DES MOINES — Just like the old man. Right, Scott Jackson?
“You know what, a lot of people have said that he looks just like me shooting the basketball,” the North Cedar head coach said with a proud smile after his team’s 63-53 win over Cascade in a Class 2A state tournament quarterfinal Tuesday afternoon at Wells Fargo Arena. “I don’t know if that’s good or bad.”
Oh, it’s good. Jackson was known for shooting during his collegiate career at Kirkwood and Coe, and the acorn definitely did not fall far from the tree in this case.
Young Scott, otherwise known as Kyle Jackson, went off for a game-high 23 points, including five clutch 3-pointers that gave North Cedar its first state tournament win. The Knights (24-2) face West Fork (25-0) and its 6-foot-8, 6-foot-9 front line Thursday at 3:45 in the semifinals.
“Oh, yeah, he brags about (his playing days) a little bit,” said Kyle, a 5-foot-10 junior who facially resembles his father, too. “I’ve just got to do the same thing as him. I’ve got to be in his shoes. He has always taught me a lot.”
Kyle Jackson torched Cascade’s vaunted 2-3 zone defense with four treys that helped NC to a stunning 19-6 edge after a quarter. It was 34-19 Knights at halftime, incredible numbers considering Cascade (24-2) came in averaging 33.6 points allowed per game.
“Once Kyle started hitting those 3s, we had all the confidence in the world,” said NC’s 6-foot-6 point guard Jordan Hay, “held” to 18 points, six under his average.
“They came out shooting fabulously, obviously,” said Cascade Coach Al Marshall. “I didn’t think we covered them, didn’t get to the shooters as well as we wanted. But saying that, you don’t want to take anything away from North Cedar. To their credit, they knocked all the shots down.”
Cascade won 24 straight after a season-opening loss, so you figured a run would come sometime. It did in the second half, as the Cougars meandered their way within eight, 45-37, early in the fourth.
That’s when coldblooded Jackson struck again, swishing his fifth 3-pointer to restore order for NC. It came from a familiar spot, the left corner.
“I didn’t feel real good in warm-ups, but I just had to have confidence throughout the game,” he said.
The 63 points were the most Cascade allowed this season and it was just the sixth time the Cougars had given up 40 or more. Nate McMullen (17 points) and Regan Takes (14) led them in scoring.
Here is a link to the game boxscore and a short video interview with Kyle Jackson: