Scoring points doesn’t seem to be an issue for the Cascade girls basketball team, but putting up points against the defensively tough Cougars is what caused a problem for Anamosa and Camanche in their River Valley Conference clashes with the top-ranked team in Class 2A this week.
Cascade thumped Anamosa, 73-38, in Cascade Dec. 3 and posted its first road win of the season with their 61-16 victory over the Indians in Camanche Dec. 6.
The fast-paced Cougars have scored a total of 193 points in their first three games for an average of 64.3 points a game, while the defense is only allowing 27 points a game.
“We played fast and sometimes way too fast, but we had spurts where we played very well,” said Mike Sconsa, head coach of the Cougars after their win over Anamosa. “I wish we could say that we were going to stay at that tempo all season, but we’d have to develop some depth and find a way to handle the basketball a little better to make that happen.”
The tempo is one of the many keys to the Cougars’ success, and playing 32 minutes of fanatic Cascade basketball was a big reason for their win over Anamosa. Their busy and active hands resulted in 24 steals and they also had 10 blocks on the night.
Offensively, McDermott is clicking but Jordan Simon and Abby Welter, the other two seniors with plenty of post-season experience, have been slow to get going. Wanting to get Welter involved in the offense early against Anamosa, Sconsa ran a set play designed to get the ball into her hands in scoring position on their first possession of the game and the first possession of the second half. He got the result he was looking for as Welter scored the first basket of the game and she also scored the opening points of the third quarter on her way to putting up 12.
With the blow out wins the Cougars have earned so far this season, Sconsa has also been able to give plenty of playing minutes to the four freshman and sophomores on the roster who he needs to develop to get the depth he wants for this season.
“As I say all the time, we’re perfectly imperfect. The kids that we have practicing with us who get some time on the varsity, you can see some growth in their game. Alyssa Lux is playing well. I thought Elizabeth Gibbs played awesome and Megan Smith gave us a huge boost when we were kind of sluggish,” said Sconsa. “It’s just about getting better and it’s got to be continuous because our league’s pretty damn tough and our schedule is really tough too so we have to get better.”
Lux scored nine points, Gibbs finished with seven and Smith five. Ally Hoffman, a sophomore who was the first player off the bench last season, is showing that she’s earned her spot in the starting line-up as she scored eight points, pulled down 11 rebounds and had six assists and six steals.
The offense continued to put up shots against Camanche as they grabbed a 17-3 lead after the first eight minutes of play and held a 41-11 lead at halftime as they cruised to their 45-point win.
McDermott knocked down three three-pointers on her way to a game-high 17 and the Cougars welcomed Skylar Dolphin back to the line-up as she scored 14. Lux had her first double-digit scoring night of her career as she had 12. Hoffman had eight, Welter added five, Bower scored four and Weber added one point for the Cougars as they improved to 3-0 for the season and are also 3-0 in conference play.
Cascades leaders against Anamosa were: points — McDermott 26, Welter 12, Lux nine, Hoffman eight, Gibbs seven, Smith five, Faith Bower four, Devin Smith two; rebounds — Hoffman 11, Lux, McDermott and Welter five each, Jordan Simon and Sydney Weber two each, Bower, Gibbs, Devin Simon and Smith one each; assists — Hoffman six, Jordan Simon five, McDermott and Welter three each, Lux two and Smith one; steals — McDermott seven, Hoffman six, Jordan Simon three, Bower, Devin Simon and Welter two each, Lux and Smith one each; blocks — Jordan Simon six, Welter two, Devin Simon and Weber one each.
No stats were available for Cascade’s game against Camanche.