Cascade advances to 2A final

By Jeff Linder

The Gazette

DES MOINES — The improbable journey continues.

Unranked and relatively unknown, the Cascade Cougars slew another giant Thursday afternoon, knocking off No. 6 Hinton, 56-43, in a Class 2A semifinal at the girls’ state basketball tournament at Wells Fargo Arena.

“Before the season, I don’t think people in our community could name anybody on this team unless they were related,” said Cascade Coach Mike Sconsa. “I knew we could be solid, but I didn’t think we’d be at this level.”

“This level” is the state final. Cascade (24-3) meets No. 3 IKM-Manning for the 2A championship at 8 p.m. today. IKM-Manning (25-2) defeated Manson-Northwest Webster, 60-47, Thursday.

Yes, the Cougars will be underdogs tonight. But right now, nothing seems impossible.

“It feels good to prove people wrong,” said reserve guard Haylee Hoffman, who made all three of her 3-point attempts and scored 13 points. “Nobody thought we would get this far.”

Cascade led from wire to wire and knocked off a heavyweight for the second time this postseason. The Cougars toppled No. 1 MFL MarMac in the regional finals.

This triumph didn’t come without some anxious moments, though. Hinton (25-1) carved an 18-point deficit to 47-43 with 1:40 to go, and Cascade’s Maggie Reiter and Hooly Hosch were on the bench with five fouls.

“I had trust that the girls would pick it up,” Hosch said.

They did, scoring the final nine points of the game.

Meyer hit a pair of free throws to make it 49-43 with 1:29 left, then stole the subsequent inbounds pass.

“I thought they were going to roll the ball to save clock,” Meyer said. “When I saw them lob it in, I though I’d better go get it.”

She was fouled again, and made one of two foul shots for a seven-point lead.

Cascade shot 35 free throws, making 25. Meyer was 14 of 16 and led the Cougars with 16 points.

The Cougars overcame 27 turnovers, holding Hinton to 23-percent shooting (10 of 44).

As was the case in a first-round win over Denver, the Cougars jumped in front quickly.

They bolted to a 15-3 lead in the first 7 minutes, and shot 53 percent in the first half on the way to a 28-15 lead.

It was 35-15 midway through the third quarter and 40-22 entering the fourth before the Blackhawks started making shots and closing the gap.

“The came after us,” Sconsa said. “We bent, but we didn’t break.”

Seven Cougars saw action — all of them played at least 13 minutes and scored at least four points.

Hosch scored eight, six in the first quarter. Reiter added seven. Goedken, the leading scorer and lone senior, was held to four, but grabbed 10 rebounds. Cascade posted a 36-26 rebounding advantage.

Ashton Moody and Mackenzie Small scored 13 points apiece to pace Hinton. Britni Freed added 11.

Freed and Small fouled out, as did Mallory Thoreson.


One Response to “Cascade advances to 2A final”

  1. Cascade advances to 2A final | Says:

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