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‘Confident’ Lady Champs handle Lady Rockets

Posted on Sunday, February 11, 2024 at 10:50 am

Post Photo by Chris Siers Sophie Ray charges the lane and finishes the possession with a layup. She finished with 15 points on Friday night.

BELL BUCKLE — The Cascade Lady Champions are playing with perhaps the most confidence they have all season.
That confidence was on full display as Cascade crushed Forrest in the final game of the regular season, 61-37.
“Our girls have continued to gain confidence in their shots and their basketball ability, as a whole. These girls are just playing with confidence. With the defense, we’re all starting to string it together. It’s spread out. It’s not one person. Other people have the ability to step up,” Lady Champion coach Janie Demonbreum said.
The outcome in Friday night’s regular season finale was never in doubt with Cascade imposing its will from the opening tip-off to the final buzzer.
From hitting shots from the arc, to working through the lane, scoring in transition and getting to the free throw line, Cascade did everything it wanted on the offensive end of the court.
Point guard Kaegan Young had the hot hand early, posting nine points in the first quarter, including a pair of 3-pointers.
Cascade led 17-6 by the end of the first and held Forrest to just four points in the second frame.
While Young has established herself as a consistent scorer for Cascade, it was a balanced effort in the second quarter that saw five Lady Champs score in the 14-4 run through the period.
Not much changed in the second half, either, as Young continued to hit shots from the perimeter and Lady Champion post Sophie Ray fighting her way in the paint.
Young finished with 19 points, including four 3-pointers, while Ray chipped in 15 of her own.
Cascade also shot 11-of-17 attempts at the charity stripe in the win.
With the ebbs and flows of a lengthy regular season in the books, Demonbreum says the Lady Champs are playing a dangerous brand of confident basketball heading into the District 9-AA tournament.
“That’s exactly what you want. Basketball is not a sprint—it’s a marathon. We started off with a little bit of confidence that fell off a little bit during the middle of the season, but now we’re finishing up the year with great confidence,” she said.
Cascade hosts this year’s tournament, which Demonbreum said gives an extra advantage for the Lady Champs.
“That’s exciting. I had the chance to do that three times. There’s an advantage to it. It’s your rims, your basketballs and your fans. It will be interesting to see how this all turns out,” she said.
Cascade enters the postseason as the No. 3 see and will face No. 2 Community on Tuesday night.

Forrest 6 4 12 15 — 37
Cascade 17 14 19 11 — 61

Forrest: Bailey Stalknecker 12, Josie Brown 6, Kinslee Inlow 6, Kadin Connell 2, Sienna Borba 5, Cloie Smith 3.
Cascade: Kaegan Young 19, Sophie Ray 15, Kaydence Miller 8, Laina Carter 7, Hailey Giel 4, Anna Clanton 4, Sarah Floyd 2, Avery Villapania 2.
3-Point goals: Cascade (8): Young 4, Carter 2, Miller 2; Forrest (3): Inlow, Brown, Borba.
Halftime score: Cascade 31, Forrest 10.