls — Cascade 11, Sheldon 10. Fouled out — None. Assists — Cascade 13 (B. Simon, Hoffman 3), Sheldon 10 (J. Kleinhesselink 4). Turnovers — Cascade 8, Sheldon 12.

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