On Thursday, the Cassville Wildcats opened play against East Newton. Despite a second half surge that saw Cassville outscore the Patriots 22-18, it was too late and too little. The Wildcats were unable to overcome a 16-30 first half deficit and eventually fell to East Newton by a score of 38-48.
Brian Elkins led the team with 16 points, including two three-pointers. Cody Ricklefs followed with 9 points and Brett Buchanan added 6. Others scoring for the 'Cats were Tim Orrell with 5 points and Chris Born and Kelby Haynes with 1 point each. Scott Fitzpatrick pulled down five rebounds in the game.
After the loss, the Wildcats would look to turn things around on Friday against the Seneca Indians. The Wildcats outscored Seneca 35-32 at the end of the first half and 40-34 in the second two quarters to give them a heartening 75-66 victory.
Elkins again led the team with 28 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and two steals. Elkins shot 64 percent from the floor and 87 percent from the charity stripe. Buchanan also had a big night with 15 points on 71 percent shooting from the floor. The senior also contributed three rebounds and four assists.
Orrell tallied 11 points, three rebounds, one assist and three steals in the win. Haynes also put up 11 points along with nine rebounds and one assist. Ricklefs added 6 points, five rebounds, three assists and one steal, and Fitzpatrick contributed 4 points and five rebounds.
In the fifth place game, Cassville faced a talented squad from Parsons, Kan. The Vikings came on strong in the fourth quarter and defeated the Wildcats 49-44.
Elkins was the Wildcats' point leader with 19 points. He also had 13 rebounds, one assist, and five steals. Orrell followed with 12 points, seven rebounds and two assists, and Ricklefs was credited with 9 points, five rebounds, one assist and two steals.
Other contributors were: Fitzpatrick with 2 points, two rebounds and one steal; Haynes with 2 points, five rebounds, one assist and two steals; and Buchanan with seven rebounds, two assists and one steal.
Elkins, a junior, was named to the All-Tournament team. He tallied 70 points and 25 rebounds in three games.
This Friday, Cassville travels to Carl Junction again for a Big 8 Conference match-up. On Jan. 31, the Wildcats will host McDonald County and then meet Hollister on the road on Feb. 3.