Prep Basketball

No. 1 Cascade whips No. 3 North Linn in 2A girls' basketball showdown

Big fourth quarter breaks it open for Cougars, who win their 39th straight regular-season game

CASCADE — Abby Welter did her early damage around the basket.

Her dagger, though, was a fourth-quarter 3-pointer.

“Can’t leave all of the fun to the guards, right?” she said.

Right. And there was plenty of fun to go around Thursday night for the Cascade Cougars.

Class 2A top-rated Cascade held No. 3 North Linn 27 points under its season scoring average and rolled, 63-40, in a non-conference girls’ basketball game at Cascade High School.

“Everything went our way tonight,” Cascade Coach Mike Sconsa said. “We had to take care of the ball, and we had to get back in transition. The only thing I cared about was that we played harder than they did. We were very aggressive.

“I’m pleasantly surprised and happy.”

This was billed as a potential 2A state-championship preview. Cascade (22-0) ruled it, thanks to a 26-9 fourth-quarter blizzard, and ran its regular-season winning streak to 39.

“They’re good,” North Linn Coach Brian Wheatley said. “We got within six points (at the end of the third quarter), but we couldn’t string enough stop together.”

And the way the Cougars play defense, you can’t afford to let them get too far ahead.

Skylar Dolphin opened the fourth quarter with a three-point play, then it was Ally Hoffman with a basket to make it 42-32. Welter’s 3-pointer extended the margin to 13, and the Cougars pulled away from there.

“We played well tonight against a really, really good team,” Cascade’s Nicole McDermott said. “To end our regular season with a game like this is good for both teams. We showed each other what we can do.”

The Cougars showed a lot more.

McDermott registered 19 points, four rebounds, four assists and seven steals. Welter added 13 points, Dolphin 12, Hoffman nine.

Welter was fast out of the gate with eight first-quarter points.

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“I’m quicker than their post players side to side, and I took advantage of that,” said Welter, who scored the last four points of the quarter to put Cascade up for good, 15-11.

It was 27-18 at halftime and 37-25 late in the third quarter before freshman Ellie Flanagan hit a pair of 3-pointers to pull the Lynx (19-2) within six.

Ellie Ware led the Lynx with 14 points and six rebounds. Grace Flanagan, who entered the game with a 19.4-point average, was held to five.

Both teams open 2A regional play Tuesday, and both are heavily favored to reach the state tournament.

CASCADE 63, NORTH LINN 40

At Cascade

NORTH LINN (40): Hannah Bridgewater 0-1 0-0 0, Grace Flanagan 2-9 0-0 5, Ellie Ware 4-7 6-10 14, Sydney Burke 2-4 0-0 6, Chloe Van Etten 0-1 7-8 7, Ellie Flanagan 0-1 0-0 0, Ella Ries 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 11-36 13-18 40.

CASCADE (63): Nicole McDermott 5-11 7-10 19, Ally Hoffman 4-7 0-1 9, Skylar Dolphin 3-6 4-7 12, Jordan Simon 1-3 3-4 5, Abby Welter 4-6 4-6 13, Faith Bower 0-0 0-0 0, Alyssa Lux 1-1 0-0 3, Sydney Weber 0-0 0-0 0, Devin Simon 0-1 2-2 2, Elizabeth Gibbs 0-0 0-0 0, Megan Smith 0-0 0-0 0, Taryn Hoffman 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 18-35 20-30 63.

Halftime: Cascade 27, North Linn 18. 3-point goals: North Linn 5-21 (G. Flanagan 1-8, A. Flanagan 0-3, Burke 2-4, E. Flanagan 2-6), Cascade 7-16 (McDermott 2-5, Hoffman 1-3, Dolphin 2-4, J. Simon 0-1, Welter 1-1, Lux 1-1, D. Simon 0-1). Team fouls: North Linn 20, Cascade 10. Fouled out: G. Flanagan. Rebounds: North Linn 28 (Ware 6), Cascade 23 (Hoffman 6). Assists: North Linn 9 (Bridgewater 4), Cascade 11 (McDermott 4). Steals: North Linn 8 (Van Etten 3), Cascade 13 (McDermott 7). Turnovers: North Linn 16, Cascade 10.

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

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