BELL BUCKLE — A sluggish first quarter on Monday night against visiting Watertown ultimately put Cascade in a hole the Lady Champs couldn’t crawl out of in a 62-42 loss to the Lady Purple …
BELL BUCKLE — A sluggish first quarter on Monday night against visiting Watertown ultimately put Cascade in a hole the Lady Champs couldn’t crawl out of in a 62-42 loss to the Lady Purple Tigers.
“We talked about how we needed to settle down and look for our shots. That’s one thing we’re struggling with is just looking for our shots. We have to get out of the set-play mindset and look for the open shots within our plays,” Lady Champion coach Janie Demonbreum said.
Cascade was plagued with turnovers in the opening frame and struggled from the floor until Kaydence Miller connected with 28 seconds left in the opening frame.
Still, Watertown went for 18 points in the opening quarter and led by 15 points heading into the second
But after a lop-sided first, Cascade adjusted well and for the most part, took away Watertown’s attack in the paint.
Eventually, Cascade started knocking down shots and Miller rattled home a pair of threes in the second quarter as Cascade notched 11 points in the frame.
Watertown still held a commanding 33-14 lead by the end of the half.
“I told them we had to buckle down and if we were going to scrap our way back, we were going to have to shoot the gaps and we were going to have to defend. I feel like they didn’t give up and I couldn’t ask for more than that,” Demonbreum said.
Those adjustments worked well as Watertown only outscored Cascade 29-28 in the second half.
Coupled with a better defensive effort in the half-court and a career night from Miller, who went for a game-high 21 points, the Lady Champs fought to the bitter end of Monday night’s non-district clash.
“I thought we made the adjustments well. We did put ourselves in a hole being down 18-3 and we had nine turnovers—it’s hard to dig yourself out of that kind of a hole,” Demonbreum said.
Of her game-high total, Miller had the hot hand and shot it well from the perimeter, connecting on five three-pointers in the game.
“That’s the way Kaydence Miller has to play. She came in over the weekend and got up 400 or 500 shots in one day. That’s exactly what it takes. We just have to be consistent. That’s not the last you’re going to see her shooting like that, though,” Demonbreum said.
While stringing together a series of wins hasn’t happened yet for the Lady Champs and their first-year head coach, Demonbreum is seeing growth from her squad.
“If we can narrow down our turnovers, that’s a victory for me. If we can crash the offensive rebounds, that’s a victory for me. If we’re starting to make our shots, that’s a victory for me,” she said.
Cascade is back in action on Tuesday night at Moore County and closes a busy week at Fayetteville City on Friday night.
Watertown 18 15 14 15 — 62
Cascade 3 11 12 16 — 42
Watertown: Madison King 17, Claire Manos 14, Kierah McKlary 8, Gwen Franklin 6, Miranda Nix 4, Mallory Race 4, Macie Brelje 3, Presley Clark 3, Rachel Cromer 2.
Cascade: Kaydence Miller 21, Kaegan Young 10, Laina Carter 4, Suzanna Crews 4, Isabella Rhodes 2, Sophie Ray.
3-Point goals: Watertown (7): King 3, Manos, Race, Clark, McKlary; Cascade (6): Miller 5, Young.
Halftime score: Watertown 33, Cascade 14.
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