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Banks comes up short against Cascade

Braves fall behind early but rally to keep things close versus the Cougars

No one likes to lose, but some losses are more productive than others.

The Banks boys basketball team decided to make best use of one last Tuesday, when the Braves fell to Cascade, 61-45, in nonleague action.

The Cougars started the game white-hot, knocking down four 3-pointers in the first quarter to race out to a 23-8 lead after eight minutes of play. The Braves could have let the margin get out of hand, but instead they settled in and learned from the experience.NEWS-TIMES PHOTO: CHASE ALLGOOD
 - Banks junior Ian Hutchins gets off a pass in a crowd of Cascade defenders during last Tuesday's nonleague boys basketball game. Hutchins had seven points in a 61-45 loss.

“I think it’s good for our guys to play teams like this and see that, and just see where the bar is at,” Banks head coach Marc Roche said. “We’ve got to go get that. Overall I’m just pleased that ... even though that first quarter (we) couldn’t stop much, they kept their head in it, they kept hammering away, and we finally got to the point where we were getting stops and getting boards.”

Roche called Cascade (2-2) a “top-10 state caliber team,” so the Braves — who are working in a number of new players in addition to Roche as new head coach — were getting to stretch themselves a bit in this one.

The Cougars finished fourth at the Class 4A state tournament last season and several players on their roster recently won a football state title.

When Tyler Walker and John Schirmer knocked down consecutive 3-pointers to open the third quarter, Cascade’s lead opened up to 42-19.

But instead of fading away, Banks (3-2) started finding ways to get points. David Schorn and Ian Hutchins were particularly effective in the second half, scoring nine points and five points, respectively — and Roche also noted that the 6-foot Hutchins recorded 18 rebounds in the contest.

“He’s not tall and he doesn’t jump that high, but he was just aggressive,” Roche said. “That was huge. Stuff like that, we just need more and more of that from our guys.”

The Braves rallied to within 50-40 on a Jake Evans bucket with about 2:40 to play, but Cascade went 9-of-10 from the free throw line the rest of the way to push the lead back out a bit.

Walker led all scorers with 27 points, Schirmer added 11 and Garrett Coffey chipped in nine for the visitors.

Schorn paced Banks with 12 points. Evans scored nine, while Dalton Renne and Hutchins added eight and seven, respectively.

The Braves were adjusting to the absence of co-captain Zach Sly from the lineup against the Cougars. One of the team’s better offensive threats, Sly recently sustained a fracture in his leg and is expected to miss four to six weeks, Roche said.

But the season marches on, and the Cascade game was just one in a pretty challenging nonleague schedule that should have Banks prepped by the time Cowapa League play begins in mid-January.

“We’re playing some of the better schools in 4A, so it’s good experience for us and we kind of know, hey, here’s what it takes, here’s what it looks like,” Roche said. “We gotta keep working towards that.”

Results of the Braves’ games in this week’s Valiant Holiday Classic in Beaverton were unavailable at press deadline. The team heads to Central Oregon for the Sisters Tournament Dec. 28-30 before playing on the road against Philomath on Jan. 5.