Cascade Advances For Fourth Straight Elite 8 Appearance

By Jeremy McDonald

TURNER, Ore.–  Coming out to the court for their Friday night game versus Henley, it was a special moment for this senior group of girls who have been together since middle school.

It was their final time playing together at home as they tipped off against the Hornets from Klamath Falls.
“I mean we were so pumped for tonight, the anticipation for this game was crazy because we’ve practice for two weeks before this game, we were ready to play,”  said Emma Woods, who scored 10 points in the game.  “We were all confident on our home court, senior year we had to leave it all out there and we’re so happy.  One last run at the State Tournament. why not us?”
Henley made it interesting during the second quarter, keeping the Cougars to around ten points as Cascade led 29-18.
But, the Cougars hit their stride to start the second half as Halle Wright hit back-to-back three-pointers to push the score to 35-18 as they pushed their lead to 50-27 by the end of the third quarter and entering the fourth quarter.
The Lady Cougars maintained their 25 or so point lead as in the closing moments of the game, one-by-one, the seniors were taking off the court individually to be honored and to the loud cheers by the crowd.
“It was good, it was a good alst game because we came out strong and we kept playing even though we had the lead,” said Kelsey Molan who added another 18 points.  “We knew what we had to do to get it done.”
Halle Wright, who won Oregon West Conference Player of the Year all four years in a Cascade uniform, will too enjoy one last trip to the Elite 8; which this senior class has enjoyed all four years of their Cougar careers.
Mark Stevens (With Tie) preparing to take a picture with his team (Picture By Jeremy McDoanld)
The emotions of the past several years leading up to this fourth and final trip to the Elite 8 and challenging for that first-place trophy has been emotional to say the least as everyone was taking pictures with one another after the game.
“It’s been a roller-coaster of emotions, family, physical, injuries.  It’s just been great, I love growing up here, I love the community and I just can’t wait,” said Halle Wright, who had a team-high 19 points in the 67-37 win Friday night.
“I think it just shows how close we are as a team,” said Woods. “Our team chemistry and how much the work we put in our whole lives, we’ve played together since forever.  So I think we deserve it I think for all the hard work we’ve put in and our coaches haven been amazing.  I have to give them some credit too for getting us there every year.”
And as Head Coach Mark Stevens joins in with the picture fun with his athletes, the hard-work and the family they’ve made through the years to this point have been worth it as they now prepare for Stayton in the opening round of the Elite 8 at Pacific University on March 8 at 6:30pm
Photos By Jeremy McDonald

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