College athlete of the week: Cassie Beucherie

  • Thu Jan 19th, 2012 6:25pm
  • Sports

Hometown: Sultan (Sultan High School)

What she did: The sophomore reserve scored a career-high eight points, on 4-for-4 shooting, to help the Pioneers cap off a 71-28 win over Willamette on Saturday. Beucherie, who averages just 4.5 minutes per game but has played in all but two of Lewis &Clark’s games, averages 1.1 points per game this season.

What’s next: Beucherie and the 7th-ranked Pioneers (14-1) host Pacific (Ore.) tonight and play at the University of Puget Sound on Saturday in NCAA Division III action.

THE TWO-MINUTE DRILL

You came off the bench to score eight points in 10 minutes during Saturday’s win over Willamette. Can we call that the best game of your collegiate career?

I’d say, yep, that was it.

That projects to 32 points over a 40-minute game. So are you demanding to start and play the entire game from now on?

(Laughs) No. I think I’ll leave the starting to the current starters. I’m fine coming off the bench.

You made all four of your shots, too. As a sophomore who has only played 59 minutes all season, did you ever think you’d get that many opportunities in a game this year?

I can’t say that I knew I was going to get that many opportunities. But definitely, I worked hard to get to the rim. I’ve been practicing to make sure I could hit shots when I get them.

You guys won the game, 71-28. First of all, seriously, 71-28?

Yeah. We didn’t want to make it too much of a brutal win, but it was hard not to, I guess you could say. We tried not to press them at all. We just played hard defense. It’s the first time our coaches have held a team to under 30 points, so we were proud of that.

Maybe you could’ve at least missed one of your shots, just to make the other team feel better?

(Laughs) Well, I guess I just wanted to have my best game ever, y’know.

And now Lewis &Clark is 14-1 on the season. What’s been the secret to your team’s great start?

Our coaches put it as: be uncommon. That means during practices doing everything in a particular way, do it together. The uncommon part is we don’t play around, don’t goof around, and do things the same way in practice as how we’re going to play. That’s not to say we don’t have our laughs. Coach shows her smile most of time.

OK, so maybe you haven’t been getting that much publicity on the basketball court. But I hear you were the center of attention at the Washington state wrestling championships a couple years ago. What can you tell us about that?

Yeah, the principal from my high school (Sultan) was helping to run the Mat Classic, and he asked if I was willing and able to do it. So I was able to sing in front of 6,000 people. That was pretty fun. And I just carried that over to here. I sing for all of our home games.

So you’re out there in uniform, belting out the anthem?

Yep. Right out there.

Is 6,000 the biggest crowd for which you’ve performed?

Oh yeah, definitely.

So were you nervous?

Actually, I wasn’t nervous. I get this adrenaline rush, so it makes my legs shake, every time I perform. But I was more excited than nervous.

And I hear you’re quite a singer. Tell us about your background.

I am a Vocal Performance major here at Lewis &Clark. So I focus on singing. In high school, I was really involved in music. I was in vocal choir, marching band, show choir and honor choir. Here, I’m in an a cappella group, in women’s chorus, and I take private lessons.

What kind of a future do you see with that?

I guess I want to be a professional singer. That’s my dream, so I might as well go for it. Otherwise, maybe being a music teacher would be really fun. I’d love to do that, at any level of schooling _ elementary, middle school, high school.

So ‘American Idol’ is back on television this week. Have you ever thought of giving that a try?

Actually, they were auditioning in Portland, and I set my mind on doing it for a good two months. Then just as it was starting to come around, I got to thinking about school more. I thought, if I made it through that might mean at least a couple of rounds, and I didn’t want that to get in the way of school. I didn’t want that to get in way of my degree. So I decided not to do it.

Did you watch it (Wednesday) night? And if so, do you have any regrets?

I didn’t watch it. I had basketball practice. And I don’t have any regrets, no.

There are videos of your singing exploits all over YouTube. If someone has time to watch just one of them, which would you recommend?

Maybe type in Section Line Drive. And then ‘Like A Prayer.’ That’s my a cappella group. I have a solo.

‘Like A Prayer.’ So are you a Madonna fan?

It’s just a song our group arranged. Not really Madonna. Beyonce is my idol.

So do you sing any Beyonce?

Our group hasn’t done any, but I do some myself. And with the basketball team.

What’s your favorite Beyonce song to sing?

Probably “Party.”

At Sultan, what was your singing highlight?

I didn’t do a cappella there. So marching band was kind of the highlight. I did do a concert my senior year. I had a fundraiser for the team and raised $1,000 doing that. So that was pretty cool. It was a great way to finish high school.

In the marching band, did you sing or play an instrument?

I played the mellophone.

What’s that?

It’s like a marching French horn.

You know, if you made it onto American Idol, you’d have a much more important reporter from The Herald calling you right about now. You know, the whole girl-from-Sultan-makes-it-big story.

Right, right. But, hey, this is just as important.

Well, maybe if you keep making all your shots on the basketball court, you’ll be getting a call from Sports Illustrated one day.

(Laughs) Hey, that would be great.

Scott M. Johnson, Herald Writer