Cahoon carries Cardinals to semisAllie Cahoon’s three-point shot at the first-half buzzer was the spark that helped Cromwell-Wright charge past rival Carlton 70-62 in a Section 7A second-round girls basketball game last Thursday in Esko.
By: Tyler Korby, Pine Journal
ESKO – Allie Cahoon’s three-point shot at the first-half buzzer was the spark that helped Cromwell-Wright charge past rival Carlton 70-62 in a Section 7A second-round girls basketball game last Thursday in Esko.
With just three seconds left in last week’s opening half, Cahoon, an aggressive 5-foot-5 junior guard, used her right hand to go coast-to-coast before burying a triple atop the key. The hoop gave the Cardinals a 40-31 halftime lead they never lost. More importantly, it gave them the momentum to move on in the playoffs.
“She’s got the ball in her hands a lot,” said Cromwell-Wright Coach Jeff Gronner of Cahoon, who scored a game-best 28 points last week and led all players with 23 more two days later in the Cardinals’ 51-46 quarterfinal win over Barnum. “I ask a lot of her. She handles the ball, usually defends the best player on the other team and, like tonight, she makes a lot of good decisions.”
“If she’s on, her team feeds off of her,” Carlton Coach Lisa Johnson added. “If she’s hitting her shots, pretty soon her teammates are hitting shots and then they get going. Tonight, we couldn’t put the ball in; and we just didn’t get over that hump.”
Clarissa Nelson, Ashley Anderson and Taylor Klassen all scored in double figures for the Bulldogs, as Carlton closed 11-12.
Cahoon said she comes from a basketball family. While father Brett has been playing basketball with Allie since she was 3, her mother, Heather, as well as younger sister and brother, Amber and Cameron, have all played the sport.
Allie said it’s usually her and Cameron versus Dad.
“We all get out and play,” Allie said last week. “My dad and I would always go shoot outside, even in the winter. Basketball is special to me. I’ve loved it ever since I was little.”
Little was wrong with Cahoon’s latest performances. Controlling the ball late in the game, she helped the Cardinals (15-11) avenge earlier season losses to both Carlton and Barnum.
Senior Kayle Johnson, who scored 10 points last week, said Cahoon is a nice fit to an experienced team, starting four seniors.
“She’s a huge asset to this team,” Johnson said. “We’ve been playing with her forever. She’s part of us seniors.”
Johnson said those four seniors – herself, Brittany Johnson, Ann Collman and Christina Stenson – along with much of the team, were in the gym a lot last summer looking to “up” their game.
In a semifinal game Wednesday evening as the Pine Journal went to press, the Cardinals faced top-ranked Mountain Iron-Buhl in Hibbing.
“We’re just trying to go as far as we can go,” Johnson said. “There’s a big group of us girls in town that love basketball. We want it, so we’re just going to try and reach it as best as we can.”