Scales scores 18, but North Miami hands 1A, No. 3 Caston first loss
Lady Comets commit 23 turnovers against North Miami’s 2-3 zone
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
DENVER — The Caston girls basketball team’s bid for an undefeated season ended
against a team it beat by 20 points earlier this season.
Kaiden Hanley scored 16 points, and Allison Bowman and Laney Musall added 15 each to lead host North Miami to a 50-44 win over the Class 1A, No. 3 Lady Comets Thursday.
After switching between a man-to-man and a zone early in the game, North Miami settled on a 2-3 zone that advanced closer to halfcourt with seemingly every possession in the second half. With Hanley and Musall on top of the zone, they forced 23 Caston turnovers.
North Miami also made 16 of 19 free throws, including 9 of 11 in the fourth quarter. Bowman went 9 for 10 from the line.
North Miami, who led by as many as nine in the final minute, won their fifth straight game and improved to 15-4. They became just the second team to score 50 or more points in a game against Caston this season. Caston came in allowing just 32 points per game.
Isabel Scales scored a game-high 18 points and added nine rebounds, and Addison Zimpleman added 11 points for Caston (19-1). Bailey Harness contributed nine points and nine rebounds.
Caston had beaten North Miami 49-29 at Maconaquah on Dec. 28 in the first round of the Miami County Invitational.
“They were trapping us, and we didn’t handle it very well,” Caston coach Josh Douglass said. “We worked on it in practice because we knew they run a 1-3-1 trap in the corner, and we worked all week on going against the pressure, and finally late, we went against the pressure, and we scored off it. It was just a mental lapse on the girls’ part, and we struggled against it and didn’t handle it very well.”
There were seven lead changes in the third quarter but none after Musall’s 3-pointer with 35 seconds left in the third gave North Miami a 32-30 lead.
Caston would hang within 36-34 on two Harness free throws and a high post jumper from Kinzie Mollenkopf.
But Hanley kicked out from the foul line to Bowman for a 23-footer for 3, and Bowman later tacked on two free throws to get the lead to seven.
Meanwhile, North Miami’s defense bothered Caston’s ballhandlers.
“At this stage of the game, the girls are buying into stuff,” North Miami coach Lori Working said. “Kaiden Hanley and Laney Musall, the freshman, on top are very active. I wanted to throw something different because coach Douglass is a great coach. We just wanted to put more pressure on the girls.
“As a coach, the flip side of it with Caston is it’s hard to stay on top because everybody’s after you. I told the girls we have nothing to lose tonight. They’re not in our sectional. They’re an awesome team. And I said, ‘Just give me your best effort and play the best ball you can play together as a team.’ And they fed off each other. They were talking constantly. I felt like my girls wanted that victory tonight. It meant a lot to them. They played like it.”
Caston would get the lead down to 48-42 on a Bailey Harness free throw with 21.1 seconds left, but Ellie Musselman would throw a deep inbounds pass over the pressure to Hanley on the other end of the court for a bunny to get the lead to eight.
Caston junior Annie Harsh missed the game due to a right ankle injury. Her leg was in a walking boot. Douglass said holding out Harsh was “precautionary” as he did not want her to teak anything. Asked if Harsh will play against Carroll (Flora) on Tuesday, Douglass said “we’ll see.” With Harsh out, Olivia Thomas saw varsity minutes in the first half, but Douglass did not make a substitution in the second half.
“We talked about being mentally ready to play,” Douglass said. “It’s a team we beat earlier this year pretty soundly, and when you beat somebody like that, it’s hard to get mentally focused and go on the road, and we were not mentally ready to play.”
Neither team led by more than five points in the first half. Caston led 21-16 on two Mollenkopf free throws with 1:29 left, but Musall got a layup on a press breaker, and Bowman, a senior in her third year as North Miami’s starting point guard, hit a trey with eight seconds left to tie it at 21 at halftime.
“Allison Bowman has been off the chart,” Working said. “She puts in a lot of time outside practice, and she’s really got that free throw down, and she’s got that 3-point shot down. … I was a point guard in college, and I told her I’m going to be on to you because I want a lot out of you, and Allison responded to it. She did really well. She controlled the tempo. She attacked the basket and got to the free throw line.”
North Miami also jumped out to a 24-4 lead after one quarter and won the JV game 47-21. Autumn Miller scored eight points, Kylee Logan had seven, Annie Harsh had four, and Thomas and Camila Hernandez-Rios had one each. Logan also had a team-high six rebounds.
North Miami 50, Caston 44
CASTON (44) (19-1)
Macee Hinderlider 0 0-0 0, Isabel Scales 7 4-8 18, Addison Zimpleman 5 0-0 11, Kinzie Mollenkopf 2 2-2 6, Bailey Harness 1 7-10 9, Olivia Thomas 0 0-0 0
TEAM: 15 13-20 44
NORTH MIAMI (50) (15-4)
Allison Bowman 2 9-10 15, Emily Smith 0 0-0 0, Laney Musall 5 3-4 15, Kaiden Hanley 7 2-3 16, Molly Freeman 1 2-2 4, Ellie Musselman 0 0-0 0, Grace Sailors 0 0-0 0, Jordyn Hackworth 0 0-0 0
TEAM: 15 16-19 50
Three-point field goals:
Caston 1 (Zimpleman),
North Miami 4 (Musall 2, Bowman 2)
Total fouls: Caston 16, North Miami 19
Fouled out: Smith (NM), 3:31, fourth
Turnovers: Caston 23, North Miami 17
Score by quarters
Caston 6 15 9 14 – 44
North Miami 5 16 11 18 – 50
JV: North Miami 47, Caston 21