• PREP BASKETBALL

    Challenger girls take third place at state

  • COOS BAY — The Cascade Christian girls basketball team made history on Saturday.
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  • COOS BAY — The Cascade Christian girls basketball team made history on Saturday.
    Senior forward Cassie Zimmerer recorded 14 points and six rebounds and senior guard Kelsey Cochran added 11 points, three assists and two steals to help lead the Challengers to a 40-36 upset over third-seeded Rainier and a third-place finish at the Class 3A state tournament at Marshfield High.
    The third-place showing is the best in school history. Cascade Christian was sixth in 2006 as a 2A team, seventh in 1999 and a consolation finisher in 2000.
    After falling behind 8-0 to start the game, the seventh-seeded Challengers bounced back to take a 19-16 halftime lead against Rainier.
    "I was very pleased that we settled down," Cascade Christian head coach Marvin Denman said. "We hadn't seen this team before and didn't know what they would be like. We had a difficult game with Vale the night before and I wasn't sure how the girls would respond being in the same venue."
    Cascade Christian held the Columbians scoreless for the first seven minutes, 35 seconds of the second quarter and limited Rainier to just two points in the period.
    "We started gaining confidence and we noticed they were getting tired," Denman said. "We knocked down our outside shots and were methodically working their zone."
    Rainier's Kaylea Knox buried a pair of free throws to cut her team's deficit to three points with 28 seconds left in the contest. Jordan Martinez's free throw one second later made it a two-possession game, and 3-point attempts by Kylee Crape and Knox in the waning moments were off.
    Meghan Higday added five points and six rebounds and Martinez added four points, four assists and three rebounds for Cascade Christian (20-10). Katie Aguilar, playing with an injured ankle, added four points and two rebounds.
    "Those girls were determined to finish strong," Denman said.
    Knox led the Columbians (20-9) with 14 points.
    In the 3A title game, Vale — which beat the Challengers 48-29 in the semifinals — beat Valley Catholic 43-29.
    RAINIER (36) — Knox 4-18 6-8 14, Clarke 1-1 0-0 2, Westlund 0-0 0-0 0, Coffman 2-7 1-2 6, Brazille 1-2 2-2 4, Thurston 1-7 0-0 3, Crape 3-11 1-3 7. Totals: 12-46 10-15 36.
    CASCADE CHRISTIAN (40) — Brown 0-0 0-0 0, Aguilar 2-9 0-0 4, Cochran 3-12 3-3 11, 1-6 1-2 4, Hunt 0-3 0-0 0, Zimmerer 5-6 3-6 14, K. Britton 1-1 0-2 2, M. Britton 0-0 0-0 0, Higday 2-5 1-2 5. Totals: 14-42 8-15 40.
    Rainier 14 2 9 11 — 36
    Cascade Christian 9 10 10 11 — 40
    3-point goals — Rainier 2-15 (Thurston 1-2, Coffman 1-3, Crape 0-1, Knox 0-9), Cascade Christian 4-17 (Cochran 2-8, Martinez 1-4, Zimmerer 1-1, Aguilar 0-4). Rebounds — Rainier 41 (Crape 12), Cascade Christian 33 (Zimmerer 6, Higday 6). Assists — Rainier 7 (Knox 3, Brazille 3), Cascade Christian 10 (Martinez 4). Total Fouls — Rainier 13, Cascade Christian 15.
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