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Tough night for Lady Champs

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

(Photo)
Senior Haylee Simpson steps back at the top of the key and drills a 3-pointer during Monday night's senior night game against Franklin County.
(T-G Photo by Chris Siers)
Sometimes, it's a tough luck call that directly affects the outcome of a basketball game.

Unfortunately for the Cascade Lady Champions, such a decision happened on their senior night on Monday night, with what could have been a game-winning shot.

"We were a little out of control and we had a timeout so I thought we could run something that we had practiced," said Cascade coach Chad Spencer.

With the score tied at 52, senior Haley Edmondson stepped back and fired the would-be game winner against the Franklin County Rebelettes with 1.5 seconds left on the clock.

Just before Edmondson released the ball, Lady Champion coach Chad Spencer called a timeout to hopefully draw up a game-winning play with the little time left.

That scenario didn't pan out as the Lady Champs eventually fell in overtime, 62-59.

"I tried to call it the whole way down the floor to run a set play. As soon as I called timeout and the ball left Haley Edmondson's hand and she made it, we would have won," Spencer said.

Through the entire four quarters and four minutes of overtime, Cascade struggled to take away the 3-point opportunities and the Rebelettes continued to capitalize on a relentless perimeter attack.

In all, Franklin county saw nine triples fall, with five coming from Chelsea Holman and four more from Haley Meeks.

"We gave up entirely too many 3-pointers. We're a better defensive team than that," Spencer said.

Even with the continual 3-point attack, Cascade continued to fight and claw its way back into the game--which was a direct result of the senior leadership on the floor.

Spurred by Haylee Simpson's team-leading 20 points, Cascade continued to fight back and eventually tied the game up and took the lead at several points throughout the fourth quarter.

With just under three minutes to go, Meeks hit a layup to put the Rebelettes on top 50-47.

Not to be outdone, Simpson drilled a triple from the top of the key, tying the game at 50 apiece with two minutes left in regulation.

Shortly after, Meeks again found her way to the free throw line and hit both shots, but again Cascade knotted the game with key free throws by Simpson and fellow senior Andrea Pigg.

"We turned them over quite a bit and we were able to get back in the ball game and take the lead. It seems like every time we would go up by three, they would hit one," Spencer said.

Meeks extended the Franklin County lead to four points following a pair of early buckets in overtime before Pigg finally netted the Lady Champs' first shot of the extra time.

Cascade continued to make runs at Franklin County, but every time the visitors answered.

(Photo)
Lady Champion senior Kelsey Parker goes up for the put back after hauling in a rebound in the first half.
(T-G Photo by Chris Siers)
The game seemed completely out of reach with 15 seconds left, but as before Simpson answered her team's call and brought it back within a possession following a huge 3-pointer from the top of the key.

Despite her late efforts, there just wasn't enough time to finish the comeback bid and Cascade dropped its regular season finale.

But prior to the game's tip-off, Cascade took time to honor the seven seniors on the team--Edmondson, Simpson, Pigg, Elora Skuce, Kelsey Parker, Alyssa Hoover, and Karly Grissom.

With such a large portion of the team being seniors, Spencer reflected on what the team has brought to the table, and what their lasting legacy will be at Cascade High School.

"Those girls--every one of them--they're such great kids. They're great students and great role models. When they leave Cascade, our school and community is going to miss them, but we'll know who they are because every one of them is going to be very successful," he said.

Although the last game of the regular season didn't go according to plan, the Lady Champs still have some basketball left to be played in the season.

And the seniors have no intention of going down without a fight.

Cascade opens the District 9-A tournament on Friday night with a first-round home game against Eagleville. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. at the Stable.

Frank. Co. 14 14 9 15 10 -- 62

Cascade 12 15 10 15 7 -- 59

Franklin Co.: Chelsea Holman 23, Haley Meeks 13, Emily Mathis 12, Elizabeth Preston 7, Becca Caroland 3, Laura Henley 2, Kelly Myers 2.

Cascade: Haylee Simpson 20, Elora Skuce 11, Haley Edmondson 7, Andrea Pigg 7, Maya Gaston 6, Jessica Ervin 5, Kelsey Parker 3.

3-Point goals: Franklin Co. (9): Holman 5, Mathis 4; Cascade (6): Simpson 4, Ervin, Skuce.

Halftime score: Franklin Co. 28, Cascade 27.

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