LEWISBURG — The Cascade Lady Champions have had struggles closing out games recently, but on Thursday night at Marshall County, the Lady Champs were able to execute just enough in the second half to hold off a pesky Tigerette squad, 36-26.
It was by no means an offensive masterpiece for either team, but Lady Champion coach Kendall Hampton was pleased with her team’s resolve to overcome some adversity and come away with a road victory.
It was the efforts of Caroline Stone in the fourth quarter that helped hold off the Tigerettes in the clutch.
“She (Stone) is one of the hardest workers we have. She definitely is picking up the confidence she should have. I think the more we have games where she gets the opportunity to see that mismatch and take advantage of it, the better she’s going to get. We’re going to need that when February comes around,” Hampton said.
Stone scored seven of her team-high 12 points in the fourth quarter to help the Lady Champs maintain the 10-point margin of victory.
Marshall County made it a game, however, with shots falling for Majhawra Ridley in the second half.
Ridley connected on three shots from the floor in the third period and added three more in the fourth quarter to help the Tigerettes pull within single digits at multiple points in the second half.
Cascade was without a handful of key players that could have provided major mismatches for the Tigerettes, notably Jordan Green, who is Cascade’s go-to source of offense in the paint.
“Usually, we’re on the smaller side. If we had her (Green), it would have been a huge mismatch issue for them. It would have been a really good advantage for us. But her teammates stepped up and took care of business,” Hampton said.
Cascade built a 10-5 lead by the end of the third period, but saw the Tigerettes close the Lady Champion advantage to just four points by halftime.
The Marshall County defense held Cascade scoreless over the final 5:47 in the second quarter.
Cascade in turn opened the third frame with back-to-back 3-pointers by Annabelle Calvert to help retake the momentum.
In addition to Stone’s 12 points, Lani Jones joined the double-figure club and chipped in 10 points.
Ridley led the home team with 13.
Hampton hopes the ability to close out Thursday’s game at Marshall County can help springboard the Lady Champs moving forward in the next several games.
“We have struggled to finish a game as of late. We’ve been in a good position in almost all of our matchups and just let it slip away at the end. This is the first time we’ve been able to finish it and I hope this gives us confidence going into the next few games that we have to know we can close a game out. I think they played really hard tonight. I had a lot of underclassmen on the floor that really faced that adversity head on and came out on top,” she said.
Cascade returned to action on Friday night at Shelbyville, however results were unavailable by press time on Friday.
Cascade 10 5 11 10 — 36
Marshall Co. 5 6 7 8 — 26
Cascade: Caroline Stone 12, Lani Jones 10, Annabelle Calvert 6, Abby Littrell 3, Sophie Ray 3, Maribel de la Rosa 2.
Marshall Co.: Majhawra Ridley 13, Kayla Keiler 7, Adriana White 5, Maggie Steeley.
3-Point goals: Cascade (4): Calvert 2, Littrell, Jones.
Halftime score: Cascade 15, Marshall Co. 11.