Ally Hoffman takes a shot for the Cougars.

The Cascade girls’ basketball team was happy to be back on the court after the holiday break and it showed as the Cougars clobbered West Liberty, 56-31, in their River Valley Conference road clash, Jan. 3.

Abby Welter scored 12 points to lead three players in double figures as the Cougars, the top-ranked team in Class 2A, easily took care of previously undefeated West Liberty, the 11th-ranked team in Class 3A. Ally Hoffman and Nicole McDermott each scored 10 points. Skylar Dolphin chipped in nine and Jordan Simon added six as Cascade’s starting five accounted for 47 points.

“I was thrilled with how hard we played against a very good West Liberty team,” said Mike Sconsa, head coach of the Cougars who are now 9-0 for the season and 8-0 in conference play. “We did a good job of contesting shots and rebounded fairly well as a team. We played very aggressively and we played very unselfish team basketball.”

The Cougars’ most recent victory over a solid team is just another bullet on Cascade’s resume that is quickly becoming championship-caliber as the Cougars continue to improve. It will have them prepared for the most important stretch of six games that a team will have to play and win in order to become the state champion in Class 2A.

In their win over West Liberty (7-1/6-1), the Cougars’ defense once again proved that it’s good enough as their pressure held Finley Hall, the Comets’ leading scorer, to only two points, 12.7 under her average. Hall made just one of 11 shots while Macy Daufeldt scored 11 points against Cascade. Daufeldt was also very frustrated shooting the ball as she made only three of her 18 shots. As a team, the Comets were seven of 50 from the field with three of those makes being three-pointers.

Even though the five veteran starters are leading the way for Cascade during its nine-game winning streak, they have been growing three key bench players who are learning to play hard and giving back quality minutes against good teams. In this win, Alyssa Lux scored five points with Faith Bower and Elizabeth Gibbs two.

“We played through some foul trouble and we still have to cherish the basketball a bit more as we had some rather unforced turnovers,” said Sconsa. “Overall, it was an excellent job by the team.”