HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL

Cedar Park shuts down Vandegrift for sixth straight win

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It took Cedar Park about one quarter to get going. But once the Lady Timberwolves hit their stride, they were a force to be reckoned with. 

Junior guard Hannah Wheeler hit five 3-pointers and scored a team-high 15 points, the defense held Vandegrift to single-digits in the final three quarters and Cedar Park downed the Lady Vipers 54-28 at home on Tuesday night

“We’re finding different ways to win,” Cedar Park head coach Donny Ott said. “Early in the season, we were beating people up inside. These last two games, we’ve been shooting the ball really well outside and firing on all cylinders.”

In addition to Wheeler’s hot shooting performance, Pujita Shukla had eight points and Callie Copeland added six points for Cedar Park. The bench scored 23 points and is averaging about 15 points a game so far this season. 

For Vandegrift, freshman Skye O’Rourke had 14 points and senior Jen Moore added six. 

“They executed great,” Vandegrift head coach Jonathan Jones said. “There were a couple possessions where we didn’t execute like we wanted to and left some people open. They made some adjustments that made it little harder to score.”

Vandegrift started strong and took a 14-12 lead after the first quarter, but the Cedar Park defense eventually hit another gear and held the Lady Vipers to just 14 points over the next three quarters. 

The Lady Timberwolves had their highest scoring quarter coming out of the locker room, scoring 19 points in the third quarter helped by five 3-pointers. They hit nine shots from behind the arc in the game. 

Both teams head out of town for tournament play this weekend, as the Lady Timberwolves compete in San Marcos this weekend and the Lady Vipers head to Marble Falls to continue non-district play.

“Once we get healthy, I feel like we’re going to be very competitive,” Jones said. “We’ve got some players getting valuable experience. We’ve got a group that plays really hard.”

Last year, Cedar Park had a historic run, finishing a perfect 16-0 in district play and advancing to the regional semifinals, the longest run in school history. 

Ott said his first year in charge, the learning curve was big and the team built on the momentum and success they had as the year went on. This group is already has a much firmer grasp on the system. 

“I hate trying to compare them,” Ott said. “Last year’s team grew because of the learning and experience. This year, they’re further ahead offensively. It’s really hard to replicate what we did. There’s just a feel about this team.”

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