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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Lady Champs hit basket, stop Viqueens

Sunday, December 2, 2012

(Photo)
Alyssa Hoover (11) and Sarah Pierce (10) chase after a loose ball in the first half of Friday's rivalry showdown.
(T-G Pnoto by Chris Siers)
It was an offensive struggle for the Community Viqueens against the Cascade Lady Champions on Friday night.

Despite troubles getting shots to fall, the Viqueens still lurked within striking range of the Lady Champs until Haylee Simpson drilled a pair of 3's to put the game out of reach.

Simpson hit one to close the third quarter and added another from the top of the key to begin a 19-point fourth, which allowed the Lady Champs to hit cruise control in the 55-34 win.

Haylee hits 'em

"Haylee shot the ball well from the 3-point line. She's had several big nights for us," said Cascade coach Chad Spencer.

The Lady Champs' accuracy beyond the arc came in handy throughout the game.

Cascade managed to draw several fouls, but labored from the free throw line, making just 9-of-22 free throws, good enough for a meager 41 percent.

"Tonight we shot the ball better from the 3-point line than we did from the free throw line. We've got several kids that can shoot the ball and on any given night any of them can get hot," Spencer said.

Costly fouls

(Photo)
Hannah Busbee hauls in a rebound after a pair of Viqueen free throw attempts.
(T-G Photo by Chris Siers)
Those fouls against the Lady Champs proved costly for the Viqueens, who hit foul trouble early in the game.

"We got in foul trouble in our post and guard area and we had to sit some people for a quarter. In reality, when you start out with in man (to man) like that against an aggressive team, we were hoping to play a little more position defense," said Community coach Allison Martin.

The Purple and Gold spent a fair amount of time at the line as well, but also felt the same struggles as Cascade.

The Viqueens connected on just 12-of-33 tries from the charity stripe throughout the game.

"We play an up and down, aggressive style of basketball. Both teams fouled a lot. That's the most fouls we've had in two games put together. But I like our intensity," Spencer said.

From the perimeter

While teams can live and die by the free throw line, it was the perimeter shot that proved to be a key difference in the game's outcome.

Cascade managed just three treys in the first half, a large part of which came from the Viqueen defensive scheme.

"One of the things we really focused on was trying to take away their (3-point) shot and try to make sure they only get one look at it. Definitely in the second half we gave them more than one look," Martin said.

As frustrations continued to swell for the Viqueens, Cascade was able to hit some transition points and gain a bit more of a cushion on the board.

"We got a little tired and got a little frustrated. We weren't contributing well on offense and we got a little tired on defense and they made us pay when we weren't where we were supposed to be," Martin said.

Freshmen shine

One silver lining in the loss for the Viqueens was the effort put forth by the Purple and Gold freshmen.

Two of the three leading scorers for Community were freshmen Mercedes Huntley and Sarah Pierce.

And Martin feels they'll only get better as time marches on.

"One of our most difficult things right now is we have a gap where we've had some older girls that have played a little bit and we have some younger girls that are fresh on the floor and they haven't played together a lot yet. I think once we get that communication better, it'll be a lot better," she said.

Senior spark

(Photo)
Cascade senior Andrea Pigg draws some defensive pressure from Jordan Huntley on a Cascade possession.
(T-G Photo by Chris Siers)
The Lady Champs, on the other hand, boast a roster full of senior veterans and on Friday night, one such senior rose to the occasion and led the team in scoring.

Kelsey Parker posted a game-high 14 points, but got some key help from Maya Gaston, Elora Skuce, Haylee Simpson, and Haley Edmondson as well.

With so many assets, the Lady Champs spread out the attack, allowing a one-on-one battle inside, which Parker took advantage of all night.

"They played us in a zone. We have so many shooters that we can spread the zone out. When we spread them out, our posts are able to work on them one-on-one. Kelsey is quick enough in her moves that she's able to maneuver around their post to get some shots," Spencer said.

The win improves the Lady Champs to 4-2 while the Viqueens fall to 1-2.

Both teams have a tough schedule next week with Community hitting the road for a pair of games at MTCS and Fayetteville while Cascade hosts Culleoka and Huntland.

Cascade 15 11 10 19 -- 55

Community 9 9 6 10 -- 34

Cascade: Kelsey Parker 14, Maya Gaston 8, Elora Skuce 6, Haley Edmondson 6, Haylee Simpson 6, Katie Vincent 5, Karly Grissom 5, Andrea Pigg 1.

Community: Mercedes Huntley 8, Sarah Pierce 7, Kristin Ray 6, Hannah Busbee 3, Jordan Huntley 3, Taylor Thompson 2, Courtney Williams 1.

3-Point goals: Cascade (6): Skuce 2, Simpson 2, Vincent 1, Grissom 1.

Halftime score: Cascade 26, Community 18.

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