By Jon Swisher-Sports Director:
The Class 2A 8th-ranked Cascade Cougars improved to 23-2 with a 59-56 upset win over 3rd-ranked Central Decatur inside Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines at the 2017 High School Girls Basketball state tournament. Cougar freshman point guard Nicole McDermott played with the composure of a senior and is a big reason Cascade is headed for the state semifinals. McDermott scored 20 points and hit two key free throws in the final seconds to help the Cougars advance after completing the first round in Class 2A yesterday morning. After jumping to an early 7-0 lead, Cascade found itself trailing 41-33 midway through the third quarter. But the Cougars weren’t behind much longer as they scored the next 11 points to take a 44-41 lead, then held on despite some shaky free throw shooting down the stretch. McDermott, who came in averaging 10.9 points, hit 7 field goals including one 3-pointer, grabbed five rebounds and had six steals. Abbie Ruggeberg added 13 points for the Cougars, freshman Jordan Simon scored 10, 7 for Lisa Tucker, Anne Ryan had 4, Riley Takes with 3 and 2 a piece for Skylar Dolphin and Rachel Trumm.
Cascade handed Central Decatur its first loss of the season and draws another undefeated team in the next round as they will take on second-ranked Treynor at 3:15 p.m. Thursday afternoon.
In other action yesterday, in Class 3A and 4A play:
Sioux Center hammered PCM 71-27
Cherokee came back and beat Crestwood 70-61
Center Point-Urbana held on to take down Davenport Assumption 56-50
Pocahontas Area 46 Clear Lake 22
North Scott 57 Nevada 27
Cedar Rapids Xavier 60-56 over Grinnell
Today at the tourney, Class 4A finishes up and 5A begins.
Cascade, in the tournament for the fourth time in five years,