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Monday, May 4, 2015

Cascade girls take 9-A lead

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

(Photo)
Haylee Simpson drives the paint and picks up the foul on a layup. She tied the game at 43 apiece when she converted the free throw attempt following the made basket.
(T-G Photo by Chris Siers)
The last time the Cascade Lady Champions (11-5, 6-1 9-A) faced the Moore County Raiderettes (16-4, 6-1 9-A) they were dealt a tough, one-point loss in the semifinal round of the District 9-A tournament last season.

That close loss sat in the back of the Lady Champions' mind for nearly a year while they waited for a chance to get some payback.

Their wait paid off.

Cascade knocked off Moore County on Tuesday night in a battle for the top spot in the district standings with a thrilling 46-43 victory.

"I'm very proud of the girls. This is a big win for our program. They're one of the better single A teams in the state," said Cascade coach Chad Spencer.

In fact, it's been several years since the members of the Lady Champion team enjoyed a win against the Raiderettes.

"We've had a lot of close games with them. We beat them since middle school a few times, but we haven't beaten them in high school," Spencer said.

Cascade saw a first half lead whittle away little by little until the Raiderettes knotted the game at the end of the third quarter at 34 apiece.

Moore County rode that momentum into the fourth and saw a pair of buckets by Sarah Raby drop, which put the Raiderettes on top, 38-34.

Both teams continued to work and with about three minutes to go, Raby hit another shot, giving Moore County a 42-38 advantage.

But Cascade answered and eventually tied the game up at 43 apiece when Haylee Simpson hit a layup and was fouled. Following the play, she knocked down the free throw and successfully converted the 3-point play.

With just under 1:30 to go, the Lady Champion defense knuckled down and forced a turnover, which set up the go-ahead score when Kelsey Parker was fouled driving the lane. She was able to hit one of the two foul shots to put Cascade back on top 44-43 inside of 30 seconds to play.

That's when Cascade's defense came up with another huge stop against Raby, who had been nearly unstoppable through most of the fourth quarter.

"I thought Haley Edmondson did a good job of running the offense. The other girls did a great job of sticking to the game plan of doubling in the post. And that really paid off in the end when she (Raby) traveled," Spencer said.

Following the turnover, Moore County was forced to foul and send Edmondson to the line for a pair of free throws, which she promptly knocked down, icing the win for the Lady Champs.

She led all scorers with 20 points, 10 of which came in the first quarter alone.

Cascade also saw senior Elora Skuce hit double figures with 10 points, including a pair of triples.

While Edmondson and Skuce spurred the Cascade offense, defensively the Lady Champs had one goal--slow down Raby.

"Sarah Raby--we did a great job of getting her in foul trouble. I thought we did a great job of going at her with Maya (Gaston). Even though Maya is a freshman, I thought she did a good job in front of this crowd and establishing a presence in the paint," Spencer said.

But Gaston wasn't the only defensive threat Cascade put on the floor that had a major impact on the game.

Karly Grissom came up with several big stops and converted a steal into a layup early in the third quarter.

"Karly Grissom came in the third quarter after I challenged her at halftime. Her girl hit a three at the end of the first quarter and I told her that we can't allow that. She came back and had several steals," Spencer said.

The win over Moore County snaps a 15-game win streak and puts the Lady Champions on top of the district's rankings.

"Moore County came in on a 15-game winning streak. Tonight, we just played through them. It was an all-around, good team win. I'm very proud of them," Spencer said.

Cascade will look to extend its win streak against 9-A opponents on Friday as the Lady Champs entertain the Community Viqueens, who suffered a 47-45 defeat by Forrest on Tuesday night.

Tip off is set for 6 p.m.

Moore Co. 7 15 12 9 -- 43

Cascade 13 16 5 12 -- 46

Moore Co.: Sarah Raby 17, Erin Thomas 8, Kelsey Camp 7, Abby Grogan 4, 4, Savannah Williams 4, Makalya Ray 2, Erica Limbaugh 1.

Cascade: Haley Edmondson 20, Elora Skuce 10, Maya Gaston 6, Haylee Simpson 5, Karly Grissom 2, Andrea Pigg 1.

3-Point goals: Moore Co. (3): Thomas 2, Raby; Cascade (2): Skuce 2.

Halftime score: Cascade 29, Moore Co. 22.

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