The Cassville Wildcat basketball squad spent a portion of Christmas break competing in the Southwest Holiday Tournament. The Wildcats, who won the tournament last year, finished fourth overall in 2005.
Cassville opened the tournament against the Wheaton Bulldogs and dominated, winning the game by a score of 57-38.
Brian Elkins led the team with 14 points, nine rebounds, three assists and three blocks. He shot 40 percent from the floor and three-point range.
Scott Fitzpatrick shot an impressive 63 percent from the floor and 50 percent from the free-throw line, tallying 11 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals in the win. Cody Ricklefs contributed 10 points, four assists and five steals while Kelby Haynes added 9 points, nine rebounds, two assists and two steals. Tim Orrell had 6 points, one assist and two steals, Chris Born added 5 points, four rebounds and Brett Buchanan was credited with 2 points, four rebounds, one assist, and three steals.
The Wildcats then played the Eureka Springs Highlanders from Arkansas. This time, the Wildcats took a loss by a final score of 49-54.
Elkins led the team with 14 points, 19 rebounds and four assists. Fitzpatrick followed him with 9 points, eight rebounds. Ricklefs continued his strong play with 8 points, four rebounds, two assists and one steal.
Buchanan contributed 8 points, three rebounds and one steal, while Orrell added 7 points and two rebounds. Haynes put up 3 points, one rebound, one assist and two steals.
In the third place game, the Wildcats faced off against the Pea Ridge (Ark.) Blackhawks and lost that contest 37-49.
Ricklefs was the team's point leader with 12. He also tallied four rebounds, one assist and five steals in the loss. Buchanan had 7 points, five rebounds, one assist and one steal, and Fitzpatrick had 6 points, seven rebounds and one steal, shooting 60 percent from the floor.
Haynes was credited with 6 points, seven rebounds and one assist, and Elkins tallied 4 points and five rebounds. Orrell also contributed with 2 points, two rebounds, one steal and one assist.
"We were disappointed with our play in the last two tournament games," said Coach Randy Robertson. "We had opportunities to win both games and just didn't make the plays necessary to win."
The Wildcats will host Aurora at 6 p.m. on Friday night to open Big 8 Conference play. Cassville then travels to Mt. Vernon on Tuesday for another Big 8 match-up.