Top-seeded Cache is making this look easy.
One night after dismantling Wellston 85-37, the Lady Bulldogs were expected to have a much tougher time against Bethel in Tuesday’s semifinal contest at the 34th Bertha Frank Teague Mid-America Classic.
Instead, the Lady Bulldogs’ path of destruction toward a possible Mid-America championship continued in the form of a surprisingly easy 73-44 win over the tradition-rich Class 3A powerhouse.
Cache (6-2) took control early after Bethel wasn’t able to slow down the Lady Bulldogs' patented inside-outside offense featuring Hunter Duvall roaming the paint and sharpshooter Lindsey Carter sinking 3-pointers from NBA range in the midst of a superb all-around game.
“We got some good bumps off early off of our press and got the ball inside. I really think ball movement and unselfishness played a big role in the way the game started off,” Cache head coach Brett Sanders said.
In fact, Carter and Duvall had 19 of their team’s first 25 points to help the Lady Bulldogs bolt to a 25-9 lead with 5:41 left before the intermission.
“Honor did a good job of working the post from block to block and then some threes started going in and our offense really got going,” Sanders said.
Bretlin Sanders — Brett’s senior daughter — scored the final seven points of the second quarter to boost the Lady Bulldogs to a comfortable 32-16 lead at the break.
Cache scored seven straight points to open the third quarter when Duvall muscled in a basket, Katelynn Martine sank two free throws and Carter hit a trifecta with just over seven minutes showing to put the Lady Bulldogs on top 39-16.
The Cache lead grew to 31 points at 64-33 on the strength of a 3-point basket by Sanders with just under five minutes to play.
“I have trust in all my girls out there and all of them can shoot the trey,” Sanders said.
Carter was the hottest on this night, finishing with a game-high 19 points. She hit a trio of 3-pointers, grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds and had three steals and three assists.
“She’s just a pure shooter. She can shoot from 25 (feet),” said Sanders about Carter’s long-range shooting capabilities. “And she’s getting better with her passing, and her defense has gotten better. She’s turned into a fine basketball player.”
Duvall complimented Carter’s big game with 17 points on 8-of-10 shooting and seven rebounds. Bretlin Sanders added 14 points while Katelynn Martine also hit double digits with 23 in the balanced Lady Bulldog attack.
Despite an off shooting night (5-of-16), Sami Martin led Bethel (5-1) with 12 points while Taylor Cooper had a double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds.
Cache now faces Calumet in tonight’s Mid-America title game, set to tip off at 8 p.m. inside East Central’s Kerr Center. Calumet — 12-2 and ranked No 2 in Class A — edged Anadarko 50-48 in the other semifinal contest.
“They’re a very well-coached, disciplined basketball team. We’re going to have to come play some basketball,” Sanders said. “(Coach Tyler Snowden) does a great job with them. It’s one of these games where we’ve got to come ready to play.”
Meanwhile, Bethel will face the Lady Warriors in tonight’s 6:30 p.m. third place contest.