CLAYTON — With the start of girls’ basketball sectionals less than a week away, last night’s game between Class 3A Tri-West and Class 2A Cascade served as a tune-up for both squads.
The Bruins shot 54 percent while holding the Cadets to 35 percent shooting in the 59-39 victory.
“In the first half especially we got off to a good start, got up on them early and always had the lead,” Tri-West coach Brad Acton said. “Not that you are ever comfortable but we were able to stretch that lead out.”
Cascade’s shooting woes hurt them from keeping up with Tri-West.
“We couldn’t hit early, we had a lot of looks inside and missed them,” Cascade coach Don Helmick said. “But I thought the effort was there and Tri-West is a good team.”
Tri-West’s 1-2 combo of Lauren DeSutter and Karen Jones combined for 41 of the Bruins’ 59 points and were main catalysts in the win.
DeSutter scored a game-high 22 points but the senior was overshadowed by her sophomore teammate.
Jones contributed 19 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks on 8 of 9 shooting to get the Bruins (15-5) rolling in what Acton said was her best game of the season.
“I thought there were times when she was stronger in the post than who was guarding her,” he said. “If our guards are knocking down some shots, it gives her more room to operate down in the post.”
On senior night, it was only fitting Cascade (13-7) was led by its senior leader, Brandyce Sallee. She was nursing a back injury and Helmick said she could have easily sat out but the senior refused. Sallee scored a team-high 21 points and scored eight of the Cadets’ 15 field goals.
“She’s just a player,” Helmick said.
Tri-West led 16-4 after the first quarter and 24-11 at halftime.