YAKIMA — Few teams have challenged Cascade Christian’s girls basketball team this season like Chelan did Friday in the 1A state tournament quarterfinals.
From the beginning, the Goats – members of the Caribou Trail League that has been called the toughest 1A league in the state – never let Cascade Christian get into an offensive rhythm and cruised past the Cougars, 51-24, in the SunDome.
The loss sends the Cougars (21-2) into today’s 9 a.m. consolation game against Connell; the Goats (20-5) move on to today’s 3:45 p.m. semifinal against Castle Rock (25-0).
Chelan jumped to a 10-point lead after the first quarter and expanded it to 26-12 at halftime.
“We put ourselves in a hole right away, and we knew we had to give it everything,” said senior guard Kaycee Creech, who led the Cougars with nine points and seven rebounds. “There was no second-guessing ourselves.”
And there was no doubting the quality of the Goats, who were one of three teams from the Caribou Trail League – along with Okanogan and Brewster – that qualified for the state tournament.
Chelan was led by junior Abby Phelps, who had 20 points and 13 rebounds by halftime and finished with 24 points and 16 boards.
“That’s a career for some kids,” Cascade Christian coach Bryan Peterson said.
The Cougars shot 18 percent (8-for-43) from the field and were outrebounded 54-33. Chelan grabbed 26 offensive rebounds, which turned into 28 points.
Peterson said Chelan – along with Lynden Christian, which handed the Cougars their first loss in the 1A Tri-District title game – played with an aggression, especially along the perimeter, that his team was not used to.
“It was hard to get the shots that you need to get,” Peterson said.
Trailing by double digits was also a new experience for the Cougars after going 20-0 during the regular season.
Creech, the 1A Nisqually League’s player of the year, didn’t hit her first field goal until 5 minutes, 36 seconds remained in the first half. She finished 3 of 10 from the field.
Phelps had a quiet second half, but her teammates more than made up for it, as the Goats took their biggest lead of the game – 49-20 – with about four minutes to play. Courtney Dietrich, after missing her first six shots of the game, had nine points and 16 rebounds, and Emily Schramm had six of her eight points in the second half for Chelan.Meg Wochnick: 360-754-5473 firstname.lastname@example.org theolympian.com/southsoundsports @megwochnick