Cassopolis girls win physical battle, boys trounce Marcellus on homecoming

Published 10:47 am Saturday, January 22, 2022

CASSOPOLIS — It was a tale of two games on homecoming Friday night at Cassopolis High School, but both ended in wins for the host team.

In the early contest, the Cassopolis girls won 46-38 win in a physical battle, while the boys started fast and never let up in an 83-27 trouncing of conference rival Marcellus.

The Rangers girls team (6-4, 5-3 Southwest 10) gained the lead in the second quarter and never trailed in the second half. Atyanna Alford led Cassopolis with 13 points, while Jadin Wolfe had 11. Ella Smith and Alexis Millirans each chipped in with six points.

“Atyanna has been stepping up big every game lately,” said Cassopolis Coach Stefon Luckey. “She’s been in a bit of a shooting slump lately, but she came out firing.”

While Luckey said he was pleased the team picked up its sixth win — the most it hsas won since the 2017-18 season — it missed an opportunity to pull away late in the game due to some turnovers.

“It was sloppy,” he said. “We were in the wrong spots on defense because of a lack of communication. Our defense is getting better, but we can’t go to that next step because they don’t talk to each other.”

Brooklyn Vantilburg led the Wildcats (7-3, 5-3 Southwest 10) with 16 points, while Jenna Wells had eight, and provided some physicality for her team.

“I think they handled that well,” said Luckey, of the physical game. “Most games, they get out of whack, they get in their feelings as girls do – but tonight they handled it well.”

On the boys side, the Rangers (4-4, 4-2 Southwest 10) jumped out to a 20-0 lead and never looked back for its third consecutive win of more than 40 points after losing four in a row.

“We had a slow start to the season,” said Cassopolis Coach Jared Rusher. “We just wanted to focus on being able to put four quarters together from beginning to end, and they came out tonight and executed.”

Rusher was able to empty his bench midway through the second quarter against the undermanned Wildcats (0-6, 0-5 Southwest 10), who only dressed eight players.

Fifteen different players scored for Cassopolis, including German exchange student Felix Audebert, who made a 3-pointer in the closing minutes, and Swedish exchange student Hugo Backing, who made a shot in the second quarter. Both baskets elicited roars from the crowd.

“It felt great,” Rusher said. “That’s the culture we’re trying to build here and establish. A culture of family, unity, hard work and just executing.”

Reggie Hart led Cassopolis scorers with 13, while Daishean Jamison had 12. Davion Goins and Daeton Gillam each had 10, with Goins throwing down a dunk in each half. Alek Dahlgren added eight for the Rangers.

Rusher said he wants to see his team continue to be able to put four quarters together as the season progresses.

The boys team travels to White Pigeon (4-2) on Tuesday, while the girls host White Pigeon (1-8) also on Tuesday.