By Jeremy McDonald
FOREST GROVE, Ore.– The question after their loss versus Seaside Thursday was how will Cascade respond after their first loss of the season.
To do that brings up yet another question: How do that without Halle Wright?
Wright was out for Friday morning’s game versus Mazama after suffering a tough knee injury late in the loss to the Seagulls as the Lady Cougars were trying to find someone to get them into that rhythm that Wright did prior to her injury.
Eventually, down 22-19 at Pacific University, someone did by the name of Kelsey Molan.
Molan did her best Wright impersonation as the junior sparked her team with a 12-point, six-rebound second half performance. Two of her 12 brought Cascade to within one with 3:41 left as they went on a 11-0 run to build a 30-22 lead by the 7:26 left in the ball game.
“It was hard because there were moments where I was like, ‘Oh it’s too bad Halle can’t come in off the bench and help us’, but we had to step up and get through it,” said Molan. “It was good for me because it helped me step up my game.”
But, with how good the Vikings are, the Lady Cougars couldn’t rest on that success of building such a lead because Mazama cut that lead down to three with 2:48 left in the contest.
Cascade however, would punch their ticket to the fourth-sixth place game on free throws down the stretch, especially from Molan and Lexi Loukojarvi to ice the game.
“I think it shows what kind of team we are, we practice free throws everyday in practice,” said Loukojarvi who had six points and six rebounds in the game. “So it’s kind of nerve racking, but as soon as we kept hitting them we knew that the game was in our hands, so it felt really good to have everyone step up and hit free throws.”
The Cougars were 14-19 in the second half and were 16-26 in the contest as they advance to Friday’s 8am game at Forest Grove High School as they look to end the season strong.
“We need to come out with the same mentality that we had today,” said Loukojarvi. “Our goal all season has been just finish on a win, so we just have to come out with that mentality and play together as a team like we did today.”
On the other side of the court of them for Friday’s game is a familiar foe in the team that finished second in their conference…North Marion. The Lady Huskies defeated Baker down the stretch on free throws as well to set up the match-up.
CASCADE (21-1) Molan,K. -20;Cade, K-6;Loukojarvi, L-6; Hollenbeck, M.-4;Woods, E.-3; Miller, K.-2; Mazama........................ 5 8 9 14 - 36 Cascade....................... 6 10 10 15 - 41 Rebounds--Mazama 32 (J'Enai Hall-9; Landy Williams 9), Cascade 39 (Kelsey Molan 8). Assists--Mazama 9 (J'Enai Hall 3; Nehani DeLaRosa 3), Cascade 3 (Kelsey Molan 2). Total fouls--Mazama 20, Cascade 16. Technical fouls--Mazama-None, Cascade-None.
Follow Jeremy McDonald on Twitter at @J_McDonald81 or like jmcdonaldmedia on Facebook!
Photos By Jeremy McDonald