Fantastic finish

MILL CREEK – Based on first-half returns it seemed Marcus Guffey would be a non-factor Saturday night.

Through two quarters Guffey, the Cascade High boys basketball team’s 6-foot-8 senior forward, tallied zero points, two fouls and just two minutes, 52 seconds of action due to foul trouble.

But by the end of game the Bruins’ biggest player certainly made up for his early absence and helped Cascade take another memorable step in its stunning four-year resurrection.

Jennifer Buchanan / The Herald

Snohomish’s Tanner Jenkins (left), and Nate VanDuine (right) surround Cascade’s Sean Carter (with ball) in Saturday night’s Class 4A District 1 boys championship game at Jackson High School.

Guffey scored 15 second-half points, including the game-winning free throw that completed a 3-point play with 6.4 seconds remaining, and Cascade nipped the Snohomish Panthers 49-48 in the Class 4A District 1 championship game at the Jackson High gym.

Both teams had already qualified for the state tournament but Cascade (20-3), ranked No. 9 in the latest 4A poll, won its 12th straight to secure the district’s top seed for state, to be held Wednesday through Saturday at the Tacoma Dome.

Senior guard Seth Follis scored 14 of his team-high 18 points in the second half for Snohomish (20-3), which took its first lead of the game late in the third quarter and led by as many as four in the fourth. But Cascade’s Guffey (five rebounds, 7-for-8 field goal shooting) and teammate Sean Carter (15 points, 10 boards, 7-for-9) refused to let Cascade sink.

“We’ve wanted this for four years, so there was no way we were going to lay down and take it. We’re not going to go out without a fight,” said Guffey, who along with Carter and Mike Matson saw significant varsity action when the Bruins stumbled to a 1-19 record in 2002-2003.

Snohomish had one last chance but Follis missed an off-balance layup just before the final buzzer.

Thanks largely to Follis’ 10-point outburst, Snohomish outscored Cascade 18-10 in the third quarter and took its first lead of the game (35-33) into the final quarter. Carter’s layin with 6:51 to play in the fourth pulled Cascade into a 38-38 tie, but a Follis tip-in and a senior Nate VanDuine’s putback gave Snohomish a 42-38 edge with 6:05 to go, prompting Cascade to call for time out.

Guffey and Carter helped Cascade rally to tie the score three times down the stretch, but Snohomish went on top 48-46 with 31 seconds to go when junior Tanner Jenkins converted a give-and-go layin on a pass from senior Josh Desimone.

On Cascade’s next possession Guffey drilled a 16-foot jumper, was fouled and calmly made what turned out to be the game-winning free throw with 6.4 seconds on the clock.

“I stepped up there with some confidence and tried to nail it,” said Guffey, who came into the game averaging 16.0 points and 9.3 boards per game and shoots 80 percent from the foul line.

After helping his victorious team cut down one of the nets, Bruins head coach Kevin Rohrich choked back emotion as he praised his players’ enduring commitment.

“Big-time players step up in crunch time, and Guffey did that (Saturday night),” said Rohrich, whose first season at Cascade was the frustrating one-win ‘02-‘03 campaign. “I’m real happy for all the guys – all the hard work they put into it. … It’s been a long, hard (four years).”

Cascade last qualified for state in 1999. The Bruins went 1-2 and did not place. The program’s only other appearance was in 1986, when it went 2-1 and took fourth. (The Bruins also made regional appearances in 1964, 1971 and 1973 prior to the current state-tourney format.) Saturday marked the third meeting between Snohomish and Cascade this season. They split two regular-season battles, with each squad winning at home. Snohomish romped 66-47 on Dec. 16 in their first meeting, but Cascade prevailed 58-50 Jan. 31.

VanDuine scored 14 for eighth-ranked Snohomish, which had won six straight and 17 of 18. The Panthers, who placed seventh last year, as well as in 2002 and 2003, “came out a little (too) comfortable,” Desimone said. “We already had our (state berth) locked up. It felt like … we didn’t play as hard as we could but we turned it on ‘cause we did realize that the (district) championship was on the line.”

Despite playing without two starters for significant chunks of the first half, Cascade rode Carter’s nine points to a 23-17 lead by halftime. Snohomish roared back but Guffey emerged when Cascade needed him most.

“When it comes down to (the final) seconds, I want Marcus to shoot that last shot,” Cascade’s Carter said. “I’ll definitely run and get the rebound just in case.”

With a tooth-bearing grin, Carter added, “I didn’t have to worry about that (rebound) tonight.”

At Mill Creek



Snohomish: Follis 18, Diederichs 6, Desimone 6, VanDuine 14. Cascade: Matson 9, Hilliard 2, Snel 6, Guffey 15, Carter 15, Thomas 2. 3-point goals-Follis 3, Matson 2, Snel 2. Records-Snohomish 20-3 overall. Cascade 20-3.

Talk to us

More in Sports

Angel of the Winds Arena stands ready and waiting Friday afternoon for Kraken fans to arrive for the preseason game against the Edmondton Oilers. (Jake Goldstein-Street / The Herald)
Patterson: After past fails, can arena football thrive in Everett?

The turbulent past of arena football in the city stems from the opening of the Everett Events Center, now Angel of the Winds Arena, in 2003.

Everett's Max Soterakopoulos points to his name on the leaderboard after winning his division the Regional Qualifier for Drive, Chip and Putt, held last Saturday at Chambers Bay Golf Course in University Place. (Photo coutesy of Chris Soterakopoulos)
Community roundup: Everett youth golfer headed to The Masters

Plus, Mill Creek Country Club’s Val Patrick honored by LPGA, updates on local NFL players, and more.

Stanwood's Michael Mascotti relays the next play to his teammates during football practice on Monday, Aug. 29, 2022 in Stanwood, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Game picks for Week 5 of the prep football season

Find out which teams the experts and readers pick to win in Week 5.

Sultan’s Derek Feltner tries to stay upright after picking up an offensive fumble and getting a few yards against Granite Falls on Friday, Sep. 30, 2022, at Sultan High School in Sultan, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Week 5 prep football leaderboard

A look at the area’s top passers, rushers and receivers through four weeks of the season.

Lake Stevens’ Jayshon Limar (17) moves with the ball during a football game between Lake Stevens and West Linn at Lake Stevens High School in Lake Stevens, Washington on Friday, Sept. 22, 2023. West Linn won, 49-30. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Associated Press high school football poll for Week 5

Lake Stevens falls from No. 1 in Class 4A; Arlington jumps to No. 6 in 3A.

Prep roundup for Wednesday, Sept. 27

Prep roundup for Wednesday, Sept. 27: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

Mike Thomas (6) owner of the Everett Royals, shares a laugh after practice at Archbishop Murphy High School on February 2, 2022 in Everett, Washington. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Everett’s new arena football team announces owners, coach

The franchise had been shrouded in mystery since the league announced it was relaunching in April.

Washington's Sami Reynolds bats during a Women's College World Series game this past June in Oklahoma City. (UW Athletics photo)
The Herald’s 2022-23 Woman of the Year in Sports: Sami Reynolds

The Snohomish grad capped an outstanding five-year career with an All-American season and one of the biggest moments in UW history.

Vote for The Herald’s Prep Athlete of the Week for Sept. 18-24

The Athlete of the Week nominees for Sept. 18-24. Voting closes at… Continue reading

Most Read