MARION - As the prep volleyball season nears the midway point, Cedar Rapids Xavier identified a vital ingredient if the Saints are to retain their No. 1 ranking in Class 4A.
Now is the time to turn up the defense.
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DES MOINES — With 0.9 seconds left, Cascade had the ball under its own basket trailing by two points to Treynor in a Class 2A girls’ basketball state semifinal.
The ref blew his whistle and the Cougars’ Nicole McDermott threw the ball into Abbie Ruggeberg, who put up a desperate shot at the buzzer. It was an awkward, off-balance 16-footer, but it was an open look.
Ruggeberg left it far short and as the Cardinals mobbed together, all Cascade could do was shake their heads, mourning the 13-point lead they had held in the third quarter.
“This is a hard loss, the way we lost,” Cascade head coach Mike Sconsa said. “We panicked.”
A back-and-forth affair, Treynor tried to make the Cougars uncomfortable from the start, pressuring Cascade for long portions of the game to varying degrees of success.
When Cascade was able to get behind the press, it was able to score, dictating the tempo of the game in the process. However, there were some moments where the team got overzealous and tried to throw outlet passes that simply weren’t there.
“We were trying to be up in their grills,” Treynor guard Konnor Sudmann said. “Just trying to get turnovers and be aggressive.”
It certainly wasn’t an impenetrable press, Sconsa said his team just wasn’t able to break through effectively enough. Cascade had its most success fighting though during a 10-2 run that eventually put it up 13 in the third quarter.
Then Treynor started hitting shots, going on a 19-4 run from the 1:32 mark of the third quarter until the end of the game. In the fourth quarter alone, Cascade shot 1-for-12 from the field and turned over the ball six times.
“We got tentative, missed layups, stopped attacking and they made plays,” Sconsa said. “We were on our heels, they took us by the throat and beat us.
“That’s what hurts, we let them get this win.”
Both teams struggled from behind the arc and free throw line. Cascade missed six free throws in the first half alone and ended shooting just 50 percent from the line.
Each team hit two 3-pointers, with Cascade taking 12 attempts and Treynor 15.
Lisa Tucker led the way for the Cougars with 12 points, seven rebounds, five assists and two steals. Sudmann finished with 12 points for the Cardinals, while teammate Abby Tiarks wasn’t far behind, scoring 10.
Treynor will play Western Christian in 2A the state championship Friday at 8 p.m.
TREYNOR 43, CASCADE 41
2A State Semifinal, at Des Moines
CASCADE (41): Nicole McDermott 3-7 2-2 6, Anna Hunt 1-4 0-0 3, Lisa Tucker 5-12 2-6 12, Riley Takes 1-2 3-6 5, Abbie Ruggeberg 3-6 0-0 6, Zoe Ryan 0-0 0-0 0, Anne Ryan 2-5 0-0 5, Rachel Trumm 0-0 0-0 0 Rose Strang 0-1 0-0 0, Jordan Simon 1-5 0-0 2, Skylar Dolphin 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 16-34 7-14 41.
TREYNOR (43): Abby Tiarks 3-8 4-5 10, Madelyn Deitcher 3-9 2-4 8, Randi Robinson 1-2 0-1 2, Konnor Sudamann 4-11 3-4 12, Kayla Chapman 2-6 0-3 4, Sydney Carman 3-7 0-1 7, Sydni Huisman 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 16-45 9-16 43.
Halftime: Cascade 20, Treynor 17. 3-point goals: Cascade 2-12 (McDermott 0-1, Hunt 1-4, A.Ryan 1-4, Simon 0-2, Kremer 0-1), Treynor 2-15 (Deitchler 0-1, Sudmann 1-6, Chapman 0-3, Carman 1-5). Team fouls: Cascade 19, Treynor 15 Rebounds: Cascade 34 (Tucker 7), Treynor 30 (Deitchler 10). Assists: Cascade 7 (Tucker 5), Treynor 9 (Sudmann 4). Steals: Cascade 10 (McDermott 4), Treynor 10 (four with two). Turnovers: Cascade 17, Central Decatur 14.
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