Girls win two, fall to Belle Fourche

Jason Ferguson

A strong first half gave way to a Belle Fourche comeback in the second half as the Custer High School girls basketball team fell 59-53 to the visiting Broncs last Saturday afternoon at the Armory.
The Wildcats looked primed for the upset at the outset of the game, storming out to an early lead  largely behind the shooting of Ramsey Karim. Karim started the game on fire, nailing three three-pointers, the latter of which gave Custer a 16-10 lead.
The Wildcats relied on outside shooting to continue to hold onto the lead, while Belle Fourche worked to use its size advantage in the post.
Grace Clooten scored on a basket on which she was fouled and made the free throw, bringing Belle Fourche within one point at 16-15.
Larsen answered right back with an old-fashioned three-point play of her own, which was followed by an Ally Cass three-pointer.
Belle Fourche hit a three-pointer to follow Cass’ three, but Cass answered right back with another triple to put Custer up 25-18 with five minutes left in the first half.
“They came out ready to go. It was really nice to see,” head coach Tobey Cass said. “For a couple of games we were having a harder time hitting and weren’t scoring as many points as we generally do. It was nice to see the girls put it back together, move the ball and get open looks.”
The Broncs outscored the Wildcats by five the rest of the first half, however, including a Lily Nore three-pointer that was answered by another Karim three-pointer.
The Broncs wasted little time taking the lead for the first time early in the third period, doing so via a pair of Mataya Ward free throws, which was followed by Clooten going to work in the post for four unanswered points and an eventual 39-33 Bronc lead.
The Broncs extended the lead to eight at 43-35 after Ward blocked a shot on one end and scored on the other, but Custer cut the lead to four going into the fourth quarter thanks to a runner by Cass and a three-pointer by Cass off an assist from Allie Kelley.
Cass used an assist from her sister, Bailey, to score on a play which she was fouled to keep the Bronc lead to four, but within a minute the Broncs had the lead to 10 points, again putting the game out of reach via baskets in the lane.
Coach Cass said Belle’s dominance in the lane was in part to a new defense the Wildcats just implemented but hadn’t had a lot of time to practice due to the hectic game schedule.
“We got into a different rotation because of fouls. Some of that is on me,” he said. “Belle made some really tough shots.”
Cass led the way for Custer with 23 points, while Karim finished with 12, all scored in the first half.
Last Thursday the Wildcats were at Case Auditorium in Hot Springs, where they took control of the game early and won by double digits, 44-33.
“The girls came out and played tough. Hot Springs is always a more difficult place to play,” Cass said. “They get a big crowd and their student section does a good job.”
Ally Cass was the only Wildcat to reach double figures, scoring 19 points. Alice Sedlacek pulled down 11 rebounds to lead the ’Cats in that department.
On Jan. 31 the Wildcats rebounded from a tough loss to Hill City by traveling to Box Elder and defeating the Douglas Patriots 49-40.
Sedlacek led the scoring charge on the inside on a night where the Wildcats weren’t connecting from outside, as Sedlacek scored 16 points and hit six of seven free throw attempts while also pulling down a game-high 13 rebounds.
The Wildcats dominated the Patriots on the glass, grabbing 45 rebounds to Douglas’ 29. The Wildcats also held the Patriots to 28 percent shooting in the game.
“We’ve really been focusing on that, trying to win the rebounding against teams,” Coach Cass said. “That’s one of the things we have tried to work on, and not just with our inside people—we all have to crash the boards so they only get one shot on offense.”
Tomorrow the Wildcats travel north to take on the dangerous Spearfish Spartans who despite being 5-8 recently took Red Cloud to overtime and upset St. Thomas More.
“They are pretty good. They have lost some tough games to good teams,” Cass said. “Their record is not indicative of what they are. If the girls play their game and take care of the ball, move it around and knock down some shots, it will probably be another close one to the end.”
Tipoff is slated for 6 p.m.
Next Tuesday the Wildcats will get the chance to avenge the earlier loss to Hill City, as they play their second-to-last regular season game on Valentine’s Day at Hill City in a 7 p.m. game.
The Wildcats committed 40 turnovers in the Armory against the Rangers, and Cass believes the Wildcats will be eager to play better this time around.
“It was just one of those where what could go wrong did,” he said. “I think they are going to have a little bit of extra motivation.”
Custer    16    14    10    13    —53
BF    12    15    17    15    —59
Cucster—Allie Kelley 0-2 0-0 0, Ramsey Karim 4-10 0-0 12, JoJo Larsen 4-9 1-3 9, Bailey Cass 1-5 1-2 3, Ally Cass 8-21 4-4 23, Alice Sedlacek 3-7 0-0 6. Totals: 20-54 6-9 53.
Belle Fourche—Reese Larson 1-1 0-0 2, Tia Williamson 2-7 2-2 6, Mataya Ward 3-16 6-8 12, Chloe Crago 5-8 3-5 13, Dylan Stedillie 2-6 0-0 5, Lily Nore 2-3 0-0 5, Grace Glooten 6-9 4-5 16. Totals: 21-50 15-20 59.
Three-point goals: Custer 7 (Karim 4, A. Cass 3), BF 2 (Stedillie, Nore). Rebounding: Custer 22 (Sedlacek 9), BF 33. Steals: Custer 10. Assists: Custer 14, BF 16. Turnovers: Custer 20, BF 19. Total fouls: Custer 18, BF 14.
Custer    7    18    8    11    —44
HS    6    8    9    20    —33
Custer—Allie Kelly 0-1 0-0 0, Ramsey Karim 3-8 0-0 7, Lauryn Robb 0-1 0-0 0, Jordyn Larsen 2-9 0-0 4, Bailey Cass 2-6 0-3 4, Ally Cass 6-18 4-6 19, Alice Sedlacek 3-7 2-2 8, Maya Tennyson 1-1 0-0 2. Totals: 17-51 6-11 44.
Hot Springs—Kambree Maciejewski 0-4 4-4 4, Maggie Preuss 5-17 1-1 11, Maaca Cuny 1-1 0-0 2, Alyssa Koffler 1-2 1-3 3, Abby Kerr 1-5 0-0 2, Izzy Gilbertson 5-14 0-2 11. Totals: 13-43 6-10 33.
Three-point goals: Custer 4 (A. Cass 3, Karim), HS 1 (Gilbertson). Rebounding: Custer 27 (Sedlacek 11), HS 36 (Pruess 10). Steals: Custer 16, HS 12. Assists: Custer 10, HS 9. Turnovers: Custer 23, HS 32. Total fouls: Custer 13, HS 13. Fouled out: none.
Custer    6    14    17    12    —49
Douglas    13    7    6    14    —40
Custer—Allie Kelley 2-4 0-1 6, Ramsey Karim 2-10 0-0 6, JoJo Larsen 0-4 1-3 1, Bailey Cass 2-3 2-2 7, Ally Cass 3-14 3-4 9, Alice Sedlacek 5-10 6-7 16, Maya Tennyson 2-3 0-0 4. Totals: 16-48 12-17 49.
Douglas—Colee Kruse 2-8 1-3 6, Rayna Johnson 4-9 1-2 10, Lezlie Moore 2-6 2-4 7, Bailey Clark 1-3 0-0 3, Olivia Harris 0-2 0-0 0, Keana Walton 5-22 0-2 11, Zoey Janis 1-4 1-2 3. Totals: 15-54 5-15 40.
Three-point goals: Custer 5 (Kelley 2, Karim 2, B. Cass), Douglas 5 (Kruse, Johnson, ooore, Clark, Walton). Rebounding: Custer 45 (Sedlacek 13), Douglas 29. Steals: Custer 12, Douglas 9. Assists: Custer 10, Douglas 8. Turnovers: Custer 24, Douglas 19. Total fouls: Custer 17, Douglas 21. Fouled out: Larsen, A. Cass, Johnson.

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