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  • Val T.

Douglass’ 16 leads 3 in double figures, helps Caston beat NM again

Scales adds 15, Zimpleman 14 as Lady Comets hold off Lady Warrior rally


Sports Editor, RTC

Caston senior Addison Zimpleman shoots over North Miami freshman Kayden Donaldson during Thursday’s game. Zimpleman scored 14 points as Caston won 55-46. Caston is 18-1. (photo provided by Dee Brown)

FULTON — One practice was all the Caston girls basketball team had to get over their first loss of the season to Tri-County last week, and one practice was all they appeared to need.

Madi Douglass scored 16 points, Isabel Scales had 15, and Addison Zimpleman had 14 as the Class 1A, No. 2 Lady Comets held off a second-half onslaught from North Miami star Kaiden Hanley in the second half to win 55-46 at home Thursday.

Caston led by as many as 18 points in the third quarter, but North Miami went on an 18-4 run covering the third and fourth quarters and got within 46-42 and 48-44.

But Caston had the answer. Scales hit two free throws with 2:07 left, and after Douglass missed two at the line, Macee Hinderlider made two with 1:28 left.

A cutting layup from Hanley made it 52-46, but a Scales free throw made it a three-possession game and a Douglass transition layup completed the scoring.

Caston allows only 29 points per game to opposing teams – they rank No. 1 in the state – but Hanley knocked down four 3-pointers and scored 28 by herself. Laney Musall added 12.

Caston survived eight turnovers in the fourth quarter in beating the Lady Warriors for the second time this season. They also beat North Miami 40-37 at Peru in the Miami County Invitational title game on Dec. 28.

Caston is 18-1 with a home game against Class 2A, No. 6 Carroll (Flora) awaiting on Tuesday. North Miami fell to 8-10.

“Finally!” Caston coach Josh Douglass said of Madi Douglass’ performance. “It’s been a fight with her trying to stay aggressive, and I’ve talked to (Winamac assistant coach) Jake (Ruff) a lot because they’ve got a pretty good freshman over there at Winamac too (Sadie Popejoy), and what is (coach Tony) Stesiak trying to do to keep her staying aggressive? Because just like Stesiak, we need them to be aggressive because it helps Bel and Addison and the rest of the team out too. So I juts told her, ‘Lock in and be aggressive. You were aggressive in eighth grade. Don’t worry about it. Stay aggressive out here because the team’s going to do better when you’re aggressive too.’”

North Miami started the game in a box-in-one with Musall guarding Scales and the other four defenders playing zone. With Scales, who has scored in double figures in all but one game this season and who scored 19 in the first North Miami game, receiving extra attention, Caston jumped out to a 17-6 lead even though she did not score in the first seven minutes.

Zimpleman hit two 3-pointers and had eight points during the hot start, and four other Caston players scored as well.

A Douglass triple extended the lead to 22-9 in the second quarter, and a Scales turnaround in the post and a Zimpleman 15-footer after two missed free throws by Musall got the lead to 27-13 at halftime.

In the second half, North Miami would eventually scrap the box defense for a 1-3-1 with Hanley on top but not before a Douglass 3-pointer and a Scales layup after a steal made it 36-18.

Caston would lead 42-24 on two Douglass free throws with 1:22 left in the third, but Hanley put back her own miss, and Musall hit a pullup. Kiearra Springer hit two free throws with 22.1 seconds left in the quarter.

A Hanley trey after a Caston turnover to start the quarter got the lead down to nine.

A Douglass transition layup and Scales 15-footer pushed the lead back to 46-34, but Hanley drilled another 3 from the top of the circle, and Musall hit a 3 from the left corner.

Then Hanley, playing at the top of the 1-3-1 defense, got a steal and drove for a layup to cut the lead to four.

“She’s really tough,” Madi Douglass said of Hanley. “She’s really long. She reads the ball really well. She’s a very smart basketball player. She reads your eyes, so you’ve just got to figure a way around her – try to drive, shot-fake her.”

Caston dropped from No. 1 to No. 2 in the Class 1A coaches poll after suffering their first loss to Tri-County on Jan. 11. Due to inclement weather, they did not have another practice until Wednesday.

That might have affected conditioning, and then Hanley caused problems with both her defense and her offense.

“We haven’t been able to practice in a week basically, so you lose that sharpness,” coach Douglass said. “The fatigue set in there, and that’s when your mind goes a little bit. And then pressure of them coming. But Hanley’s a handful up top because she’s so long, so quick and so athletic. She gets her hands on passes that you think are there that aren’t there.

“Honestly, it was good that happened to us because I think we got comfortable, and we came out flat in the third quarter. We weren’t ready to play, and good teams make runs, right? And North Miami is a really good team, and they made a good run at us.”

Caston is now 8-0 when Madi Douglass scores in double figures. Only twice has North MIami allowed more points in a game than the 55 Caston scored in this game.

“I think honestly we moved a little bit better,” Madi Douglass said when asked to compare the two games against North Miami. “We came off that tough loss to Tri-County, and I think we were all motivated to prove something out here tonight and in preparation for sectional because we want to win it.”

Caston also won the two-quarter JV game 18-11. The game was called with 26 seconds left in the second quarter after a North Miami player vomited on the court.

Caston 55, North Miami 46

NORTH MIAMI (46) (8-10)

Emily Smith 0 0-2 0, Victoria Masters 0 0-0 0, Kaiden Hanley 11 2-2 28, Laney Musall 4 2-6 12, Kayden Donaldson 2 0-0 4, Kiearra Springer 0 2-2 2, Brealyn Correll 0 0-0 0

TEAM: 17 6-12 46

CASTON (55) (18-1)

Macee Hinderlider 1 3-4 5, Addison Zimpleman 6 0-0 14, Madi Douglass 6 2-5 16, Isabel Scales 4 7-10 15, Alexa Finke 1 0-0 2, Olivia Thomas 0 1-2 1, Annie Harsh 1 0-0 2

TEAM: 19 13-21 55

Three-point field goals:

North Miami 6 (Hanley 4, Musall 2),

Caston 4 (Douglass 2, Zimpleman 2)

Total fouls: North Miami 18, Caston 11

Turnovers: North Miami 17, Caston 19

Score by quarters

North Miami 8 5 17 16 46

Caston 19 8 15 13 55

JV: Caston 18, North Miami 11

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