Cassopolis’ Tammy Lee (Above) drives around Bridgman’s Niki Strefling Monday night in the Rangers’ 51-23 victory. At left, Jade Gatson reaches for a pass. (Cassopolis Vigilant Photos/SCOTT NOVAK)

Archived Story

Cass cagers starting to click

Published 5:48pm Monday, January 16, 2012

The Cassopolis girls basketball team may be hitting its stride.

Since the second half of the Coloma game Friday night, the Rangers have looked like a different basketball team under first-year coach Larry Ash.

Cassopolis continued its upswing with a 51-23 Lakeland Conference victory over Bridgman Monday night in a game that was decided in the opening five minutes.

The Rangers (4-5, 3-2 Lakeland) opened up the contest with a 13-0 run. Bridman finally snapped the streak with 3:04 to play on a basket by Lexy Deckert, but it was already too late.

Cassopolis finished the opening quarter leading 18-6 and never looked back.

In the second quarter, Bridgman managed just three more points as the Rangers’ full-court pressure forced numberous turnovers, which led to easy baskets.

“They are starting to catch on to what I am trying to do with them,” Ash said. “We are working them really hard. We are trying to get them to understand what you do in practice is what shows up in the game. Practice is for the coaches, the game is for them. What we want them to understand is that they are as good as anybody they play. But we haven’t shown it because they are stuck in their old ways. This is about playing Ranger basketball.”

Trailing 33-9 at halftime, things didn’t get a whole lot better for the Bees in the second half, although offensively they were able to get to the basket a bit more often.

Bridgman scored six points in the third quarter and then eight points in the final period to almost double its first half production.

Cassopolis kept rolling in the final two quarters, although the scoring slowed as Ash had his team work on a few things offensively.

“We have been working on our press a lot,” Ash said. “We have been working on our high post system. That’s why I told them in the second half we are not looking to run-and-gun. What we are looking to do is work on our offense so that we can get better and when we can’t fast break, we know what we’re doing.

“That didn’t work too good, but at least we tried it a few times. I’m proud of them. They are starting to listen to me a little better. We did a pretty good job at Coloma and we did a pretty good job of focusing on this team.”

Courtney Moore was the only Ranger to reach double figures as she scored a game-high 15 points. Cassopolis also got nine points from Savannah Sullivan and seven points from Jade Gatson.

BRIDGMAN 23

Lindsey Lowery 0 3-6 3; Anna Schmaltz 1 2-4 4; Mikayla Lechenet 0 0-0 0; Rachel Stemm 1 0-0 2; Brittney Doehrer 0 1-2 1; Niki Strefling 0 0-0 0; Sam Wagner 2 1-3 6; April Pliley 0 0-0 0; Lexy Deckert 2 3-6 7. TOTALS: 6 10-21 23

CASSOPOLIS 51

Tammy Lee 2 2-2 6; Bre Coleman 0 2-2 2; Jessica Waldschmidt 1 0-2 2; Jameka Eleazor 2 0-0 4; Olivia Nelson 1 0-1 2; Lauren Smith 0 0-0 0; Savannah Sullivan 3 2-3 9; Jade Gatson 2 3-5 7; Courtney Moore 5 5-8 15; Jocelyn Transou 2 0-4 4. TOTALS: 18 14-27 51

Bridgman 6 9 15 23

Cassopolis 18 33 45 51

3-point baskets: Bridgman 1 (Wagner), Cassopolis 1 (Sullivan). Total fouls (fouled out): 24 (Strefling), Cassopolis 21 (none). Varsity records: Bridgman 2-6, 0-4 Lakeland; Cassopolis 4-5, 3-2 Lakeland

Cassopolis…46

Coloma…30

COLOMA —Visiting Cassopolis overcame a six-point halftime deficit to defeat Coloma 46-30 in a Lakeland Conference girls basketball game Friday night.

The Rangers (3-6, 2-2 Lakeland) trailed the Comets (4-4, 2-2 Lakeland) 19-13 at the intermission.

Cassopolis seized control of the game in the third quarter, rallying to take a 30-21 lead after outscoring Coloma 17-2 in the period.

The Rangers kept their foot on the gas in the fourth quarter and pulled away to the easy victory.

Savannah Sullivan led a trio of Cassopolis players in double figures with 15 points. Tammy Lee and Courtney Moore each contribued 12 points.

Amanda Swihart led the Comets with eight points.

CASSOPOLIS 46

Tammy Lee 12, Bre Coleman 2, Savannah Sullivan 15, Jade Gatson 4, Courtney Moore 12, Jocelyn Transou 1. TOTALS: 19 4-9 46

COLOMA 30

Andrea Singleton 0, Alexa Summers 3, Chelsea Caroteunto 6, Emily Najact 3, Amanda Swihart 8, Jenna Faultersack 10. TOTALS: 12 2-3 30

Cassopolis 8 13 30 46

Coloma 10 19 21 30

3-point baskets: Cassopolis 4 (Lee 3, Sullivan 1), Coloma 4 (Swihart 2, Najact 1, Summers 1). Total fouls (fouled out): Cassopolis 10 (none), Coloma 9 (none). Varsity records: Coloma 4-4, 2-2 Lakeland; Cassopolis 3-6, 2-2 Lakeland Conference

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