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Young leads Cascade past Community in 9-AA semis

Posted on Wednesday, February 14, 2024 at 8:13 am

Post Photo by Rickey Clardy Kaegan Young of the Lady Champs goes to the goal against Community pressure. Young led Cascade with 12 points, including the last five Lady Champion points of the game.

Alyssa White goes high to put up a shot for the Viqueens. White led Community with 16 points.

Sports Writer
BELL BUCKLE — It was a game that lived up to its billing as the Cascade Lady Champions and Community Viqueens, who had split their two games in the regular season, faced off in the District 9-AA semifinals Tuesday night with a berth in the district championship on the line.
The two intra-county rivals went back and forth as the lead changed hands six times in the final quarter, but it was the Lady Champs who rode the clutch shooting of Kaegan Young down the stretch and took the lead for good on Young’s basket with 2:18 remaining as Cascade held on for a 45-43 victory over the Viqueens.
“It feels amazing,” Coach Janie Demonbreum of the Lady Champions said when asked how she felt after advancing to the district championship.
“It’s amazing for me personally after the year I had last year, but it’s more amazing for these girls. They’ve never had the opportunity to do this,” Demonbreum added.
Young had five points in the opening quarter as Cascade (12-14) erased a Viqueen 2-0 advantage and proceeded to lead for most of the game.
The Lady Champs took an 11-6 lead to the second quarter.
“Community’s a great team and it was a part of our game play that we could not let them get settled in the normal things that they can do,” Demonbreum said.
“We did not start well.  It took us a long time to get going tonight,” Coach Cody Pierce of the Viqueens said.
Anna Haskins had five points to pace Community (10-17) in the quarter, but the Lady Champions kept the pressure on.
Anna Clanton and Kaydence Miller each had five points as Cascade twice led by eight points before settling on a 25-19 lead at the intermission.
The third quarter turned out to be a defensive struggle as both teams were held to single digits.
The Viqueens got as close as three at 26-23 with 5:39 left before the Lady Champs extended their lead to 33-25 with one quarter to play.
Community was able to find some openings in the Lady Champ defense to start the fourth quarter.
Alyssa White had 10 points in the quarter while Jayla Mangrum added five as the Viqueens scored the first nine points and took a 34-33 lead, their first lead since 37 seconds were elapsed in the game.
After a basket by Suzanna Crews gave Cascade a 35-34 lead, the Viqueens used baskets by Brooklyn Yoes and White to take their biggest lead at 39-35 with 4:33 remaining.
“We made some big plays and hit big shots and made big stops,” Pierce said.
A huge trey by Crews and a basket by Sophie Ray put the Lady Champs up 40-39 before White’s basket gave the Viqueens a 41-40 lead with 2:38 left.
Young’s basket 20 seconds later gave Cascade a lead it would not relinquish, but there were plenty of twists and turns remaining that would keep the fans from both teams on the edge of their seats.
Young drilled another two-pointer with 56 seconds left before a White basket cut the Cascade lead to 44-43 with 39 seconds remaining.
The Viqueens had a chance to take the lead after gaining possession on a jump ball, but a trey with 12 seconds left missed the mark.
Down by one, the Viqueens were forced to foul.
Young made one free throw with seven seconds left to put the Lady Champs up 45-43, setting the stage for one final Viqueen play.
Community was able to beat the Lady Champ defense and go the length of the court in the final seconds, but a shot to tie the game fell off the rim as Cascade punched its ticket to the finals.
Young had 12 points and Crews had 10 to lead the Lady Champs.
White had 16 points and was the only Viqueen in double figures.
The Lady Champions were 3-of-9 from the free throw line while the Viqueens were 7-of-10.
“The little things got us tonight,” Pierce said. “We gave up too many offensive rebounds, and we missed way too many layups.”
“Some of the smaller things will get you in games like this,” Pierce added.
“I felt like our girls played with so much composure in the fourth quarter,” Demonbreum said.
“They started off with a run and we could have easily just laid down at that point of time but my girls kept fighting back.”
“If you were to ask me to describe these girls, it’s they never back down and they never give up. As a coach, that’s one of the best things about these girls,” Demonbreum added.
With the win, the Lady Champs will play top-seeded Cannon County in the District 9-AA championship Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. as the tournament continues at Cascade.
Cannon County defeated Grundy County 62-26 in the other semifinal contest.  The Lady Champs are also assured of hosting a first round game in the Region 5-AA tournament next week.
Community will play Grundy County in the consolation game Thursday night at 6 p.m.

Cascade         11  14   8  12  — 45
Community      6  13   6  18  — 43

Cascade: Kaegan Young 12, Suzanna Crews 10, Sophie Ray 9, Kaydence Miller 5, Hailey Giel, Anna Clanton 5, Laina Carter 4.
Community: Alyssa White 16, Brooklyn Yoes 8, Anna Haskins 7, Jayla Mangrum 7, Taylar Wessner 5, Kathryn Sego, Gracie Daniel.
3-Point goals: Cascade (4): Crews 2, Miller, Clanton; Community (4): Yoes 2, Mangrum, Wessner.
Halftime score: Cascade 25, Community 19.