Photo by Jeff Yoder
Your Prep Sports
IOWA CITY – Cascade won the Class 2A state championship last season by doing what it has become known for – a stifling zone defense and precision-based offense.
For two and a half quarters on Tuesday Regina was beating the defending champions at their own game.
Over the final 10 minutes Cascade got back to doing what it does best and it was enough to escape with a win.
Eighth-ranked Cascade outscored Regina 22-4 over the final 11 minutes on its way to a 46-35 win in a River Valley Conference cross-divisional matchup between 2018 state tournament teams in Iowa City.
“We executed our game plan really well,” Regina coach Jeff Wallace said. “We told our girls that, we executed our game plan well, it was just offensively we didn’t get enough opportunities and looks.”
Regina went nearly nine minutes without a point at the end of the third and start of the fourth quarter as Cascade (7-1, 6-1 RVC) turned a seven-point deficit into a 37-31 lead.
The Regals shot 33 percent from the field on Tuesday and made just s of their final 14 field goal attempts while dropping to 4-4 on the season and 4-3 in RVC play.
“We didn’t handle the press and we didn’t make championship plays,” Wallace said. “We didn’t play with confidence and poise. We have to have more players play with that confidence and poise if we are going to win these championship type games.
Regina took a 6-3 lead on a Kennedy Wallace 3-point midway through the opening quarter and didn’t trail again until the fourth quarter.
Wallace hit four three-points in the final 4:05 of the opening quarter helping Regina to a 17-11 lead after one quarter.
That ended up being the only points of the game for Wallace and nearly half of the scoring output Regina would muster on Tuesday as Cascade clamped down on defense.
Wallace drew constant attention from defenders in the Cascade zone defense and missed her final four field goal attempts as Regina shot 27 percent after halftime.
“It’s not rocket science that people are going to be keying on Kennedy,” Wallace said. “We have to have people that play with a level of confidence and belief in themselves and that’s what I have to work on to fix.”
Regina still led 24-19 at the half thanks largely to the play of junior center Sam Greving.
Greving scored all seven of the Regal’s second-quarter points and finished with a 16-point, 18-reound double-double.
“It’s always frustrating to lose a game especially in a game where you had a lead,” Greving said. “It’s always frustrating to be that close but we will learn from this and be able to come back and win the next game when it’s tight like that. It will help us learn for future situations.”
A Greving turnaround in the post put Regina up 31-24 with 3:33 left in the third quarter.
It was all Cougars from that point on.
Cascade extended its pressure full court and Regina committed 12 of its 17 turnovers in the final two quarters.
The turnovers played a big part in a 13-0 Cascade run that spanned more than eight minutes from the end of the third to start of the fourth quarter.
Greving stopped the run with a bucket in the paint with 2:45 left that cut the lead to 37-33 but Cascade scored the next five points.
“They were really good at putting pressure on us,” Greving said. “We need to work on being able to handle that pressure along with just making strong passes and good decisions.”
Nicole McDermott had a game-high 17 points for Cascade which shot just 25 percent from the field and was 7-of-27 from 3-point range against the Regina zone.
The Cougars committed just two turnovers and were 15-of-19 at the foul line.
“We are just trying to get better,” Wallace said. “We are trying to be playing our best basketball when it really counts at the end of the season. We are going to keep making changes and adjusting and working with kids and teaching.”
Regina (35) – Elly Gahan 2-7 0-1 4, Annie Gahan 1-6 0-0 3, Claire Gaarde 0-3 0-3 0, Kennedy Wallace 4-9 0-0 12, Sam Greving 5-11 5-7 16, Team 12-36 5-7 35.
Cascade (46) – Nicole McDermott 5-13 5-5 17, Robyn Takes 0-2 0-0 0, Skylar Dolpin 2-10 1-2 7, Jordan Simon 2-8 1-2 7, Abigail Welter 2-10 3-4 7, Rachel Trumm 0-2 3-4 3, Ally Hoffman 1-3 2-2 5, Team 12-48 15-19 46.
3-point field goals – ICR 6-20 (A. Gahan 1-6, Gaarde 0-3, Wallace 4-9, Greving 1-2), CAS 7-27 (McDermott 2-7, Takes 0-2, Dolphin 2-6, Simon 2-8, Welter 0-1, Trumm 0-1, Hoffman 1-2). Rebounds – ICR 35 (Greving 18), CAS 31 (Hoffman 7). Turnovers – ICR 17, CAS 2. Total fouls – ICR 18, CAS 13. Fouled out – None. Technical fouls – None.