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Published: Friday, December 6, 2013, 11:08 p.m.

Big second quarter leads Everett boys past Cascade

Led by Popach, Chacon, Seagulls outscore Bruins 23-7 in decisive quarter to win BruGull Fest

EVERETT -- In three of four quarters Friday, the Cascade boys basketball team got the better of Everett, outscoring the Seagulls in each of those periods and by a combined score of 37-32.
But in the other quarter, the second, it was all Everett.
The Seagulls improved their season record to 2-1 on the strength of a dominating second period, outscoring Cascade 23-7, and turning an early deficit into a 14-point halftime margin. Everett never trailed in the second half on its way to a 55-44 nonleague victory at Everett Community College.
Everett's David Popach had six points of his game-high 16 points in the decisive second quarter, and teammate Jace Chacon added six of his 14 points in that same period.
"The second quarter was one of the best quarters we've played (this season)," said Seagulls coach John Richer. "Defensively, we were just trying to be solid and fundamentally sound, and I think as a team we did that. And then we hit some shots, too, which always helps."
Everett spotted Cascade the game's first five points and trailed for all of the opening quarter except for a brief 7-7 tie. But the Seagulls scored the final two points of the first quarter and ran off nine straight points to open the second period for an 18-11 lead.
The teams then traded baskets for a time before Everett closed the half with an 11-2 scoring burst.
In the third quarter the lead twice reached a high of 15 points, and remained in double digits for most of the remaining minutes while never dropping below eight points.
It was Everett's third game this week "and we're playing better," Richer said. "We're trying to improve every game.
"As a coach you see so many areas for improvement, but I'm really glad we're able to experience some success as we improve," he added. "The kids are buying in, they're doing a great job, they're working hard at practice, and we're just trying to show up every day and get better."
Any time cross-district rivals Cascade and Everett get together, and regardless of the sport, emotions tend to be particularly high. Or as Richer acknowledged with a smile, "We didn't have to do anything to get the kids fired up for a game like this. They were excited. ? I just told them to enjoy it."
Cascade coach Darrell McNeal also felt the emotion, but thought it maybe had a negative effect on his team, particularly in the early minutes. "I think at the beginning we played a little timid, and it's probably because we were amped up because it's such a big game," he said. "It was the battle of Everett, the battle of Broadway ? and I don't think we were relaxed enough to come out and play (well).
"We're still a young team," McNeal said. "We've only been together for a couple of weeks, and it's not like we have veterans coming back who know their stuff. They're still learning."
"They're a good team," Richer said of the Bruins. "They're really well coached and they have some good athletes. They're improving, and I thought this would be a really tough matchup."
Cascade was without senior center Josh Smith, who is recuperating from the football season when he was the quarterback of the Bruins' playoff team. McNeal is unsure when he will play.
The game was played at Everett CC because the Seagulls' gym is undergoing renovation. Richer hopes the team will be able to play in its home gym sometime in January.
At Everett CC
Cascade 11 7 14 12 -- 44
Everett 9 23 13 10 -- 55
Cascade--Cameron Cook 3, Brevin Brown 10, Cameron McGrath 5, Michael Gbagonah 8, Nick Benenati 5, Isaiah Gotell 0, Brennen Hancock 7, Justin Gordon 6. Everett--Jace Chacon 14, David Popach 16, Nate Tuck 4, Nick Kopp 2, Paul Larson 8, Noah Juarez 3, Griffin Gish 2, unreported player 6. 3-point goals--Cook 1, Brown 2, Benenati 1, Chacon 1, Popach 4, unreported player 1. Records--Cascade is 0-2, Everett is 2-1.

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