Bench Comes Up Big in Postseason Opener Win


Owen Boyette

Jaden Winfield and Nate Straughter began the game in the same spot where they had virtually begun every other game the entire season: on the sideline. Chaminade’s backup guards didn’t hear their names called among the starting five in Chaminde’s opening postseason game against Kirkwood, but when the game came to a close, it was those two who received the standing “O” from the crowd as they walked down the bench and high fived their teammates – signaling they were done for the night.

When the fourth quarter clock hit 0:00, the scoreboard read 60-41 in favor of the Devils. As previously stated, Chaminade’s guards made huge contributions, with 11 points from Winfield and 7 points from Straughter; however, it was their defensive effort that was the spark-plug for the squad’s success Tuesday night. Jaden Winfield had an imperative steal late in the third quarter that resulted in a bucket on the other end. And a few plays later, the Kirkwood player he was guarding had a few choice words for Winfield, which led him to step up his defense even further, ultimately killing Kirkwood momentum.

CCP’s leading scorer was Matteus Case. The senior guard played with his poise in his second ever district tournament game. Case consistently drove to the basket and got to the free throw line. Every quarter, he attempted at least 2 free throws or more. For a player who shoots 80%+ from the charity stripe, that is a key to success. An early three from Case, a thunderous transition slam, as well as an and-1 finish late in the fourth quarter, essentially ending the game, were his three big highlights.

To say Luke Kasubke struggled from the three-point line would be putting it lightly. Chaminade’s senior forward went 1-6 from beyond the arc, though he didn’t let this prohibit from positively effecting the game. His defense and passing, alongside his early transition dunk, soft jumper, and two free throw points, lead him to finish with 9 points.  More impressively, he helped Chaminade finish the night with a win.

Circling back to the strong defense from the sixth and seventh men, Nate Straughter made his presence specifically felt when he blocked a shot of the 6-7 Kannon Nesslage and then stared the big man down. It was the blocked the shot coupled with sprinting to help defense and tight closeouts by Straughter that really got the Chaminade offense going. At the 3:30 mark of the third quarter, the score was tight, 33-31, from there, CCP ballooned the score to 47-33. It was a solid defense that lead to a strong offensive performance.

For the Nade, the night didn’t start pretty, but it finished well. Chaminade’s full bench was playing by the game was over. The squad learned how to bounce back from adversity and will move on to face Webster Groves, 7:00pm at SLUH.


Next Game: vs Webster Groves at SLUH, at 7 O’clock Friday March 6th.