By Jake Thompson
CLAYTON — Cascade ended its five-game winning streak with a thud Tuesday night.
The Cadets scored 13 points in the first half and shot 27 percent for the game as they fell 46-34 to visiting Zionsville.
“We played in some spurts tonight where we did okay,” Cascade coach Don Helmick said. “We are just not setting screens, we are not finishing our shots and teams are just doubling up on (Sydney) Stein and (Brandyce) Sallee and trying to make the other kids score. We had a lot of good looks they just didn’t fall.” Cascade senior Brandyce Sallee scored a game-high 18 points but more importantly became the Cadets’ all-time leading scorer in career history.
“It means a lot but I have to give it all to my teammates,” Sallee said. “Everybody helped me and gave me shots. It feels great but I don’t want to let it go to my head.”
After the score was tied at 4-4, Zionsville led the rest of the way. Seven different players scored as Elizabeth Schuler’s 14 points led the Eagles.
“We knew we really had to defend Sallee,” Zionsville coach Andy Maguire said. “We did a good job of just containing her and not letting her get out in the open. They also missed a lot of shots and that helped us too. I thought they had some good shots, they just didn’t go in.”
Sallee had nine of Cascade’s 13 first half points as the only one who was able to muster any offense for the Cadets.
“She stepped up in the first half. She kept us in the game,” Helmick said. “Tried to make some adjustments at halftime to get some other kids some looks and again we got some open looks and we couldn’t hit.”
Zionsville led 19-13 at halftime and stretched the lead to 36-19 at the end of three. Maguire said it was the Eagles’ best third quarter of the year as they made 7 of 12 shots and limited Cascade to 3 of 12 shooting and six turnovers in the third quarter.
“Our ball movement was really good and it goes back to when you make shots and move the ball, it really looks good,” Maguire said.
Cascade cut the lead to 41-30 on a Katy Copsey layup but it was as close as the Cadets would get in the fourth quarter. It was too little too late.
“That’s kind of been the last six games,” Helmick said. “We’ve been down double digits almost every one of the last six games and we’ve been telling them that one of these games it’s going to catch you and I think tonight it did. It caught them.”
Even in defeat, the night was about Sallee becoming the school’s all-time leading scorer.
Sallee is also a standout softball and volleyball player, heading to Butler next year to continue her softball career. Helmick coaches the Cascade softball team as well and has coached Sallee since first grade. Helmick said he will miss the three-sport athlete next year.
“She’s a player,” he said. “She’ll come in when we’re not supposed to practice and she’ll ask to shoot. And I know and the coaches know that basketball is probably of her three sports, the least favorite. For a kid to put the effort forth that she puts and end up on the ground and knowing that next year she’s playing softball at Butler, that says a lot. That says a lot about her and just her desire to succeed.”
Because of the three different sports and scholarship to Butler, softball takes over during the spring and summer. Helmick, having coached her in basketball and softball, believes she would have had quite a decision if there were more hours in a day.
“She doesn’t play AAU in the summer because that’s softball time,” he said. “If she would have decided to put forth more time in the summer she probably would have had a decision, D-I basketball or D-I softball.”
Even with a softball scholarship wrapped up, basketball was not something she was going to quit.
“Basketball in Indiana is a sport you play all of your life so it’s something I felt like I had to keep with it and keep playing,” Sallee said.