The Cassville Middle School Ladycat basketball squads recently completed their 2005 seasons by competing in the Big 8 Tournament. The eighth graders took home the second place trophy to cap a very successful 13-3 season.
In the squad's first game of the tournament, they played Lamar and won 42-24. Emily Orrell led the scoring for the Ladycats with 11, Hannah Elkins followed with 10, Gail Edie had 8, Courtney deRonde had 5, Marti Richmiller had 4, and Olivia Cline and Darla Stahl both had 2. With the win, the Ladycats advanced to the semi-final round to play Mt. Vernon.
In that game, the Ladycats took the victory with a final score of 41-19. Elkins led the scoring with 15 followed by Edie
with 9, Orrell with 6, deRonde and Richmiller with 4 each, Naomi Beck with 2, and Stahl with 1.
The championship game pitted Cassville against top-seeded Seneca. The talented Lady Indians squad proved to be too much for the Ladycats, who fell 44-27.
Elkins again was the Ladycats top scorer with 13 points. Others adding to the point total were deRonde 6, and Edie, Cline, Mandi Thompson and Orrell 2 each.
Cassville's eighth graders ended their season with an outstanding 13-3 record. Two of those losses came to the Seneca Indians who were undefeated in junior high play. The Ladycats season also included a championship trophy in the Shell Knob Tournament.
"This team consists of strong individuals who are able to use their strengths to come together and put the team first," said Coach Greg Turner. "What impresses me most about this group, beyond any team I have ever coached, is the way they support and look out for each other. This is a great group of girls that Cassville can be extremely proud of.
"I would also like to say how fortunate I was to have the assistance of Mandy Henry this year," Turner continued. "Her knowledge of the game, communication skills and the strong warm relationships she has with our players is a tremendous asset to the Ladycats
The seventh grade girls squad also competed in the Big 8 Tournament and ended the season with a 3-11 record.
Cassville's first game was against the Monett Lady Cubs, a game that Monett won 39-24. Cassville started out strong as they were only down 10-13 at the end of the first quarter. Monett put things together during the second quarter taking a 30-14 lead into the half that the Ladycats couldn't recover from.
Lindsey Turner led the Ladycats in scoring with 12. Melissa Fink and Taylor Grimes followed with 4 each, and Caylyn Cieslinski and Abby Carr added 2 each.
Cassville's last game would be against Seneca in the consolation bracket of the tournament. Determined squad members gave everything they had but still came up three points short.
Turner was the scoring leader for the Ladycats with 11 points. Others contributing on offense were Fink 10, Carr 4, Amber Balch 4 and Rylie Wilks.
"These girls showed a great deal of improvement in their skills and were competitive in most games they played as several of their losses were by close scores," said Coach Turner. "With continued improvement in their skills and team play, they can have a much improved season next year. They clearly played their best basketball in the last two ball games of the year, and this is something very positive we can build on."