Brooke’s 3-point play, steal help Pioneer stave off Caston comeback, win 4th straight Cass County
Smith’s 4th quarter scoring outburst not enough avoid 10th straight loss Lady Comet loss to Lady Panthers
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
LOGANSPORT — Pioneer junior guard Ashlynn Brooke works on making shots while absorbing contact, and she showed off her hard work in the Cass County Invitational championship game against Caston at the Berry Bowl at Logansport High School Saturday.
Brooke scored a game-high 33 points, including the go-ahead 3-point play with 57.6 seconds left, and also stole a crucial inbounds pass with her team clinging to a two-point lead with 6.6 seconds left as the Pioneer girls basketball team edged Caston 59-55.
After Brooke stole the inbounds pass, she was fouled and hit two clinching free throws with 3.5 seconds left. Brooke made 11 of 14 free throws for the game, and Pioneer went 9 for 9 as a team in the fourth quarter.
Hailey Cripe added 22 points for the Lady Panthers, who improved to 6-1 and won the Cass County title for the fourth straight year. They also defeated Caston for the 10th straight time.
Brooke was named tournament MVP. Cripe and teammate Brooklyn Borges were named to the all-tournament team.
“I’m glad we’re having these types of games at the beginning of the season because that’s going to prepare us at the end of the season, right?” Pioneer coach Jeff Brooke said. “Where we can learn now and be able to apply that later on. Caston’s a great team. … They’ve got some great guards.”
Maddi Smith scored 20 points to lead Caston. She outscored the entire Pioneer team 14-13 in the fourth quarter using a variety of post moves and dribble drives to the basket.
“The Smith girl just took over in that fourth quarter,” coach Brooke said. “She gets low. She gets that base, and she’s able to really extend and get up over our bigs.”
Bailey Harness added 13, and Addison Zimpleman scored all 10 of her points in the second half for Caston.
Harness and Isabel Scales, who had six points, eight rebounds and six assists, represented Caston on the all-tournament team.
Pioneer improved to 6-1. Caston, ranked No. 13 in Class 1A, fell to 6-2.
Pioneer led by as many as 18 points in the third quarter and still led 46-31 going into the fourth quarter. That’s when Caston countered with a 16-0 run and took a 47-46 lead when Smith scored in the post.
“We have it in us,” Caston coach Josh Douglass said. “We just have to believe in ourselves.”
Cripe hit two free throws with 2:03 left and two more at the 1:36 mark. Pioneer led 50-47.
Smith scored in the post and was fouled but missed the free throw with 1:24 left.
But after a miss, Harness scored in transition to give Caston a 51-50 lead with 1:03 left.
Brooke then drove and made contact with Scales and got the off-balance banker to drop as she was fouled. She hit the free throw to give Pioneer a 53-51 lead.
“We set it up, and I knew I was going to get it, so I wanted to take it myself,” Ashlynn Brooke said. “I trusted myself to get it in, and as soon as I hit Isabel, I had to control my body and throw it up, and the emotion came out. Cripe came over and chest-bumped. I’m glad it went in.”
A Cripe steal and layup extended the lead to four, but Smith countered with a basket with 29.8 seconds left to keep Caston within 55-53.
Brooke hit two free throws, but Smith scored again in the post and was fouled. She missed the free throw attempting to complete a 3-point play.
Pioneer called timeout with 9.9 seconds left. Kylie Attinger was called for traveling with 6.6 seconds left.
Caston had a chance to tie or win the game. But Brooke made her defensive play.
“It’s a brand new play we put in,” Caston coach Josh Douglass said. “It didn’t win or lose the game. Basically, what that was, though, was a one-on-one for Maddison (Smith). I felt that’s where our advantage was. And she needed to walk into the girl just a touch and pop out. And then it’s cleared out and it’s one-on-one to the basket where I think we score or maybe get fouled on it. … Didn’t happen. Didn’t work. Pioneer jumped it really, really well. We just missed a bounce pass because we had two girls wide open on the back side of it. That’s basketball though.”
Caston jumped out to an 8-2 lead in the first quarter, but Ashlynn Brooke’s 3-pointer at the first quarter buzzer – she was fouled on the play but missed the ensuing free throw trying for a four-point play – triggered a 19-4 Pioneer run to close out the half.
Cripe scored 10 points in the second quarter while also holding Scales to two points in the first half defensively.
Pioneer led 27-22 in the third quarter before an Ashlynn Brooke shooting show highlighted a 15-2 run – a right baseline pullup, a crossover from 17 feet, a pullup 17-footer, a driving layup and a 3-pointer from the right wing.
The lead was 42-24 before Zimpleman finally quelled the run with a trey.
Pioneer senior guard Macee Baker missed the game due to a concussion.
Logansport topped Lewis Cass 45-38 in the consolation game.
Caston won the JV girls tournament with a 24-16 win over Logansport.
Pioneer 59, Caston 55
PIONEER (59) (6-1)
Ashlynn Brooke 10 11-14 33, Hailey Cripe 7 6-7 22, Makenna Strycker 0 0-0 0, Brooklyn Borges 1 0-0 2, Kylie Attinger 1 0-0 2, Gracie Hopper 0 0-0 0, Mandee Weisenburger 0 0-0 0, Maggie Steffel 0 0-0 0
TEAM: 19 17-21 59
CASTON (55) (6-2)
Isabel Scales 0 6-6 6, Addison Zimpleman 4 0-0 10, Bailey Harness 4 5-8 13, Maddi Smith 6 8-12 20, Abby Williamson 2 0-0 4, Laura Dammermann 1 0-0 2, Brianna Yarber 0 0-0 0, Kinzie Mollenkopf 0 0-0 0
TEAM: 17 19-26 55
Three-point field goals:
Pioneer 4 (Brooke 2, Cripe 2),
Caston 2 (Zimpleman 2)
Total fouls: Pioneer 21, Caston 17
Fouled out: Borges (PIO), 2:20, fourth; Zimpleman (CAS), :3.5, fourth
Turnovers: Pioneer 14, Caston 16
Score by quarters
Pioneer 9 16 21 13 – 59
Caston 12 4 15 24 – 55
Consolation: Logansport 45, Lewis Cass 38