Cascade High School
Conference: 1AD2 Long Pin Conference
Classification: 1A D2
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Head Coach: Conor Kennedy
Years as Head Coach: 10th Season
Previous Experience: Two seasons JV
Record Last Year: 16-4
G Connor Coombs (Sr)
G Jaeger Jensen (Sr)
F Jake Spencer (Sr)
Returning Players with Honors:
Coombs/Jensen 2nd-Team All-Long Pin
Spencer Honorable Mention All-Long Pin
Incoming impact players:
F Bailey Horton (Sr)
F Chriss Giacomazzi (Sr)
G Gage Frederickson (Sr)
Written by: Will Hoenike
Late last winter, the Cascade boys were rambling their way toward a berth in the 1A Division II state basketball tournament, winning nine of their last ten games in the regular season. But the team ran out of gas in the district tournament, just missing out on a return trip to State after appearing in the tournament in 2014.
The team returns three players who received honors from the Long Pin Conference after last season and are looking to that trio to help them finish the journey this spring.
Senior guards Connor Coombs and Jaeger Jensen were both second-team All-Conference performers as juniors. Forward Jake Spencer, also a senior, received honorable-mention accolades. They are at the heart of what should be a very competitive Rambler team.
“We will try to play at a fast pace and keep the game moving,” 10th-year head coach Conor Kennedy told the Preview. “This group has the ability to shoot the ball very well.”
The Ramblers shot it pretty well last season, averaging about 60 points per game (games are 32 minutes long), eclipsing the 70-point barrier three times in wins over Horseshoe Bend, Garden Valley and Tri-Valley.
Kennedy sees three bench players from last season elevating into larger roles this season in seniors Bailey Horton (forward), Chriss Giacomazzi (forward) and Gage Frederickson (guard). Others will be in position to earn more playing time through hard work at practice, as Kennedy is preaching consistency to his team on both ends of the court.
“Consistency throughout the game (on offense) and taking high-quality shots,” Kennedy explained. “And consistency again (on defense), not allowing yourself to relax or take a break.”
The 1A Division II Long Pin Conference appears deep again this season. Council returns a solid core of last season’s team that reached the State Championship Game, Salmon River boasts its usual array of strong athletes, Tri-Valley returns a good squad and both Garden Valley and Meadows Valley will be heard from before it is all said and done. The Ramblers also open the season in December at a tournament hosted by Dietrich, the reigning 1A Division II state champions.
District III is guaranteed one berth in the state tournament. Last season, it was Council. The runner-up from the district tournament will advance to a play-in game at Canyon Ridge High School in Twin Falls, where it will face the runner-up from the District V-VI district tournament. The winner will advance to the State Tournament.
“We have a lot of good teams we will play this year,” Kennedy said of his team’s schedule leading up to the district tournament. “But Council, for sure (will excite the fans), and McCall because of the rivalry.”