CLAYTON — Cascade hosted West Central Conference rival North Putnam Friday night in a girls’ and boys’ basketball doubleheader and split with the Cougars.
Cascade rode a stifling defense to a 66-36 victory over North Putnam in the opening game, forcing the Cougars into 33 turnovers.
“We’ve been working all year on our man-to-man coverage ... we’ve got some speed and do a pretty good job playing the passing lanes and do a good job forcing turnovers,” Cascade coach Don Helmick said. “We’re not where we want to be with it, but we’re getting better.”
Sydney Stein led all scorers with 24 points while pulling down 10 rebounds in a steady effort.
“Sydney’s a hard person to guard because of her versatility,” Helmick said. “She plays extremely hard and is so strong and is tough to stop.”
Cascade broke out to a 17-6 lead in the first quarter thanks to some solid work behind the arc. Mallorie Smith and Hayden Stinnett each connected for two 3-pointers for the Cadets.
North Putnam’s two field goals in the quarter came over five minutes apart as the Cougars shot 2 of 11 from the floor.
Cascade’s defense forced North Putnam into a dismal shooting performance in the second quarter as the Cougars were a paltry 1 of 7. North Putnam connected on 12 free throws for the half and only three field goals.
“If we could quit fouling, we’d be all right,” Helmick said with a laugh.
North Putnam started the second half on a 3-0 run, but Cascade answered with 13 consecutive points to pull away 47-23 to end the third and effectively put the game out of reach.
Cascade finished with three players in double figures as Smith recorded 15 and Stinnett tallied 10.
Cascade’s boys climbed back into its game after a lackluster performance throughout three quarters, pushing North Putnam to the brink. However, Cascade could not pull out the win, falling 50-48.