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Sunday, May 1, 2016

North Putnam's strong defense not enough

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Cougars junior Bethany Wiatt drives past Cascade's Katy Copsey for a layup. Wiatt tied for the team lead with five points.
(Banner Graphic/GRANT WIEMAN) [Order this photo]
ROACHDALE -- The Cascade girls' basketball team came to North Putnam looking for an easy victory, but the Cougars' strong defense made the Cadets work for every point in a 42-23 Cascade win.

Cascade (7-2, 2-1) was held to just 26 percent shooting for the game. The North Putnam zone kept them out of the paint and forced tough shots.

"We played awesome defensively," NPHS coach Curtis Lawrence said. "We played so well defensively. The kids are excited about the way they played defensively. I can't be any happier with the effort that they put in tonight."

The Cougars (1-9, 0-1) started a taller lineup than they have in recent games, with senior Cassie Aynes starting at center next to forwards Sam Lucas and Cayla Kientz.

The front court kept Cascade out, but also seemed to block the NPHS guards from getting into the lane on offense.

Lucas, a senior, tried to space the floor with three-point shots, but she was unable to connect in her four long-range attempts.

She wasn't the only one to struggle.

As well as the Cougars played defensively, they shot just as poorly on the offensive end.

NPHS was only seven-of-41 in the game from the field.

"We've struggle all season shooting, regardless of what lineup I put in," Lawrence said. "If we hit half the (good) shots that we took tonight, that game is ours."

The Cougars were led in scoring by junior guard Bethany Wiatt and sophomore Morgan Smith, each with five.

Wiatt is often more of a distributor on offense and Smith, growing into a roll on the team, alternates between deferring to teammates and playing aggressively.

Senior Brandyce Sallee led the Cadets with 11 points.

With the CHS bigs getting cancelled out by Lucas and Aynes, Sallee also got in the paint and pulled in a game-high 14 rebounds.

The Cougars have two weeks off until they play in the Speedway Classic on Dec. 27.

With the team's defense starting to come together, Lawrence said he will focus on scoring in the interim.

"We've got all next week off," Lawrence said, "so we're going to get a lot of shots up next week."

At North Putnam
Cascade -- 8 10 10 14 -- 42
North Putnam -- 1 6 6 10 -- 23

Individual scoring
Cascade: Sallee 2-15, 6-6, 11; Gaddis 3-9, 2-2, 9; Smallwood 3-5, 0-0, 8; Stein 3-10, 2-7, 8; M Smith 1-6, 2-4, 5; K Smith 1-2, 0-0, 0; Copsey 0-1, 0-0, 0; Tomblin 0-0, 0-0, 0; Bell 0-0, 0-0, 0.
North Putnam: Wiatt 1-5, 3-4, 5; Smith 1-7, 3-4, 5; Aynes 2-5, 0-0, 4; Asbell 0-10, 2-3, 2; Kientz 1-6, 0-0, 2; Lucas 1-8, 0-1, 2; Land 1-1, 0-0, 2.

Team scoring (3pt)
Cascade 13-50 (5-18), 11-18, 42; North Putnam 7-41 (0-11), 9-14, 23.

Rebounds (offensive)
Cascade 39 (10), North Putnam 33 (7).

Cascade 12, North Putnam 18.

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