Cassopolis fends off White Pigeon

Published 11:15 am Thursday, November 18, 2004

By By SCOTT NOVAK / Vigilant/Argus
WHITE PIGEON - If high-powered offense was what you were looking for Monday night in the opening game of the Class C District Basketball tournament, you were in the wrong place.
Host White Pigeon and Cassopolis both held onto the basketball more than they shot it trying to force the other squad out of their 2-3 zone defense.
In the end it came down to a free throw shooting contest with the Lady Rangers pulling out a 36-27 victory.
The win erased the memory of back-to-back losses to White Pigeon in the district tournament. The Lady Rangers had been eliminated by the Lady Chiefs in the semifinals and finals the past two seasons.
Cassopolis (19-2) scored the final nine points of the game from the free throw line and was 12-of-19 for the game.
While Cassopolis was able to use its quickness to score baskets against the White Pigeon zone defense, the Lady Chiefs were unable to score against Cassopolis'
White Pigeon (13-8) was just 10-for-42 for the game.
Cassopolis on the other hand, hit 11-of-38 attempts.
White Pigeon scored the first four points of the game before Cassopolis switched to a full-court pressure defense and quickly turned the game around.
The Lady Rangers took an 8-6 lead by the end of the first quarter which it extended to 16-10 at the intermission after outscoring White Pigeon 8-4 in the second period.
Cassopolis continued to increase its lead in the third quarter as White Pigeon was unable to hit from the field.
The Lady Rangers held a 9-4 scoring advantage in the period and led 25-14 heading into the final eight minutes.
White Pigeon rallied in the fourth quarter, but had to foul Cassopolis down the stretch.
The Lady Rangers took a 27-18 lead on a basket by Kelsey Gordon, the lone basket of the fourth quarter for Cassopolis.
From there on it was free throw shooting that sealed the victory for Cassopolis, which went 9-of-14 in the fourth quarter.
Gordon led Cassopolis with 15 points. Jealyn Foston added eight points, while Nikitas Nelson and Michelle James each had five points.
White Pigeon got 13 points from Jessica Sanders and 11 points from Jeni Arnett.
Amanda Weiss 0 0-0 0, Jealyn Foston 1 6-8 8, Kelsey Gordon 6 2-4 15, Nikitas Nelson 1 3-5 5, Michelle James 2 1-2 5, Dee Dee Hawkins 1 0-0 3, Monique Harris 0 0-0 0. Totals: 11 12-19 36
Natlie Niblick 0 0-0 0, Katelyn Nussbaum 1 0-0 2, Kristina Alexander 2 0-0 4, Jeni Arnett 1 2-4 4, Jessica Sanders 4 4-4 13, Rachel Kauffman 0 0-0 0, Jana Boatman 0 0-0 0, Brittney Baechler 2 0-0 4. Totals: 10 6-8 27
Cassopolis 8 8 9 11 - 36
White Pigeon 6 4 4 13 - 27
Three-point baskets: Hawkins (C), Sanders (WP). Total fouls: Cassopolis 7, White Pigeon 18. Fouled out: None.