NO. 14 CASHION - 39
Cashion Head Coach Andrea Taylor said she felt like her team was out of sorts Thursday night against Merritt in the Class 2A Area 4 Sub-Regional game. The LadyCats were making mistakes that they aren’t accustomed to making. Last season in this game, the LadyCats collapsed late in a 51-41 to No. 10 Hollis, sending them to the must-win game the next night. Thankfully for Cashion, Lauren Lamb played her best game of the season, scoring a career-high 18 points on a night the LadyCats needed a boost.
Lamb scored seven points in the first half, four of them coming in the second quarter to help Cashion take a 22-18 lead into halftime. In the third, Lamb erupted for seven points in the quarter, giving the LadyCats a 33-26 lead heading into the final quarter.
Merritt would close the gap to three points with 3:42 to play after hitting back-to-back three-pointers. The Oilerettes wouldn’t score again for the rest of the game. Lamb would be the only player to score in the final three minutes of action, knocking down two key free-throws and a breakaway layup to seal the win for Cashion.
“Lauren was great tonight,” Taylor said. “We were a little frazzled on offense and we did silly things that we normally wouldn’t do with some turnovers and missing some easy shots. Merritt was face guarding our other two guards and sagging off of Lauren and she took the opportunity and ran with it.”
Neeley Tilley-Bedick also was a spark for the LadyCats, she scored all nine of her points in the first half, each shot seeming to go in at the right time to remain the momentum.
With the win the LadyCats will now turn their attention towards No. 2 Silo, who they will square off with tonight at Boone-Apache at 6:30 p.m. Silo has only lost two games on the year and will be one of the toughest teams Cashion has faced this season. A win or a loss tonight doesn’t matter for Cashion, they will advance to the Area Tournament next weekend no matter what. That gives the LadyCats a chance to play loose and free and try and pull off the upset.
“We have nothing to lose against Silo,” Taylor said. “We will be playing next weekend thanks to this win. Now we get to go play Saturday and let it all hang out. If we can play with Dale (High School), we can play with anybody.”