A victory that hurts

CLYDE – Amanda Cahill didn’t look like someone who’d just poured in 29 points and led her team to a big win against one of the areas best teams.

Instead, the Clyde star fought back tears.

Her father, Fliers’ coach John Cahill, said he’d gladly give back his team’s 60-44 win over Bellevue – one that improved his No. 1 state-ranked team to 14-0 – if it meant Lexi Weber would be OK.

It was billed as a matchup not only between two of the area’s best teams, but also of its two best players – Cahill and Bellevue’s Carly Santoro.

Instead, the game lacked the drama most expected, at least on the court.

The Fliers’ biggest concern after their 60-44 win over Bellevue was the condition of their starting point guard, who appeared to suffer a knee injury in the first quarter after being fouled going to the hoop.

Weber was down for several minutes, and eventually John Cahill had to carry her off the court.

“I don’t think we’ll know anything until (today),” John Cahill said after the game. “Obviously it wasn’t good the way she went down. And I would gladly let Bellevue win and have her crying – healthy – that we lost.”

“She’s our point guard and one my best friends,” Amanda Cahill said. “I’m just praying it’s not anything too serious.”

Amanda Cahill had her usual big game. Along with her point total, she had seven rebounds.

With a crowd which filled Clyde’s gym by halftime of the JV game, both varsity quads appeared to come out tight. Bellevue turned the ball over 11 times in the first quarter, and the Fliers weren’t much better, with nine miscues.

“Maybe just some jitterbugs from all the people,” Amanda Cahill said. “It was just loud. I think we were all just ready to go, so I think that caused a few turnovers, but I think we settled down.”

And despite turning the ball over, Clyde had a fast start. Breanne Michaels started the game’s scoring with a layup, Cahill hit a pair of foul shots, and Hannah Wadsworth buried a jumper to make it 6-0. Weber’s 3 from the wing put Clyde up 9-0, and it led 14-7 at the first stop, and 32-20 at the half.

The biggest difference between Bellevue and Clyde Tuesday night was simple: Clyde made its shots, and Bellevue did not.

Clyde finished the game 18 for 34 from the floor, Bellevue went 15 for 50.

When it was suggested that it just wasn’t the Redmen’s night, coach Ryan Orshoski responded, “That’s because Clyde made it not our night.

“They are just a lot more poised and confident than we are in this environment. Maybe they should be, but to get to the standard we want to be at, we need to break through in an environment like this,” he said. “The most disappointing part is, I don’t even know if we made it worth their while. We didn’t show up.”

Santoro never got going offensively. Limited to just five points in the first half, she was held scoreless in the third quarter and finished with seven points.

“(Clyde is) chasing around her being physical,” Orshoski said of Santoro. “Give them the credit, but there were moments when she was open and was not able to put the ball in the hole.”

John Cahill credited Michaels for her defense on Santoro.

“Bre Michaels has been an elite defender for four years,” the coach said. “We put her on other teams’ best kids, and she’s always done well. I thought she did a great job tonight, but it’s tough. Carly’s somebody you need help on, and we did a good job of knowing where she was and making shots contested.”

For her part, Amanda Cahill – an Indiana commit – downplayed the idea of the game being simply her against Santoro.

“She’s a great player, but I don’t think that way,” she said. “I think it’s more Clyde vs. Bellevue … and all of us against all of them.”

As it turned out, Bellevue was led by Whitney Schalk, who had 16 points on three 3-pointers. The Redmen (10-3) also got 10 points and seven rebounds from Janelle Watson.

For Clyde, Kelsey Michaels finished with 10 points and eight rebounds

John Cahill said he didn’t think his team played great, but admitted he had a hard time looking at it objectively.

“Maybe we played better than I thought, I don’t know,” he said. “I’m an emotional wreck. My point guard got hurt. It’s no good.”