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Cougars roll into postseason with win over Cle Elum/Roslyn, 64-32

by CASEY MCCARTHY
Staff Writer | February 13, 2020 11:17 PM

WARDEN — Warden girls basketball got the start to the postseason it wanted, picking up the win against Cle Elum/Roslyn at home, 64-32. The Cougars advance to face Zillah on Saturday, again at Warden High School.

What has been a high-octane Cougar offense all season got off to a bit of slow start in the first quarter. The lockdown defense remained steady, however, to open things up as Warden held the Warriors to just four points in the opening eight minutes. Kiana Rios led the attack in the first, finishing with seven of the Cougars’ 12.

“Some girls were out of sorts, some were out of sorts most of the game even,” Warden head coach Josh Madsen said. “That’s about as bad as we’re gonna shoot. Hopefully, we got those out of our system and saved up our good ones for next game.”

Warden led 12-4 heading into the second quarter.

The lid came off for the Cougars in the second quarter and, paired with the continued defensive pressure, helped Warden begin to pull away. It took a pair of baskets in the final minute to push Cle Elum into double figures, with the Cougars taking a 32-11 lead into the half.

Jaryn Madsen led Warden with six points in the second to go with a team-high seven boards in the first half.

Warden kept things going on both ends of the floor coming out of the locker room at the break, stretching out its lead over the Warriors. Jlynn Rios led the Cougars with seven points in the quarter.

The Cougars took a 33-point lead into the fourth at 50-17.

Warden spread out minutes in the fourth, with all eleven players seeing the floor in the quarter. Cle Elum put up their highest scoring quarter of the game, but it wasn’t enough to put a dent in the lead as the undefeated Cougars remained unscathed this season.

Kiana Rios led the Cougars with 18 points, chipping in three assists, two steals and a pair of boards. Jaryn Madsen cleaned up the glass with a team-high 11 rebounds to go with eight points, three steals and three assists.

Freshman Jlynn Rios finished in double figures as well with 11 points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals.

The Warden coach said after the game that nerves played a bigger factor than he expected coming in. One player Josh Madsen said will be helpful in getting past these possible jitters is his transfer senior, Brecka Erdmann.

“She’s gonna be huge, she has been all year,” he said. “She just kind of galvanizes everybody, settle some girls down. I expect her to speak up quite a bit tonight, tomorrow, leading into Saturday because she’s been through this.”

As the push towards a possible perfect season continues, Josh Madsen said keeping the fire going with his players is the least of his worries. Rather, it’s trying to keep his girls from trying to do much on the floor, he said.

“It’s gonna be overboard, where we’re playing too hard, and we pick up stupid fouls or make stupid decisions and make turnovers,” Josh Madsen said.

With most girls, Josh Madsen said, it’s about dialing it back, not bringing more.

Heading into Saturday night’s matchup with second-seeded Zillah, the Cougars head coach expects a dogfight.

“They’re gonna play really hard, we’re gonna play really hard,” he said. “We’ve been prepping, and we’re ready to tip it up.”

Madsen said he knows his team will have to be much sharper than they were Thursday against the Leopards on Saturday, and he expects they will be.

The Cougars tip off at 7 p.m. on Saturday night at Warden High School.

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Casey McCarthy/Columbia Basin Herald Warden head coach Josh Madsen talks with his team during a timeout in the second half of the Cougars’ win over Cle Elum/Roslyn on Thursday.

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Casey McCarthy/Columbia Basin Herald Senior Brecka Erdmann cuts into the lane before stepping back for the floater in the fourth quarter of Warden’s 64-32 win to open up its postseason.

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Casey McCarthy/Columbia Basin Herald Jlynn Rios goes in for the steal against the Cle Elum guard in the first half of the 64-32 win for the Cougars.

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Sophomore Kiana Rios cuts through traffic for the layup in the second half on Thursday night. Rios led the Cougars with 18 points in the win.

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Casey McCarthy/Columbia Basin Herald Freshman Quinn Erdmann locks down her opponent near midcourt in the first quarter of the Cougars’ matchup against the Warriors of Cle Elum on Thursday night.

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Casey McCarthy/Columbia Basin Herald Jaryn Madsen drives in for the scoop and score under the basket in the first half of Warden’s victory over Cle Elum/Roslyn to open SCAC district play for the Cougars.