By Jeremy McDonald
TURNER, Ore.– Cascade came out aggressive, they came out strong against their rival in Stayton Saturday night. Despite having a underclassmen-heavy roster coming into their Summer slate under first-year Nick Randall, the Cougars Girls Basketball team created headaches for the Eagles who too look to fill the void of the five seniors they’ve lost from their 2022 playoff team.
“It’s Summer Ball and it’s our first game, we played well. From here I think we’re going together and see where we go,” said Stayton’s Olivia Smart.
“We are very young but we’re very fast out there. Coming in as the senior this year and having all freshman upcoming, we’re an upcoming squad, but we’re really solid and I’m really excited for the season,” adds Cascade’s Meah Carley.
As Eagles Head Coach Wendi Nyquist pointed, it’s a time for development and that this game was a good test for her squad as they settled down after the eye opening start to their Summer. They kept the aggressive Cougars to within ten points by games end with Cascade taking the game 42-32 as they went on to play Taft to close out Saturday’s games.
“Summer league is huge for us this year just to get comfortable with each other. Figure out what we’re successful at, what we need to work on and what we can run offensively and defensively,” Nyquist said. “That’s what it is. I thought once we settled down, we played fairly well. We got tons to improve on, but we played fairly well.”
Being the lone senior with prior experience from last season, Carley knows the pressure is on her to help contribute as a leader. In Cascade’s two games at the 4A State Championship a few months ago, Carley averaged 15 points and seven rebounds against Baker and Madras in the Cougars 19-5 season in 2022.
“I’m very excited. I’m excited for the opportunity to get to teach the younger kids and just to show them what they’re made of. I’m excited for the season with all of them,” Carley said.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald