CEDAR RAPIDS — You have to wake up pretty early to get a jump on the Cascade boys’ basketball team. It also helps to slow down the Cougars offense, no matter what time of day.
Osage (10-5) couldn’t control the Cascade offense, and the Class 2A No. 2 Cougars (16-0) ran past the Green Devils, 64-41 in the second game of Saturday’s Wells Fargo Advisors Shootout at the U.S. Cellular Center.
“We just wanted to come out and play like we normally do,” said senior Derek Koppes, who led Cascade with 18 points. “We don’t have to worry about what the other team is going to do as long as we are doing what we need to do. We just treat it like any other game, no matter what time it is.”
Cascade cranked the energy dial to 10 early on, and put the Green Devils in a 10-0 hole just two minutes into the game. Koppes hit a 3, Brock Simon forced a turnover and scored then followed up with a 3 of his own 30 seconds later. The pace continued throughout the half, which played right into the Cougars’ game plan.
“We knew there wasn’t going to be a lot of energy out there because it was an early game,” said Simon, who finished with 15 points. “So we had to create the energy and get after it.”
Despite being a little under-sized, Cascade didn’t shy away from crashing the boards. During a possession early in the second quarter, the Cougars picked up four offensive rebounds, which led to two points. The tenacity on the boards was about more than just second-chance opportunities on offense for Cascade.
“It’s big to get those opportunities because it takes away a possession from the other team,” said Simon. “It gets us another possession and a chance to get the points.”
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Cascade built a commanding 42-19 lead at the half. Simon scored 15 points in the first half, and Koppes knocked down four 3-pointers. Overall, the Cougars hit nine treys in the game and nine different players scored.
“There was no sleeping on the bus,” said Cascade head coach Jacob Brindle. “They were jacked up and excited to get down here.”