In a matchup that had all the makings of a trap game, Henley girls basketball (19-1, 6-0 Skyline Conference) took control with an 18-point second quarter and withstood a late comeback attempt to claim a 51-41 win at 3A Cascade Christian (16-7, 11-1 Far West League) Saturday.
The Hornets, ranked No. 2 in 4A by the OSAA computer rankings, were playing back-to-back games for the first time since playing three in a row at the Sisters Shootout Dec. 28-30. They were facing a Challengers team that they had beaten 69-48 in the opening round of the Yreka Invitational Nov. 30 but that entered Saturday’s game ranked No. 11 in 3A and hadn’t played since Wednesday. Additionally, the matchup fell toward the tail end of the league slate with Henley one win away from clinching the Skyline Conference championship.
While Cascade Christian did give the Hornets a tougher game than most of their opponents have this season, it never felt like the Hornets were at serious risk of losing. The Challengers took their only lead of the day on an Isabel McCauley three that put them up 9-7 with 1:03 left in the first quarter, but Annie Campos hit a floater with 36 seconds remaining to make it 9-9 heading into the second.
Henley went on a 7-1 run over the first 1:46 of the second quarter, prompting Cascade Christian to call a timeout. The Hornets extended the lead to 23-15 with 1:45 to go in the first half, and Campos made a buzzer-beating layup from an odd angle and through contact to give them a 27-21 lead at halftime after the Challengers drew within four points.
Henley held Cascade Christian to one point in the opening 4:27 of the third quarter and took a 42-28 lead into the fourth, but the Challengers chipped away until a pair of free throws from McCauley got them back within six points at 46-40 with 3:16 remaining in the game. Cascade Christian had a chance to cut the lead down further after Henley came up empty on their next possession, but a Bayli Ladner steal eventually led to a Senia Campos three that put the Hornets up 49-40 with 1:51 to go. Senia Campos also made a putback layup with 50 seconds left for Henley’s final points.
Once again, the Hornets proved they can win a rock fight. Their 51 points was the second fewest they’ve scored all season, behind only the 46 they scored in their win over 3A Banks at the Sisters Shootout Dec. 30.
Annie Campos led Henley with 16 points, 5 steals, 2 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 blocks; Jewell Northcutt had 11 points, 5 rebounds and 3 steals; Senia Campos had 9 points and 4 rebounds; Lily Fussell had 7 points and a team-high 6 rebounds; Bayli Ladner had 4 points and 2 rebounds; Prestyn Schade had 2 points, a team-high 6 steals, 5 rebounds and 2 assists; and Kennedi Modin had 2 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists.
For Cascade Christian, Isabel McCauley had 17 points (including 8 in the fourth quarter), Jordynn Jones had 10, Angelica Arce had 6 (including 5 in the first quarter), Emma Coats had 5, Carsyn Sousa had 2 and Grace McCauley had 1.
Cascade Christian head coach Jeff Roberson, who’s guided the Challengers to their most wins since the 2011-12 season this year, was absent for Saturday’s game. JV head coach Monte Coley filled in for him.
Henley travels to Klamath Union (13-2, 4-1 Skyline Conference) at 6 p.m. Feb. 16 with a chance to secure their second straight league title.