CLAYTON — In a tough environment for an early season battle between two county boys’ basketball teams, Tri-West responded by claiming a 53-44 road victory over Cascade.
“I think it was a good team effort,” Tri-West coach Adam Bontreger said. “We had some early foul trouble with some of our bigs and basically for the entire game. We got some nice contributions off the bench… it’s hard to come here and beat Cascade. This is a tough place to play and they played an outstanding game. We are fortunate to come out with the victory tonight and I’m glad that we can start the season out 1-0.”
Austin Lynn and Trevor Waite led the way for the Bruins (1-0) with 12 points each. However, Bontreger was also pleased about the entire squads’ efforts, as nine Bruins entered the scoring column.
“I think the team play is really what this team is going to be about,” Bontreger said. “I think Austin Lynn really showed up tonight and gave us a huge lift in the scoring column.”
Cascade (0-1) jumped out quickly, taking a 13-9 lead after one quarter. But Tri-West flipped the momentum and claimed a 23-19 advantage going into halftime.
After a tightly contested beginning to the third quarter, Tri-West began to pull away, riding an 11-4 run to close out the period. Much of that lead was built with a strong defensive effort.
“(The defense) was good,” Bontreger said. “We have changed some things with the way that we are going to run our program and our defensive strategies have changed a little this year. I was really pleased. I think that, at times, it really seemed to rush them and forced some turnovers. I think that the press really started wearing on them and we were able to start building a little bit of a lead because of that.”
Tri-West’s momentum carried over into the fourth quarter, stretching its lead as high as 12.
With 18 second remaining in the game, Cascade’s Hayden Suter knocked down a fall-away 3-pointer to pull the Cadets to within seven, but that was close as they would get.
Cascade coach Chris DuBois was extremely pleased with his team’s effort.
“It’s one of those things that all starts in practice,” DuBois said. “Those guys have practiced really hard for the last two-and-a-half weeks and it showed out there. I don’t think that you can have a team that plays that hard and doesn’t practice hard. “That’s the biggest positive. The effort was there and I think that is something that the parents and the fans will appreciate.”
For the Cadets, this campaign is a season of working into some new spots.
“We have a bunch of guys with different roles this year,” DuBois said. “We have three guys who played varsity last year, but it wasn’t their role to score or to be the main threat. I was happy with the effort and I think that we can correct everything that we need to.”
Suter lead the way for Cascade with 18 points. Eric Bobadilla and Jake Canaday added eight each.
“(Suter) has that new role of being a scorer and he’s got to look to shoot for us,” DuBois said. “It’s not being a ball hog, but he just has to score for us. He did that at the end. He hit an unbelievable three in the corner. We’ll take it.”
Tri-West will look to build on its momentum as they host Western Boone Nov. 30, while Cascade hosts Monrovia on the same night.