Scales scores 18 as Lady Comets beat nemesis North White
Caston commits just 5 turnovers, holds NW’s Spry, Robertson without FG in second half
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
FULTON — Isabel Scales scored a game-high 18 points and hailed down nine rebounds, and Addison Zimpleman hit a pair of 3-pointers and added 11 points to lead the Class
1A, No. 9 Caston girls basketball team to a 45-34 win over sectional rival North White on Nov. 11.
Tessa Robertson led the visiting Lady Vikings with 13 points, and Abigale Spry added 10. But neither Robertson nor Spry had a field goal in the second half, and neither scored at all in the fourth quarter.
Caston improved to 4-0. No. 19 North White dropped to 0-2.
Robertson and Spry are North White’s two returning starters and top two returning scorers from last year’s team, which won the school’s first ever regional title. During their tournament run, they beat Caston in the sectional final and later won the regional on Caston’s home court.
Caston’s only two losses to a fellow Class 1A team last year were to North White. Also, Caston had been 1-11 in their previous 12 games against North White coming into this game.
This time was different.
“It means a lot,” Zimpleman said. “We came out in warmups, and we knew that we were not getting beat on our home court. There was a lot of emotion, I guess you could say, but this game is real big because it kind of sets the tone the rest of the season, but also now we could look forward to our sectional as well to see what we did tonight and apply it to our sectional as well.”
While Kinzie Mollenkopf did not score, coach Josh Douglass was quick to credit her defense on Robertson and Zimpleman’s defense on Spry.
“Total team effort,” Douglass said. “Every girl that stepped on that floor tonight was tremendous, locked in, ready to play.”
Caston took the lead for good at 14-12 on a Scales putback bucket with 1:47 left in the first quarter. Bailey Harness, who contributed nine points, hit a 3-pointer off a Scales assist that came about after another offensive rebound to get the lead to 17-12 after one quarter.
“That was a big key in that first quarter,” North White coach Bryan Heimlich said of Caston’s offensive rebounding. “We were getting them to miss a shot, but they were getting second and third opportunities. I thought probably, they scored 17, and I think probably 14 or 15 of those were on second-chance opportunities. … We just didn’t rebound very well in that first half.”
Buoyed by Macee Hinderlider’s buzzer-beating 3-pointer at halftime, which she got off on an inbounds play with 0.9 seconds left and confirmed by an official’s discussion, Caston led 28-20 at halftime.
“She has no fear,” Douglass said. “She was open. She drilled it. It was a great shot.”
A Scales steal and bucket just 23 seconds into the second half got the lead to 30-20, and the margin stayed in double digits for the remainder. Caston led by as many as 15 in the fourth quarter.
Heimlich called Scales an “unbelievable athlete” afterwards.
Meanwhile, Caston protected the ball throughout. They committed only five turnovers as compared to North White’s 13 and forced North White to get out of its trademark 2-3 zone and play a man-to-man defense in the fourth quarter.
“It’s a key focus,” Douglass said. “We have a goal of 10 or less every game. I thought the girls did an excellent job. We knew in that zone, he sits in that zone, and we had six girls out there in practice last night to work against it, and I got on them pretty hard when we were throwing the ball away last night in practice. So the girls all came in focused, and they all took care of the ball really well.”
Heimlich switched to a man-to-man because he feared Caston would simply hold the ball if North White stayed in a zone. Still, Caston was secure with the ball.
“They do a good job because they’ve got a lot of ballhandlers,” Heimlich said. “They can spread you out once you go man.”
Caston 45, North White 34
NORTH WHITE (34) (0-2)
Katie Stevens 2 0-0 5, Abigale Spry 2 4-4 10, Kaylyn Applegate 0 0-0 0, Callie Hunt 0 2-2 2, Tessa Robertson 5 3-4 13, Morgan Carter 0 0-0 0, Autumn Reif 1 2-4 4
TEAM: 10 11-14 34
CASTON (45) (4-0)
Isabel Scales 7 4-4 18, Addison Zimpleman 3 3-4 11, Macee Hinderlider 1 0-2 3, Bailey Harness 4 0-2 9, Kinzie Mollenkopf 0 0-0 0, Annie Harsh 1 1-2 4
TEAM: 16 8-14 45
Three-point field goals:
North White 3 (Spry 2, Stevens),
Caston 5 (Zimpleman 2, Harness, Harsh, Hinderlider)
Total fouls: North White 13, Caston 14
Turnovers: North White 13, Caston 5
Score by quarters
North White 12 8 6 8 – 34
Caston 17 11 8 9 – 45