Rejiyah Burley led the way for the Lady Colonels with 25 points — 19 in the second half — and Ashley Huskins dropped in 17 points to power Cass to the victory in girls high school basketball.
Head coach Jamie Horton complimented the Lady Colonels for the manner in which they claimed their fourth win of the season against two losses.
“I have my hat off to the girls,” Horton said. “They played real hard. The first two and a half quarters we missed a lot of layups [and] turned the ball over a lot. For some reason we got a fire lit under us and we decided we wanted to play the last quarter and a half. It was a good comeback win.
“I thought LaFayette executed their game plan very well. They spread us out. We couldn’t play a zone so we had to go to a man-to-man and that was the difference.”
The two teams played on even terms early as Huskins opened scoring with a trey just over two minutes into the affair. Chelsea Ludy answered with a trey for LaFayette, a cross-region foe, and Shayla Ludy added two points with a layup for a 5-3 lead. Burley then sank a bucket to tie the game up at 5-all with 4:25 still showing on the first-quarter clock.
A minute later Shayla Ludy added two points to push LaFayette to a 7-5 lead. The Lady Ramblers closed the quarter with a 7-4 run and carried a 14-9 lead into the next frame.
The Lady Ramblers outscored Cass 8-2 to open the second quarter and go up 22-11. Hannah Kirkpatrick, Burley and Esmeralda Thomas added a bucket each to close to 22-17, but LaFayette answered with a 9-5 run and held a 31-22 lead when they went to the halftime break.
Cass opened the second half with three quick buckets against two points for LaFayette and closed the score to 33-27 just over two minutes into the third quarter. The Lady Ramblers stepped up their pressure and netted three quick turnovers from Cass on successive plays and held a 12-point lead, 43-31, with just over three minutes remaining in the frame.
Cass answered with a 6-0 run and the two teams were separated by just six points when the quarter closed with a 43-37 score.
A 3-pointer and a free throw by Imani Whitfield, a bucket by Huskins, a putback by Burley and a bucket by Savanna Hutchins helped Cass close to 51-47 at the 3:48 mark of the final frame.
Huskins tacked a bucket on and two free throws by Burley earned Cass a 51-51 tie with 1:25 remaining.
Cass’s Jana Morning then intercepted a Lady Rambler pass under the Lady Colonels’ basket, where she was quickly fouled. She sank both free throws and Cass held its second lead of the long night, 53-51, with 1:14 remaining.
Burley got into the thievery act next by stealing the ball from a Lady Rambler and sank her 2-point shot for a 55-51 lead. Huskins was fouled a minute later and hit a free throw to stretch Cass’s lead by a point. Burley took the next four foul shots, hitting two of them, and LaFayette hit a bucket to close out scoring at 58-53.
Horton noted Burley was a big factor in the victory.
“During a timeout near the end of the third quarter, you could see in her eye that ‘I’m not letting this happen’ and she stepped up and didn’t let it happen,” he said.
He also cited Huskins’ play.
“She got in a little foul trouble right there at the end, but she rebounded and made some big shots for us,” he said.
Also scoring for Cass were Hutchins, 4; Whitfield, 4; Kelsey Wright, 2; Kirkpatrick, 2; Thomas, 2; and Morning, 2.
The Lady Colonels next play Saturday, Dec. 14, when they entertain cross-county rival Woodland.
LaFayette, which dropped to 3-2 with the loss, next plays Trion on Friday.