Cade Upshaw had the ‘shooter’s touch’ Friday night in the semifinals of the 48th Annual Port City Classic.
The silky-smooth Verdigris junior point guard drained six 3-pointers — five in the first half — and finished with a game-high 24 points to lead the Cardinals past Cascia Hall, 62-46.
With the win, the Class 3A No. 4-ranked Cardinals advanced to Saturday’s championship against Victory Christian.
Though Upshaw only managed three points in the first quarter, Cascia Hall couldn’t contain his presence in the second and third quarters.
The son of Verdigris head coach Randy Upshaw, the Cardinals’ shooting guard scored 21 points during that span as Verdigris built a 51-33 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Both teams played nip-and-tuck throughout the first quarter as Ryan Skalnik’s driving layup capped the scoring with Verdigris leading 18-15.
Three consecutive treys by Upshaw in a one-minute stretch of the second quarter increased the Verdigris lead to 27-20.
Then, with 3:32 remaining in the first half, Upshaw’s fifth trey put Verdigris up 30-23.
Cascia Hall’s perimeter defense gave up eight first-half 3-pointers by the Cardinals.
Along with Upshaw, Laef Payne and Brewster Peacock knocked down three treys in the first half.
Verdigris’ Caleb Jones added an inside presence in the paint to counter the Cardinals perimeter game, and scored six first-half points.
With 1:06 left until halftime, Upshaw sliced and diced the Cascia Hall defense for a driving jumper off the glass to put Verdigris ahead 34-25 at the break.
The threes continued to fall for Verdigris early in the third quarter as Payne and Upshaw hit back-to-back buckets to stretch the margin to 44-30 with 4:01 remaining.
After Bryce Carter knocked down a three for Cascia Hall, Verdigris’ Tyler Monroe countered with a trifecta of his own to make it 47-33.
Monroe and Upshaw closed out the scoring in the third quarter with consecutive driving layups and Verdigris up its lead to 51-33.
Randy Upshaw utilized his bench in the fourth quarter and got solid production from Paul Hollon in the paint, as well as Dayton Wickham.
Along with Upshaw’s 24 points, Payne finished with 11 and Peacock had eight.
Monroe added six points, followed by Skalnik and Hollon with two each and Wickham with a point.
Carter led Cascia Hall with 13 points and Patrick Kaltenbacher had seven.
Cascia Hall finished off its Port City Classic performance in the third-place game Saturday afternoon against the Skiatook Bulldogs.