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No. 9 Cub girls romp past Rams

Nevada’s Abby Stephenson starts to put up a shot over Greene County’s Hannah Onken during the No. 9 Cubs’ 65-26 Class 3A regional quarterfinal victory over the Rams Saturday in Nevada.
Nevada’s Abby Stephenson starts to put up a shot over Greene County’s Hannah Onken during the No. 9 Cubs’ 65-26 Class 3A regional quarterfinal victory over the Rams Saturday in Nevada.
Claire Ausman spots up for a 3-pointer in the corner early in Nevada’s regional victory over Greene County.
Claire Ausman spots up for a 3-pointer in the corner early in Nevada’s regional victory over Greene County.
Alli Fey
Alli Fey
The Nevada bench celebrates a 3-point field goal by Holly Coogler late in their 3A regional victory over Greene County.
The Nevada bench celebrates a 3-point field goal by Holly Coogler late in their 3A regional victory over Greene County.
Christine Ausman
Christine Ausman
Kati Cassabaum
Kati Cassabaum

NEVADA – It was deja vu when Nevada faced Greene County in the Class 3A regional quarterfinals Saturday at the Nevada High School Field House.

The Cubs crushed Greene County at home last Monday to close out the regular season, and Saturday it was more of the same as they raced out to a huge early lead and coasted to a 65-26 victory.

During its regular season finale, Nevada outscored Greene County 33-8 in the second half on its way to a 56-25 victory. On Saturday, the Cubs continued that momentum by racing out to a 14-0 lead and leading by as many as 28 points in the first half.

“We still had a lot of momentum from that win (at the end of the regular season),” Nevada senior forward Emma Lodestein said. “We knew beating a team three times was going to be hard, so we came out really strong and really confident.”

Lodestein helped key an efficient inside-outside game for Nevada.

In Nevada’s half-court sets, Lodestein frequently popped out to the free throw line to get the ball. Once Lodestein had possession she’d either dump the ball inside to center Kati Cassabaum or kick it out to sharpshooters Jessica Helton, Megan Pringnitz, Alli Fey and Claire Ausman on the perimeter.

The end result was an overpowering attack. Nevada drained 12 3-pointers and shot 51 percent from the field. The Cubs ended up with 22 assists on 25 field goals.

“We really worked on that in practice,” Lodestein said. “Passing to Kati was our big focus tonight.”

Lodestein finished with five points, seven assists, six rebounds and five steals. Cassabaum finished with 10 points on a perfect 5 of 5 shooting night and she also swatted away eight shots and pulled down eight rebounds.

Taking advantage of the 6-0 Cassabaum inside may have been the game plan, but it was the 3-point shooting that killed Greene County.

Helton and Pringnitz both made five 3-pointers for Nevada. Helton finished with a game-high 21 points after burning the Rams for 20 points last Monday.

“We’ve been shooting a lot in practice,” Helton said. “Both Megan and I were on, so that helped us a lot.”

Helton went 5 of 7 and Pringnitz ended up 5 of 9 from downtown. Both players performed with the urgency needed to get wins in the postseason as the Cubs, ranked No. 9 in 3A, eye a trip to state.

“I just know it could be my last game at any time,” Helton said. “I just want to play the best I can.”

In addition to her scoring, Helton finished with one assist and one block. Pringnitz dished out four assists and pulled down three rebounds and fellow senior Christine Ausman batted down four shots.

“The girls were very focused throughout the week,” Nevada head coach Kristin Meyer said. “We’re just happy to get to play another day. Now we’ll have two practices to get ready for (Kuemper Catholic). We need to come out focused, look at our scouting report and take care of business. Our girls are ready for it – they’re excited for the post season.”

Nevada will take an 18-4 record into its regional semifinal matchup with Kuemper Catholic (14-8).

Greene County finished the season at 9-13. Kayla Mobley and Stacy Mears both scored eight points in a losing effort for the Rams.

Nevada 65, Greene County 26

GC 4 10 10 2 – 26

N 20 16 14 15 – 65

Greene County (26) – Emma Saddoris 0-0 0-0 0, Thea Ballard 0-0 0-0 0, Allie Stoline 0-1 0-0 0, Tressa Rasmussen 0-1 0-0 0, Abby Bravard 0-2 0-0 0, Stacy Mears 2-6 2-2 8, Marissa Promes 1-2 0-0 2, Emily Christensen 1-4 0-0 2, Jolee Wessling 0-3 0-0 0, Kayla Mobley 4-16 0-2 8, Hannah Onken 2-9 2-4 6. Totals: 10-46 4-8 26. 3-point field goals (2): Mears 2. Rebounds (25): Onken 8. Assists (7): Onken 3. Steals (6): Mears 3. Blocks (2): Christensen, Mobley.

Nevada (65) – Claire Ausman 1-5 0-0 2, Abby Stephenson 0-2 0-0 0, Holly Coogler 1-1 0-0 3, Megan Pringnitz 5-9 0-0 15, Emma Lodestein 2-4 1-2 5, Raegan Saunders 1-3 0-0 2, Alli Fey 2-6 0-0 5, Tanner Messerli 0-0 0-0 0, Jessica Helton 7-12 2-2 21, Izzy Kapustka 0-0 0-0 0, Kati Cassabaum 5-5 0-0 10, Amaris Hornbuckle 0-1 0-0 0, Christine Ausman 1-1 0-0 2. Totals: 25-49 3-4 65. 3-point field goals (12): Pringnitz 5, Helton 5, Coogler, Fey. Rebounds (33): Cassabaum 8. Assists (22): Lodestein 7. Steals (11): Lodestein 5. Blocks (14): Cassabaum 8.

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