|2/13/2013 1:49:00 PM|
Cascade girls end season on close 47-41 loss at Okanogan
Cascade junior guard Johnna Rieke had her best scoring game of the season with 12 points in a 47-41 loss at Okanogan on Feb. 5. The loss in the first round of the CTL playoffs ended the season for the Kodiaks.
There was 45 seconds left in the game, and the Kodiaks were down by three on the road at Okanogan. The Bulldogs had ball. Cascade Head Coach Todd Fraker decided not to foul, but rather play hard defense and hope to get the ball back with a chance to tie or cut the lead.
The strategy worked as Okanogan launched a wild, long shot as the shot clock was winding down, but a Bulldog was able to snare the long rebound and put the ball back for a five point lead. The wind was out of the Kodiak sails.
Cascade lost 47-41 to end their season in the first round of the Caribou Trail League District Playoffs on Feb. 5.
"When I went back through the stats, all the goals we had we hit, except for one, which was free throw differential," Fraker said. "We took more shots than they did. Our field goal percentage was very close to theirs. We out-rebounded them. The turnovers were close."
But Cascade fouled too many times, and Okanogan made them pay. The Kodiaks went to foul line also but did not knock down the shots.
"It was an incredibly even game. It came down to a couple shots they made and we missed. The girls played incredibly hard," he said.
Okanogan was playing without their all state guard, senior Kara Staggs, who was sitting out with an injury. The Bulldogs led 9-5 after the first quarter, but Cascade rallied in the second quarter to tie the game 25-25 at the half.
Without Staggs, Okanogan leaned on senior post Caitlyn Behymer. She helped lead the Bulldogs in the second half as they forged ahead 39-36. The final frame was low scoring as Okanogan had just enough for the win.
Junior Johnna Rieke had her best game of the season with 12 points. Senior Hannah Cowan had six points and 10 rebounds. Leading scorer, junior Sydney Coffin, was held to just five points.
"They did a real good job of clogging the inside. She couldn't get a clean look," he said of Coffin. "She was pressing and really trying to score. Behymer was just bigger than her."
Behymer had 18 points and nine rebounds for Okanogan. Many felt the Kodiaks could have had this game with Staggs out.
"To me, it did not matter that she was out. They had good players. All they did was exploit Behymer more than they would have if Staggs was in," he said. "I definitely think we could have won. A couple shots one way or another and that's our game."
Cascade shot 29 percent from field versus 30 percent for Okanogan. The Kodiaks were 8-for-18 from the free throw line while the Bulldogs were 15-for-25. Cascade out-rebounded 51-37.
With the loss, Cascade finished the season 14-7.
"I am extremely disappointed for the girls. They had their hearts set on advancing," he said. "They played well enough and worked hard enough to do that."
Four seniors played their last game for the Kodiaks, Kelsey Graham, Hannah Cowan, Sierra Guthrie and Kaelyn O'Brien.
"We had a great group of seniors. Good leaders. Pretty pivotal players. We'll take a hit when those girls graduate," he said.
Key returners include juniors Sydney Coffin, Johnna Rieke and Gabby Brulotte, along with sophomores Kaycee O'Brien and Eliana Ala'ilima-Daley.
"They all have pretty good experience. They've all been starters and have played good minutes. They've been fairly significant contributors," he said of the five returning players. "We have a good nucleus of five, but we need to see who can come up and help us. How are those five going to improve for next season?"
Ian Dunn can be reached at 548-5286 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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