By Jeremy McDonald
TURNER. Ore.– It took until the second half of their game Thursday evening, but Cascade found that one niche and took full advantage of it in their 34-23 win over the Warriors. Their first win over Philomath since their 68-38 win over the Warriors on February 16, 2018 behind their speed and quickness to set the tone in the second half. Speeding up the game just enough from the slow pace that the Warriors had going into halftime.
Ten points in the first half wasn’t to their expectations, but Cascade came out in the second half focused and ready to go, starting the second half on an 8-0 run to take a 18-10 lead. They withstand the 6-0 run that followed as they led by five after three and continued to play strong into the fourth. Tighten up on defense to go with their tempo, pushing up the court to challenge the size that Philomath brought to the game on this particular evening.
“It was pretty big for us because we haven’t beaten Philomath in four years and this one was a big one for us. I felt like we came together and did what we needed to do when we needed to do it in the second half,” Olivia Bennett said of the second half. “The first two quarters were pretty rough for us. Ten points in two quarters is not how we usually play.”
For a young team, with three freshmen starting, the Cougars played better than they had to start the season. Staying within themselves in the fourth to close out the game to remain unbeaten in the Oregon West Conference going into the second loop of league play. Maddie Dustin scored 12 points and Bennett contributed another nine going into their second meeting with Sweet Home Monday on the road looking to continue to ride this momentum train that has the squad winners of their last five and sitting at 5-0 in Oregon West Conference play after starting the season 4-6.
“It’s extremely important for us to build upon this game and look at what we need to work on. Reflect on how good we did on the good things,” Dustin said. “Just slowing down, not panicking. Playing as a team, we’re young so just building together and working on the relationships on-and-off the court is key for us.”
Abigail Brown led Philomath with nine points and Emily Tunisila contributed another six with the Warriors hosting Newport on Monday at 7pm.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald