For Cass boys basketball in a 60-50 win over Paulding County (3-3), the beginning of the game was about getting past appearances.
“[Paulding County] is a team that has been getting a lot of hype because of the way they look,” head coach David Brock said. “They talk about in football and I said this at halftime — guys are pretty in pads, and [Paulding County] look[s] good when they step out there on the floor. It was good to get past that mental part of it and get a good win.”
The Colonels (3-2) got double-digit scoring from Ashton Burley, Ethan Carter and Mark Chester.
Chester in particular was a bright spot, launching from behind the arc with confidence and knocking down three 3-pointers.
“All three of [Chester’s 3s] I was yelling, ‘No!’” Brock said. “He’s capable of making that shot. He’ll pull your hair out, and then it goes in. But he is a good shooter. He’s probably earned the right to take that shot. He just takes it a lot.”
Shots fell for the Colonels that didn’t for them early on. They missed some good looks, and Brock was surprised by the locker room mood given that his team was only down a point a 25-24.
And the Colonels exploded in the third quarter, garnering a 47-33 lead by its end and not looking back.
“We didnt match their intensity at the beginning,” Brock said. “I don’t know if it was so much Xs and Os. “We didn’t want to be counterpunchers, and that’s what we had to do. We adjusted to their zone and started getting a little bit more scripted looks out of things — shots that we took in practice, we were getting them.”
The win comes at a time when Cass needed a bit of a boost after a couple of early losses. Brock has a clear vision for what this team can and wants to do, and Tuesday’s victory helped reinforce that.
“This team has to get to the state tournament,” Brock said. “That is our goal. We couldn’t drop the first two of the year and find a way to stay in that conversation. Getting a win is big for the long term goal and the short term goal — confidence of beating a team that has been getting a lot of hype.”