LEAVENWORTH — Coming off their first loss of the season, the Kodiaks were hoping to right their ship early when facing their first league opponent, the Okanogan Bulldogs, Tuesday night at home. Okanogan has always proved to be a tough opponent for the Kodiaks, often losing by a wide margin, and though they lost by 12, the Kodiaks were always within competitive reach of the lead even with a lid over the basket ending the night 48-36.
The Kodiaks started strong on defense, preventing any dribble penetration from Okanogan and forcing them to shoot from the field. Okanogan came out early with a full-court-press but it posed little threat for the Kodiaks who often dismantled it quickly but once across half-court, however, the Kodiaks had difficulty getting any offensive rhythm going and when they did create open looks for themselves the shots rarely dropped in their favor. Both teams’ turnovers were high but equal. Snatching up rebounds limited Okanogan’s second-chance opportunities and kept the Kodiaks within five before the end of the quarter at 11-6.
“We were able to handle the press but they sped us up forcing us to turn the ball over,” said Cascade Boys Head Coach Paul Fraker. “We want to control the pace a bit more.”
Okanogan kept pressing in the second quarter but Bret Fraker, who almost always handled the ball, had little trouble passing or dribbling through it.
The Kodiak’s turnovers dropped significantly this quarter and though they allowed Okanogan to penetrate the paint more often, Okanogan had just as big a lid over the rim as the Kodiaks, getting more looks at the basket but rarely hitting the bottom of the net. Occasionally, the Kodiaks got the offense going with quick ball movement like when they drove the ball baseline, found Fraker under the basket, who drew Okanogan’s defense freeing up Isaac Cortes behind the arc, who dished it to his open teammate and sunk the jumper for three points reducing the deficit to two.
But Okanogan hit two free-throws before the half ending the quarter 17-13.
The second half was similar.
The Kodiaks had some silly turnovers in transition that allowed the deficit to grow but they got a burst of energy from Cortes who finished a reverse lay-in to bring them within six at 21-15 and also from Eric Rosario, when Fraker, who penetrated, drew the defense, then kicked it to Rosario who drove baseline and finished it with a contested wrap-around lay-in to, again, get within five halfway through the quarter. But Okanogan went on a 10-0 run at the end of the quarter to finish 32-21.
Finally, the lid came off the rim for the Kodiaks in the final quarter, unfortunately, it did for Okanogan as well allowing them to answer most of any Kodiak response but the Kodiaks managed to claw back within six with three minutes left when Cortes found Fraker behind the arc who hit the three-pointer making the game 39-33.
But that’s as close as they’d get. Okanogan hit a few more buckets to finish the night.
“We didn’t get a lot of finishes in the paint and we didn’t shoot the three well at all,” said Fraker. “But in the fourth quarter when shots fall, we are right there. The defensive effort is there. We’ve been doing it for three quarters but we need four. We are also bouncing back from injuries, but we haven’t been able to be on the same court as (Okanogan) the last three years so that’s a big improvement”
Cascade’s Cortes finished with 10 points and Fraker added 8. Cascade’s record drops to 1-2 and Okanogan improves to 1-2. Cascade plays Cle Elum Thursday, Dec. 12 at 7:15 p.m. in Leavenworth.
CTL Girls’ Basketball | Too many turnovers for Cascade
LEAVENWORTH — The Kodiaks faced Okanogan at home Tuesday night, planning to snap their losing streak with a repeat of the last time they met Okanogan when they won by nine. But the undefeated Bulldogs were a lot to handle who capitalized on Cascade’s many turnovers and ran away with a one-sided victory 66-18.
Cascade’s Molly Wiser hit the first bucket of the game and the only one the Kodiaks would have this quarter because immediately following Okanogan went on a 23-0 run. Okanogan’s full-court-press was a menace for the Kodiaks forcing turnover after turnover, 16 in this quarter alone, that almost always led to a lay-in. Cascade’s rebounding also suffered allowing Okanogan many second-chance opportunities. And in the rare event that the Kodiaks got a good look at the basket they rarely hit their shots. They finished the quarter 23-2.
“Turnovers killed us,” said Cascade Girls Head Coach Dane Lewman. “We weren’t ready for the pressure right off the bat. And it wasn’t necessarily the pressure itself it was our reaction to it.”
Both teams struggled to hit shots at the start of the second quarter. The first points only coming after two and a half minutes. Cascade finally got things going when their rebounding improved toward the end of the quarter and again after Evelyn Bueno delt Okanogan a quality block and just shortly after, with two minutes left, hit a jumper of her own making the game 34-4. Okanogan would get one more lay-in before the half off of a Cascade turnover.
Coming out of the half both teams started sloppy with turnovers and fouls but Cascade got a bit of a spark from Wiser when she collected an offensive rebound and put it back for two points to get the game to 43-11 and just a minute later stole the ball. Shortly later she left her defender behind going back-door and laying it in off a pass and, again, seconds later getting a steal before the end of the third. The Kodiaks had their best offensive quarter ending it 51-13.
Cascade earned a couple of early steals to start the quarter from Kolby Hunt and Xitlali Espinosa but because they had trouble rebounding, defending the post and hitting some of their free-throws the lead grew. But they ended on a high note when Autumn West drove through the defense and sunk both of her free-throws after being fouled on the attempt to get the game to 64-16. The next play Wiser stole the ball and went coast-to-coast to add two more 64-18 with 40 seconds left in the game.
“A little defensive anticipation is what we are looking for and we got that in the third quarter. Molly (Wiser) was the one that did it for us in the last half,” said Lewman.
Wiser finished with 10 points and Bueno added four. Cascade fell to 0-1 in league, 0-3 overall, while Okanogan improved to 1-0 in league and 3-0 overall. Cascade plays Cle Elum Thursday, Dec. 12 at 5:45 p.m. in Leavenworth.