LYNDEN - Cascade Christian's perimeter-based attack was largely fruitless through the first three quarters against Mount Baker.
Unfortunately, there are four quarters in a basketball game.
After converting on just six of its first 20 attempts from beyond the arc through three quarters, the Cougars' girls' basketball team went 5 of 6 from 3-point range in the fourth to pull away from the Mountaineers for a 60-35 win at the Cloud 9 Sports Christmas Classic basketball tournament Friday, Dec. 27, at Lynden Christian High School.
"We got caught leaving people open and we got caught not guarding people," said Mount Baker coach Brenda Ellis. "They had great shooters, and they hit some great shots. We just weren't able to get out in their faces."
Cascade Christian held a 37-27 lead entering the fourth, but two 3-pointers by Katie Rozumny and one by both Tristen Coltom and Olivia Tuttle in the first three minutes left Mount Baker facing a 14-point deficit it couldn't come back from. Rozumny paced the Cougars with 13 points, including shooting a perfect 3 of 3 from 3-point range, and Tuttle added 12.
The Mountaineers' performance was just days removed from Ellis deciding to make a switch to a more perimeter-oriented defense. It's still a work in progress, she said.
"We're just trying to match up a little more on the perimeter and not leave girls open," Ellis said.
The end of the game was reminiscent to the start when Mount Baker fell behind 10-2 after missing its first nine shots from the field. A late 3-pointer from Kylee Engholm brought Mount Baker to within 14-5 at the end of the first before the Cougars tacked on two more to take an 11-point lead into the second.
It wasn't until the latter part of the second where Mount Baker's offense started to gain some traction, mainly due to the post play of junior Emily Yost. Yost finished the game with team-highs of 15 points and 23 rebounds, helping make up for the absence of fellow 5-foot-10 post Emily Brandland, who was not available for the tournament.
Yost accounted for six of the Mountaineers' eight points in the second quarter, but her biggest impact was felt on the defensive end where she held the Cougars' Savanna Hunter to just six points on seven attempts. Hunter finished the game with 13 points and nine rebounds.
"Emily fought hard," Ellis said.
The third quarter was reminiscent of the second, with Mount Baker's guards filtering the ball down low to Yost. The junior post didn't account for a single shot, but went a perfect 6-for-6 from the free-throw line while getting Hunter into early foul trouble.
"My teammates did a good job feeding me the ball when I was down low, and that helped me a lot," Yost said.
After a pair of free throws by Yost midway through the third, Mount Baker had trimmed Cascade Christian's lead to just two points, 29-27. Back-to-back 3-pointers by Tuttle and Rozumny and a layup by Hunter in consecutive possessions quickly snuffed out any attempt of a comeback Ellis and her squad had conjured by pulling the game to within two.
"I just don't think it was a real good showing for us," said Ellis of her team's overall play.
Emma Lallas scored five of her seven points in the pivotal run in the third while adding five rebounds, two assists and a steal.
Reach Alex Bigelow at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 360-715-2238. Follow @bhamsports on Twitter for other Whatcom County sports updates.
CASCADE CHRISTIAN 60, MOUNT BAKER 35
Cascade Ch. 14 6 17 23- 60
Mount Baker 5 8 14 8 - 35
Away: Julia Inderbitzin 3, Savanna Hunter 13, Katie Rozumny 13, Olivia Tuttle 12, Brooke Turnstall 1, Tristen Coltom 11, Hayley Brandner 2, Holly Suggs 3, Vanessa Beane 2. Team totals: 22-63 5-8 63.
Mount Baker:Jessica Baisden 0, Emma Lallas 7, Korrinna Camacho 2, Emily Yost 15, Rayedeen Engels 2, Emmy Cline 5, Kylee Engholm 3, Sarah Cline 1, Alyssa Linderman 0. Team totals: 9-51 14-21 35.
3-ptg: Cascade Christian 11 (Tuttle 4), Mount Baker 3 (Engholm, Emmy Cline, Lallas 1). Rebounds: Cascade Christian 35 (Hunter 9), Mount Baker (Yost 23). Assists: Cascade Christian (Coltom 3), Mount Baker (Baisden 3). Fouls: Cascade Christian 16 (NA), Mount Baker 8 (NA). Turnovers: Cascade Christian 11, Mount Baker 14.