Prep Basketball

No. 6 Cascade handles 'funky, unique' East Buchanan, 67-45

Double-double by Abbie Ruggeberg sends Cougars into 2A regional semifinals

CASCADE — Abbie Ruggeberg likes to shoot from outside. When that didn’t fall Tuesday night, she resorted to Plan B.

B, as in boards.

“I was able to get some offensive rebounds and some closer shots,” she said.

It added up to a 22-point, 13-rebound gem as sixth-ranked Cascade sidelined East Buchanan, 67-45, in a Class 2A girls’ basketball regional quarterfinal at Cascade High School.

The Cougars (20-3) forced 26 turnovers and advanced to host a regional semifinal Friday against MFL MarMac (17-5), a 62-39 winner over South Winneshiek.

Anne Ryan added 17 points for the winners, and Nicole McDermott tacked on 11. And the Cougars were able to handle the up-and-coming Buccaneers (15-8), who play a “funky, unique” style, according to Cascade Coach Mike Sconsa.

“It’s pressure, pressure, pressure,” Sconsa said. “You’ve got to meet pressure with pressure.”

The Bucs owned a 12-10 lead late in the first quarter before Cascade went on the signature run of the game, a 12-0 job in which East Buchanan went more than 8 minutes without a point.

The Cougars led, 32-19, at halftime and steadily pulled away from there. It was 67-40 when Ruggeberg gathered her final offensive board for her final basket with about 2 minutes left. Sconsa promptly called timeout and cleared the bench.

“When we’re able to make shots, it’s a whole different game,” Sconsa said after the Cougars hit 51 percent of their tries. “If we’re consistent like that, we’ve got a chance to keep going.”

East Buchanan completed its first winning season in 13 years and its best since a 17-7 campaign in 2002-03. With the top three scorers returning and some promising eighth-graders entering the program next year, even better days are ahead.

“We ran into a buzzsaw tonight, but we learned how to win this year,” Bucs Coach Nathan Reck said. “We expected to win tonight. Next year, we want to talk about winning championships.”

Olivia Donlea paced the Bucs with 16 points. Nicole Pettinger added 15 and Erica Hoffman supplied eight points, six rebounds, five assists and four steals. All three are sophomores.

CASCADE 67, EAST BUCHANAN 45

Class 2A Regional Quarterfinal, at Cascade

EAST BUCHANAN (45): Becca Walthart 1-3 2-2 5, Hayley Hamilton 0-1 0-0 0, Erica Hoffman 1-8 6-6 8, Olivia Donlea 5-7 3-5 16, Nicole Pettinger 4-9 4-6 15, Kaitlyn Murphy 0-5 0-0 0, Grace Gudenkauf 0-1 1-2 1, Alison Kress 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 11-35 16-21 45.

CASCADE (67): Nicole McDermott 5-8 0-0 11, Anne Ryan 6-13 0-0 17, Jordan Simon 2-5 2-2 6, Rachel Trumm 0-2 1-2 1, Abbie Ruggeberg 10-18 2-3 22, Skylar Dolphin 2-4 1-2 6, Abigail Welter 2-2 0-0 4, Zoe Ryan 0-0 0-0 0, Robyn Takes 0-0 0-0 0, Jessica Hoffman 0-0 0-0 0, Molly McElmeel 0-0 0-2 0, Mae Felton 0-0 0-0 0, Madison Gehl 0-0 0-0 0, Morgan McMullen 0-1 0-0 0, Hailey Hannan 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 27-53 6-11 67.

Halftime: Cascade 32, East Buchanan 19. 3-point goals: East Buchanan 7-13 (Walthart 1-2, Donlea 3-4, Pettinger 3-7), Cascade 7-16 (McDermott 1-2, A.Ryan 5-8, Simon 0-1, Ruggeberg 0-4, Dolphin 1-1). Team fouls: East Buchanan 8, Cascade 15. Fouled out: none. Rebounds: East Buchanan 22 (Hoffman 6), Cascade 33 (Ruggeberg 13). Assists: East Buchanan 7 (Hoffman 5), Cascade 12 (Simon 5). Steals: East Buchanan 9 (Hoffman 4), Cascade 16 (McDermott, A.Ryan 3). Turnovers: East Buchanan 26, Cascade 19.

l Comments: (319) 368-8857; jeff.linder@thegazette.com

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