By Jeremy McDonald
TURNER, Ore.– Cascade changed things up against Philomath Wednesday night.
They didn’t have the height to compete with the Warriors tall girls, but their defense damn sure made up for it with the second half of league starting on this evening. Basing their whole defense around two-time Oregon West Conference Player of the Year in Sage Kramer with themselves at full-strength compare to the first time the two squads had met back on May 22.
“We played better D overall than last time. I thought we put it all out there and we knew (Kramer) was a good player so we aimed our defense around her. We made it around her and we could take care of the other kids, so it was mainly her we had to focus on,” Kenna Coleman said.
“We made sure everyone on defense knew where she was and helped each other out,” adds Ariel Tobiasson. “We played really good defense.”
The defensive strategy had work, of the 48-points Philomath scored in their 48-43 win at Cascade High School, Kramer had all but 16 of them. Mia Rust, who was a strong presence in the second half against the Cougars in the first meeting, had four points as the next highest scorer.
Tobiasson led the Junior-heavy Cascade offense with 16 points, Coleman had 11 points and Natalee Federico contributed nine for a Cougars offense that just hung around all game.
At halftime it was 20-20. Cascade held a brief two-point lead midway, leading 38-36 following a Federico shot with 4:50 left in the third.
Philomath led 40-38 going to the fourth and Tobiasson had tied the game up at 43 during the fourth before Kramer handed back the Warriors the lead for good with 41 seconds remaining.
It was the little things that inhibited the Cougars from extending the lead.
Turnovers, fouls, rebounding to an extent here-and-there had hurt the fantastic defensive game with Philomath turning a three-point play up 45-43, making the front-end of a late-game free throw and getting a put-back basket on the missed second free throw attempt.
The little things that they know they need to clean-up with Yamhill-Carlton coming to town Saturday afternoon.
“Taking care of the ball, less turnovers. Other than that, it gives us a little bit more of a momentum for the next game even though it was a loss, we did play good defense,” Tobiasson said.
“I think we can improve more on our entry passes and smart decisions,” adds Coleman.
The Tigers are currently 3-0 in 3A on the year and are playing Amity Friday evening before making the trip to Turner Saturday at 1pm.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald