Cass wins 2nd straight crown

Published 8:49 pm Thursday, November 24, 2005

By By JEFF FISHER / Vigilant/Argus
CASSOPOLIS - For the second straight year, the Lady Rangers can call themselves Class C District champions.
Cass defeated White Pigeon 44-38 Saturday night at home to advance to the regional tournament in Bridgman.
White Pigeon came into the contest seeking some revenge, since the Rangers eliminated the Chiefs last year in the opening round of the playoffs 38-27.
Cassopolis (21-2) faces Watervliet (21-2), which defeated conference champ Bridgman, Berrien Springs, and Buchanan, in the opening round of the Class C regional tonight at 8 p.m.
Kalamazoo Christian will face Gobles in the game earlier. The winners will play Wednesday night for the regional finals.
The Lady Rangers ran out to a 9-3 lead, thanks to two-three pointers from Kelsey Gordon and one from Michelle James.
A basket by Cass' Dee Dee Hawkins at the buzzer put the Rangers up 13-6 at the end of the first quarter.
Cass built up a double-digit lead, 25-14, in the late stage of the second quarter. A Nikitas Nelson tip-in to go along with her five second quarter points put the Rangers up with a 31-16 advantage going into halftime.
Cass' James poured in eight second quarter points and the Rangers outscored the Chiefs 18-10 in that quarter.
Both teams came out the locker room with a well-balanced scoring attack. Another hoop by Hawkins gave the hosts a 36-20 lead and Cass built up a 42-28 lead going into the final stanza.
White Pigeon would start a comeback.
Down 42-30 with three minutes to go, the Chiefs would go on a 6-0 run which featured a Katelyn Nussbaum shot-plus-foul three point play would get the lead down to nine.
Cass would not score another field goal until the 2:50 mark of the fourth on a hook shot by Hawkins which proved to be the Rangers only basket of the period.
Cass withstood Jessica Sanders' seven points in the quarter and being outscored 10-2 by the Chiefs.
“The one basket in the final quarter was not an issue, the girls were tired, and they played hard in the three quarters,” fourth-year Ranger coach Floyd Foston said. “We knew we had to pressure their guards and get after them on defense.”
James led the Lady Rangers with 15 points. Gordon finished with 10 points.
Sanders lead all scorers with 16 points for the Chiefs and she was 13-17 from the charity stripe.
No other White Pigeon player was in double figures.
White Pigeon ends its season at 17-5.
Brittney Baechler 0 0-2 0, Natalie Niblock 2 3-4 8, Jessica Sanders 1 13-17 16, Katelyn Nussbaum 1 1-1 3, Jeni Arnett 3 0-4 6, Rachel Kaufmann 0 0-0 0, Jana Boatman 2 0-0 5, Krystal Bronson 0 0-0 0. Totals: 9 17-28 38
Kelsey Gordon 3 2-3 10, Dee Dee Hawkins 3 1-2 7, Nikitas Nelson 3 0-0 7, Michelle James 7 2-4 17, Becky File 0 0-0 0, Tiffany Williams 0 0-0, Taira Williams 0 0-0 0, Missy Allen 0 0-0 0, Monique Harris 0 0-0 0, Shanice Thompson 1 0-0 3. Totals: 17 5-9 44
White Pigeon 6 16 28 38
Cassopolis 13 31 42 44
Three-point baskets: Niblock (WP), Sanders (WP), Boatman (WP), Gordon 2, Nelson (C), James (C), Thompson (C). Total fouls: White Pigeon 15, Cassopolis 16. Varsity records: White Pigeon 17-5, Cassopolis 21-2