Prep Basketball

Uncharacteristically having to play a district quarterfinal, Cascade rolls past Bellevue

Iowa City Regina up next for Cougars

Cascade head coach Jacob Brindle talks with his team during a timeout in the fourth quarter of a 2018 state tournament g
Cascade head coach Jacob Brindle talks with his team during a timeout in the fourth quarter of a 2018 state tournament game at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines. (The Gazette)

CASCADE — It’s been so long since the Cascade Cougars had to play an opening-round district boys’ basketball game, no one was exactly sure Monday night exactly when it had been.

“When they didn’t have byes,” Cascade Coach Jacob Brindle said, after his club beat Bellevue, 48-28, in a Class 2A quarterfinal. “Which would have been 2010 or 2011, I think? Or maybe 2011-12? Whenever they went from 128 (teams) to 96. When they put the byes in, I think we’d had one every year.”

It makes sense. This is one of the most consistent programs in Eastern Iowa, after all, one that won a state championship two years ago.

The top two seeded teams in each 2A district don’t have to play right away, and Cascade has almost always been one of those teams. This one wasn’t, instead receiving a third seed in District 8, behind Monticello and Iowa City Regina.

That’s not to say these Cougars are slouches, because they’re not. They are 14-8 now and have won eight of their last nine games.

A district semifinal matchup against Regina (15-6) is on tap Thursday night at Monticello. Regina beat Cascade in the regular season, but it appears outstanding junior forward Ashton Cook won’t play this time because of injury.

“It’s good to get the experience of a postseason game in before we started battling against the Reginas and the Monticellos,” said Cascade center Alex Aitchison. “It was good to get a postseason win under our belt before we head deeper into the playoffs.”

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“In honesty, I was telling the guys and (assistant) Coach (Roamn) Hummel this, this version of our team, we needed to play in this game,” Brindle agreed. “It’s one of those deals where whenever we’ve had a stretch of three games in a week, or five games in eight days, that’s generally when we play our best. Whatever it is, whether for different guys it’s a rhythm-type thing or what, when you’ve got too many days of prep, that’s bad for us.”

Cascade has size with guys like the 6-foot-6 Aitchison and 6-4 Caden Reinke and plays the bejeezus out of a matchup 2-3 zone that legendary former head coach Al Marshall made an effective staple here. Reinke had a team-best 12 points and seven rebounds here, with Aitchison adding 11 points.

This was the third time this season the Cougars beat River Valley Conference mate Bellevue (7-15).

“We struggled the first half of the season, but we always want to play our best basketball the end of February and into March,” Aitchison said. “We believe that we’re there. We still need to make a few adjustments to get better, but we do believe we’re right there, playing our best.”

In the opening game here, Northeast led from beginning to end in a 71-50 win over Tipton. Northeast (13-9) plays a district semifinal Thursday night at top-seeded and fourth-ranked Monticello (18-2).

The Rebels got 20 points from guard Grant Rickertsen. Center Judd Swanton added 10 points and 14 rebounds.

Tipton (9-14) whittled a 20-plus point deficit down to as little as 10 early in the third quarter but got no further. The Tigers had nine players score, with Payton Elijah leading the way with nine points.

Northeast 71, Tipton 50

TIPTON (50): Payton Elijah 3-6 1-1 9, Landan Hill 1-4 0-0 2, Frank Bierman 2-7 3-3 7, Colby Kleppe 3-7 0-0 6, Trent Pelzer 3-8 0-0 7, Cole Syring 2-3 0-0 6, Kayden Rezac 3-6 0-0 6, Elliot Cummins 0-1 0-0 0, Peyton Gaertner 0-0 1-2 1, Bob Ryan 0-1 0-0 0, Nicholas Howell 1-3 0-0 3, Caleb Shumaker 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 18-46 5-6 50.

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NORTHEAST (71): Cade Hughes 3-13 1-2 9, Dakota Stevenson 5-12 2-2 13, Judd Swanton 5-11 0-0 10, Grant Rickertsen 8-11 2-3 20, Trey McAleer 2-3 2-4 7, Dawson Rickords 1-1 1-2 4, Carter Pataska 3-7 0-2 7, Atzin Dondiego 0-0 0-0 0, Cole Lee 0-1 1-2 1, Riley Wolfe 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 27-58 9-17 71.

Halftime – Northeast 36, Tipton 18. 3-point goals – Tipton 6-17 (Elijah 2-2, Kleppe 0-3, Pelzer 1-5, Syring 2-3, Rezac 0-2, Howell 1-2), Northeast 8-21 (Hughes 2-7, Stevenson 1-4, Rickertsen 2-4, McAleer 1-2, Rickords 1-1, Pataska 1-3). Rebounds – Tipton 30 (Bierman 10), Northeast 35 (Swanton 13). Total fouls – Tipton 16, Northeast 8. Fouled out – None. Turnovers – Tipton 20, Northeast 11.

 

Cascade 48, Bellevue 28

BELLEVUE (28): Jackson Wagner 3-4 1-2 7, Isaac Carter 2-6 0-0 4, Paxton Felderman 1-7 0-0 2, Colby Sieverding 1-6 3-5 6, Andrew Swartz 2-4 0-0 4, Jackson Mueller 1-3 1-2 3, Cole Heim 1-4 0-1 2, Nick Deppe 0-0 0-1 0, Max Jackson 0-0 0-0 0, Liam Dunne 0-0 0-0 0, Kayden Kilburg 0-0 0-0 0, Riley Bruggenworth 0-0 0-0 0, Ethan Klemme 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 11-35 5-11 28.

CASCADE (48): Caden Reinke 6-14 0-2 12, Michael Trumm 3-7 0-0 8, Alex Aitchison 5-8 1-2 11, Carter Green 2-5 0-0 4, Cooper Rausch 1-5 1-2 3, Eli Green 1-3 0-0 2, Jackson McAleer 1-2 0-0 2, Will Potter 0-1 0-0 0, Hugh Molony 1-1 1-1 3, Cael McDermott 0-0 0-0 0, Brody Supple 1-3 0-0 3. Totals 21-49 3-7 48.

Halftime — Cascade 23, Bellevue 16. 3-point goals — Bellevue 1-7 (Felderman 0-3, Sieverding 1-3, Heim 0-1), Cascade 3-12 (Trumm 2-5, Rausch 0-2, E. Green 0-1, Potter 0-1, Supple 1-3). Rebounds — Bellevue 26 (Mueller 6), Cascade 30 (Reinke 7). Total fouls — Bellevue 6, Cascade 9. Fouled out — None. Turnovers — Bellevue 23, Cascade 11.

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

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