116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
It didn’t take long in this girls’ basketball season for the Cascade Cougars to reach a moment of truth.
About 16 minutes.
“At halftime (Tuesday, at West Liberty), I figured the game could go one of two ways,” Cougars Coach Mike Sconsa said.
“I was hoping we could fight back, take a respectable loss. I was scared that we would lose by 35, and think on the ride home, ‘Oh boy, it’s going to be a long season.’”
The Cougars took a different option altogether.
Trailing by 18 points at halftime, Class 2A seventh-ranked Cascade came all the way back and stunned 3A No. 6 West Liberty, 60-56.
“We had some girls that made shots in the second half,” Sconsa said. “We did a good job distributing the ball. Before you knew it, we were able to climb out of it.”
Down 38-20 at the break, Cascade cut the deficit to 47-36 by the end of the third quarter, then closed with a 24-9 spree in the fourth.
Alyssa Lux scored 22 points for the Cougars (1-0), and Molly Roling added 13. They didn’t do it alone.
“Claudia (Noonan) hit a couple of big (3-pointers),” Sconsa said. “(Devin) Simon is a tremendous athlete, and we put her on (West Liberty’s Kelsey) Joens as much as we could.”
An Iowa State University signee and a transfer from Iowa City High, Joens was held to 19 points Tuesday after scoring 33 in her West Liberty debut on Saturday.
Josie Manternach scored just four points for the Cougars, but grabbed 14 rebounds, including seven on the offensive end.
Cascade is off this weekend, then returns to action next Tuesday against a Maquoketa squad that Sconsa considers a River Valley Conference North Division contender in its first year in the league.
“They can score,” he said. “They’re dangerous. They’re really, really good.”
MV 3, MVC 0
Mount Vernon front-loaded its schedule with three consecutive games against Mississippi Valley Conference schools.
Then the Mustangs went out and won all three.
They came from behind to beat Western Dubuque, 45-38, in their opener. They stormed away in the final 12 minutes in a 56-30 Rivalry Saturday rout of Cedar Rapids Kennedy. Then they blitzed Dubuque Hempstead early in a 65-32 road romp.
Volleyball star Chloe Meester leads a balanced crew at 10.3 points per game. Lilly See and Eryn Jackson are scoring 9.7 points apiece, with See leading the team in rebounds at 8.0 per game and Jackson hitting 8 of 12 from 3-point range.
The Mustangs open Wamac Conference play with an cross-divisional tussle at home with Center Point-Urbana.
Quality board work
Alburnett (1-1, 0-1) is at Edgewood-Colesburg (1-1, 0-1) in a Tri-Rivers Conference West Division encounter Friday, and two of the state’s top rebounders (through the first week) will be on display:
* Alburnett junior Ally Olmstead averaged 17.5 rebounds in the Pirates’ first two games (a loss to East Buchanan and a win over Midland).
* Edgewood-Colesburg junior Audrie Helmrichs netted 16.0 boards per game in a pair of games (a loss to Springville and a win over Calamus-Wheatland).