Prep Basketball

Osage upsets No. 1 Cascade in girls' state basketball semifinals

Cougars shoot 23.9 percent from the field, retire at 26-1

DES MOINES — Nicole McDermott had the highlight of the tournament.

There just weren’t enough shots to go along with it.

Fifth-ranked Osage made the only offensive surge of the game, a 13-0 tie-breaking, back-breaking fourth-quarter job, and knocked off No. 1 Cascade, 46-32, in a Class 2A semifinal at the girls’ state basketball tournament Friday afternoon at Wells Fargo Arena.

“Shots we normally make, they didn’t fall today,” Cascade Coach Mike Sconsa said. “Osage took care of the ball, and the game was played physically, which was an advantage for them.

“But our shots didn’t fall, and we got frustrated.”

Osage (24-2) plays for the championship at 5 p.m. Saturday against No. 3 North Linn (24-2), a 61-46 winner over No. 2 West Hancock.

The Green Devils are going for their second title; they won the six-on-six crown in 1992.

“At halftime, we talked about ... in a game like this, every second matters, every possession matters,” said Osage’s Dani Johnson, who registered 18 points (she was 11 of 11 from the free-throw line) and 12 rebounds. “If we didn’t play that way, we knew we might not get another game.”

Cascade finished 26-1. The Cougars struggled mightily with Osage’s zone all game, shooting 23.9 percent (11 of 46).

McDermott finished with 14 points and eight rebounds. She gave the Cougars a 12-10 lead — its first advantage of the game — late in the second quarter on a circus shot.

She was wrestling for possession with Osage’s Sidney Brandau in the lane, gained control, kept a pivot foot (well, maybe) and hoisted a shot from her back that found the net.

“I might have traveled,” McDermott said. “I can’t believe I shot that.”

It was tied, 12-12, at halftime, then Cascade’s Abby Welter’s scored on a drive from the left side to tie the game at 20-20 with 7:36 to go.

But Osage put together a string. Ellie Bobinet started it with a 3-pointer right after Welter’s basket, then Melanie Bye hit another. Bobinet struck with another long shot, and Osage had 11 points in 1:55.

Jordan Simon and Skylar Dolphin added seven apiece for Cascade.

“We couldn’t put a run together,” Simon said. “It just wasn’t happening.”

Friday’s outcome closed the book on the careers of McDermott, Simon, Welter and Dolphin, who made it here four times, winning a 2A title in 2018, and compiled a record of 97-10.

“I’ll never forget what we’ve done,” McDermott said. “We’ve had a blast playing together. It’s been so much fun.”

OSAGE 46, CASCADE 32

2A State Semifinal, at Des Moines

OSAGE (46): Mia Knudsen 0-5 0-0 0, Melanie Bye 2-9 0-0 6, Dani Johnson 3-11 11-11 18, Ellie Bobinet 3-7 0-0 9, Sidney Brandau 2-8 5-6 9, Katie Smith 0-0 0-0 0, Brooklyn Halbach 0-0 0-0 0, Ainsley Dodd 0-0 0-0 0, Victoria Schwarting 0-0 0-0 0, Libby Schwamman 1-2 0-0 2, Megan Hanson 1-1 0-0 2, Kaebre Sullivan 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 12-43 16-17 46.

CASCADE (32): Nicole McDermott 5-15 2-2 14, Ally Hoffman 0-6 0-0 0, Skylar Dolphin 2-6 2-3 7, Jordan Simon 2-7 2-4 7, Abby Welter 2-8 0-0 4, Sydney Weber 0-0 0-0 0, Devin Simon 0-0 0-0 0, Elizabeth Gibbs 0-1 0-0 0, Faith Bower 0-1 0-0 0, Megan Smith 0-0 0-0 0, Alyssa Lux 0-2 0-0 0, Taryn Hoffman 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 11-46 6-9 32.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT

Halftime: Cascade 12, Osage 12. 3-point goals: Osage 6-23 (Knudsen 0-5, Bye 2-8, Johnson 1-4, Bobinet 3-6), Cascade 4-25 (McDermott 2-9, Hoffman 0-3, Dolphin 1-4, Simon 1-4, Welter 0-2, Gibbs 0-1, Bower 0-1, Lux 0-1). Team fouls: Osage 11, Cascade 16. Fouled out: none. Rebounds: Osage 38 (Johnson 12), Cascade 30 (McDermott 8). Assists: Osage 10 (Knudsen 4), Cascade 6 (Dolphin 4). Steals: Osage 5 (Johnson, Brandau 2), Cascade 9 (McDermott, Dolphin, Bower 2). Turnovers: Osage 12, Cascade 11.

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

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