EVERETT — There’s nothing like a dagger 3-pointer to energize the crowd and silence the opposition in a rivalry game.
Cascade’s Josef Jenkins found that out Friday night, much to his delight.
The Bruins’ sharpshooter scored came off the bench and buried five 3s, four in the second half, in a 17-point performance to power the Cascade boys basketball team to a 57-37 win over crosstown rival Everett BruGull Fest on Friday at Everett Community College.
“He had it going tonight,” Cascade coach Shane Stenesen said. “(Those 3s) are big because they stop momentum from the other side, especially in an atmosphere like this with the crowd going back and forth. He was very key for us. We have some shooters, and it was only a matter of time for one of them to step up, and he felt good and was letting them go.”
Jenkins sunk 3s on back-to-back possessions to end the third quarter, extending Cascade’s lead to 42-21.
The Seagulls chipped away at the deficit in the fourth quarter by implementing full-court pressure. The Bruins committed four consecutive turnovers while Everett went on a 15-4 run to bring Cascade’s lead down to 10.
“We were trying to work on a 2-3 zone a little late, and that was a bit of a failed experiment,” Stenesen said.
But Jenkins was there to swing the momentum yet again.
The junior drilled a 3-pointer with 3:32 left to play to end the Bruins’ drought and flicked in another on Cascade’s next possession, extending the Bruins’ lead back out to 16.
“We were trying to run clock and it was a bit of a heat-check for him,” Stenesen said. “I said, ‘You’re allowed one of those because you were hitting them tonight.’”
Jenkins, a first-year varsity player, said the experience of lifting his team to victory in his first game against Everett was very satisfying.
“Sometimes I’m off, sometimes I’m on, but when I’m on, it feels really good,” Jenkins said. “Hearing the crowd support, oh man, that was really fun.”
The two teams traded blows in a sleepy first quarter, with Everett leading 8-7. Cascade then started pressing and stifling Everett’s offensive rhythm, with the Bruins outscoring the Seagulls 14-1 in the second quarter.
“My big frustrations were that our effort, energy and defensive intensity was dictated by whether we were making or missing shots,” Everett coach Bryce Levin said. “We struggled shooting the ball in the first half and that carried over to our defense, and we lost our confidence.”
Levin said he was more pleased with his team’s battle in the second half, but ultimately Jenkins and the rest of the Bruins’ offensive weapons proved too lethal.
“When we’re down in those situations and trying to pressure and trap, shooters shake free in those situations a lot like that,” Levin said. “Those are the ones you have to gamble on and hope they miss them and you get a long rebound and go. It’s pretty demoralizing when a guy hits a couple shots like that, to be honest. But our guys did a nice job of battling.”
Sophomore forward Baba Kolly added 14 points for the Bruins.
Taras Fesiienko led the Seagulls with 14 points, and junior big man Jayden White chipped in 11 for Everett.
Stenesen, in his first year as Cascade’s coach, said he was impressed with the intensity of the rivalry.
“I haven’t seen a (regular-season) crowd like that in quite awhile,” Stenesen said.