Prep Basketball

Underseeded? Cascade doesn't care because it's moving on at state tournament

Cougars beat Van Meter, 60-47, in Class 2A quarterfinals

DES MOINES — They didn’t lose a game until the very end of the regular season. They were No. 1 a lot of the way, went into the postseaon rated second by The Gazette.

Yet the Cascade Cougars were given a six seed for this week’s boys’ state basketball tournament. Kind of curious.

That speaks to the overall strength of the Class 2A field, for one. It also says the other coaches probably didn’t quite properly value them.

“You can say anything you want about it,” Gannon O’Brien said, after Cascade’s 60-47 quarterfinal win Tuesday morning over third-ranked Van Meter at Wells Fargo Arena. “We could have traded places, and we still would have been playing them. Would have had the exact game. We weren’t really worried about it that much. Just try to get a win.”

Which they did, thanks to a great start and finish.

Cascade (25-1) led late in the first quarter, 17-2, running its motion offense and vaunted 2-3 zone defense to perfection. But the offense stalled the next two quarters, and Van Meter (23-2) began its move.

When guard J.J. Durflinger flung in a 3-pointer from the NBA line just before the third-quarter horn, the Bulldogs were within 39-37. They got no closer.

Haris Hoffman hit a pair of free throws to begin the fourth for Cascade, then Derek Koppes and O’Brien combined for three treys. A Koppes free throw and Brock Simon layup made it a 14-2 run and a 53-39 Cougars lead.

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“Coach told us they were going to make a run,” said Cascade’s Johnny Supple. “It’s the state tournament, they’re a good team.”

“It was just a matter of stops and buckets, stops and buckets, stops and buckets,” said Cascade Coach Jacob Brindle.

Hoffman led an always-balanced scoring attack with 17 points for Cascade, which plays ninth-ranked Sheldon (22-3) in a Wednesday night semifinal at 8:15. O’Brien and Koppes made four 3s each and scored 14 points each.

Durflinger had 15 to lead Van Meter. Cascade did a solid job defending the Bulldogs’ 6-foot-9 towers Ryan Schmitt and Grant Johnson, limiting them to 12 combined points.

All in a all, a pretty good performance, especially from a six seed.

“When I saw that, I thought ‘It’s fine,’” Hoffman said. “Everybody down here is just as good as everybody else. I knew that we maybe should have been a little higher seed. But it really didn’t matter.”

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AT DES MOINES

CASCADE (60): Johnny Supple5-12 0-0 11, Gannon O’Brien 5-6 0-0 14, Haris Hoffman 4-9 7-8 17, Brock Simon 2-6 0-0 4, Derek Koppes 4-8 2-4 14, Reid Rausch 0-2 0-0 0, Luke Bertling 0-0 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, Tom Knepper 0-0 0-0 0, D.J. Miller 0-0 0-0 0, Race Cuckler 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 20-43 9-122 60.

VAN METER (47): Grant Johnson 3-3 1-2 7, Ryan Schmitt 2-6 1-1 5, J.J. Durflinger 4-5 4-4 15, Jack Trudo 2-6 4-6 8, Grant Johnson 3-3 1-2 7, Ian Abrahamson 2-4 0-0 4, Anthony Potthoff 0-1 0-0 0, Spencer Lamb 0-0 0-0 0, Harrison Smith 0-0 0-0 0, Marshall Smith 0-0 0-0 0, Parker Fryar 0-0 0-0 0, Brett Berg 0-0 0-0 0, Jackson Wilcox 0-0 0-0 0, Zach Madden 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 15-35 12-15 47.

Halftime — Cascade 27, Van Meter 17. 3-point goals — Cascade 11-21 (B. Simon 0-1, Koppes 4-8, Supple 1-4, O’Brien 4-4, Hoffman 2-3), Van Meter 5-15 (Durflinger 3-3, Trudo 0-3, Fryar 1-6, Smith 1-2, Potthoff 0-1). Rebounds — Cascade 19 (Supple, Rausch 4), Van Meter 25 (Schmitt 9). Total fouls — Cascade 13, Van Meter 12. Fouled out — None. Assists — Cascade 16 (B. Simon 7), Van Meter 8 (Trudo, Abrahamson 2). Turnovers — Cascade 6, Van Meter 14.

l Comments: (319) 398-8259; jeff.johnson@thegazette.com

 

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