Rangers fall in overtime

Published 8:28 pm Thursday, December 15, 2011

Cassopolis’ Tammy Lee scored 17 points in the Rangers’ 38-36 overtime loss to Buchanan Monday night. (Cassopolis Vigilant Photo/AMELIO RODRIGUEZ)

Cassopolis basketball coach Larry Ash has found the bounces going in the opposite direction at the start of his tenure with the Ranger girls as he lost star senior center Reese Ellison to a stress fracture in her leg until late January and Lakeland Conference foe Buchanan found a way to its first victory Monday night with a 38-36 win in overtime.

“Reese (Ellison) being out hurt them and it was very nice to get that win as the girls are getting better every day,” Buchanan coach David Cleveland said. “There are a lot of tough teams and we have to jell together to make it happen for us.”

Buchanan (1-3, 1-1) had to overcome giving up the first nine points of the game midway through the opening stanza before a shooting display the rest of the half made Ash burn with disgust. Sophomores Madison Prillwitz and Maddy Vorrath, along with junior Ashley Simpson could not miss and finished the half by finding the bottom of the net on their final eight shots before intermission.

The Bucks held a 13-12 advantage after the first quarter and went into the locker room with a 27-17 advantage after shooting 12-of-19 from the floor and led in rebounds by an equally commanding 17-10 margin.

“I told the team at halftime we need to care, learn and grow as a team with caring being the only facet being done so far,” Ash said. “It takes time to run a new system and was impressed how they responded in the second half as our shot selection was much better.”

Cassopolis (2-3, 1-2) connected on only 6-of-28 shot attempts and were 3-of-8 from the free throw line. Sophomore Tammy Lee was the leading Ranger scorer with seven points, which were two fewer than Vollrath. Simpson had seven rebounds for Buchanan, but the Bucks’ numerous turnovers hurt them with 10 compared to six for the hosts.

A couple of minutes into the third quarter, senior Courtney Moore of Cassopolis made three points the old-fashioned way to narrow the deficit to 27-22 and then the 5-foot-3 Lee snared a missed shot and raced down the court for a lay-up with 4:20 showing on the scoreboard to pull the Rangers within three points.

Prillwitz scored the only points for the Bucks with a pair of free throws a minute later as an invisible lid was put on the basket as all 10 shot attempts in the third stanza went awry.

“In the first half, we were looking to pass first and a couple of shots went in which gave us some momentum as we are not a real big team, so we have to work hard for everything,” Cleveland said.

A buzzer shot by Lee narrowed the Buchanan lead again to three points with the fourth, but not final stanza yet to play with the score being 29-26 in favor of the visitors.

Prillwitz scored five points in the first three minutes as the Bucks held a 34-27 lead, but Moore and Lee gallantly put the contest to a single digit (36-35) with one minute to play.

Moore would score the only point with 41.6 seconds left, but being 8-of-21 at the charity stripe proved victory was not to be accomplished against the Bucks. Buchanan made 2-of-5 free throws in the extra period for the only points as all three of the Ranger’s 3-point shots misfired.

“Free throws at crunch time comes down to self discipline, which is one of the areas we need to get better as it is hard to lose games that we should win,” said Ash. “We had the position to win this game, but give Buchanan credit for battling hard.”

Vorrath and Prillwitz each scored 11 points for the Bucks, with Simpson hauling in 12 rebounds. Lee was the leading scorer in the game with 17 points, followed by Moore with 13 points.

Leading the Ranger contingent in rebounds was Moore with eight to help Cassopolis to a 31-28 advantage on the boards. Simpson had a dozen rebounds to lead Buchanan, which committed 23 turnovers despite the win.

“Our underclasssmen really worked hard all summer and into the fall to be dedicated to the game, which makes me proud,” Cleveland said.

Buchanan also was victorious in the junior varsity game by a 33-18 count with freshman Selica Jones leading the way with 13 points.


Madison Prillwitz 4 2-2 11; Maddy Vorrath 4 2-3 11; Ashley Simpson 2 1-4 6; Alexis Meahl 2 0-0 4; Amanda Anglero 1 0-0 3; Jodi Mosier 1 0-0 2; Erin Glavin 0 1-2 1. TOTALS: 14 6-11 38


Tammy Lee 7 2-2 17; Courtney Moore 5 3-9 13; Savannah Sullivan 1 0-0 3;  ade Gatson 0 2-6 2; Jameka Eleazer 0 1-2 1; Breanna Coleman 0 0-2 0. TOTALS: 13 8-21 36.

Buchanan 13 27 29 36 38

Cassopolis 12 17 26 36 36

3-point baskets: Cassopolis (Lee, Sullivan) Buchanan (Anglero, Vorrath, Simpson, Prillwitz).  Rebounding: Cassopolis 31 (Moore 8), Buchanan 28 (Simpson 12); Total fouls (fouled out): Cassopolis 15 (Lee), Buchanan 14 (none);. Turnovers: Cassopolis 14,  Buchanan 23.

Varsity records: Buchanan 1-3, 1-1 Lakeland Conference; Cassopolis 2-3, 1-2 Lakeland Conference