Last Tuesday night the Cassville Ladycats traveled to Aurora to start play in the Aurora Tournament. Cassville would experience some success, but also some disappointment, losing out to Aurora in the first game 33-47 but beating Monett 55-26.
Cassville, the sixth seed, opened tournament play by facing off against their hosts who were seeded third. The Ladycats played well against the highly rated Lady Houn's and were within 2 points at the end of the first quarter, trailing 14-12.
In the second quarter Aurora pulled away to extend its lead to 9 at the half. The Ladycats held their own throughout the third quarter, but the Lady Houn's used the fourth quarter to pull away and defeat Cassville.
Julie Cupps led scoring with 17. Others who added to the Ladycat point total were Bittany Vollenweider 6, Abby Munoz 4 and Gabby LeCompte 2.
In the second round game, Cassville played the Monett Lady Cubs who had previously lost to Bolivar. The Ladycats seemed to do almost everything right in this game. They started by opening with a 10-3 run to put them on top.
From there, they finished the half with another run, putting up 8 unanswered points to expand their lead to 25-9 at halftime. Close to a week ago Cassville found itself in a similar situation, leading Blue Eye 27-18 and in control of the game, but faltered and ended up losing to Blue Eye in overtime. This time the Ladycats kept up the pace and pulled away from Monett in the fourth with a final 12-point run.
Cassville's strategy worked beautifully against the Lady Cubs. Offensively the Ladycats chose to feed their inside game, where they had a size advantage. Both post starters ended up in double figures and led scoring for the game, Munoz had 17 and Vollenweider had 14. Cupps also scored in double figures with 10 points.
The Ladycats' lead also allowed them to get scoring from a total of nine players. Other point-getters were: Jessie Gripka 4, Misty Long 3, LeCompte, Emily Orrell and Brittany Gatley 2 each and Brittney Wilbanks 1.
Defensively, Cassville was tremendous, using a full court press and one-three-one zone that caused the Lady Cubs to turnover the ball often. The Ladycats never let Monett score even 10 points in a quarter.
"We are doing things a little better each game," said Coach Chris Shore. "It was (also) nice to see more players involved in our offense vs. Monett."
The Ladycats are now set up to play Mt. Vernon (3-1) in the fifth place game. Due to inclement weather and rescheduling, this game will be played at Aurora on Saturday Dec. 16 at noon. Cassville also plays at McDonald County on Thursday, Dec. 7, against Norwood at home on Saturday Dec. 9 and at Marionville (1-1) on Monday, Dec. 11. Evening games begin at 6 p.m. and Saturday's game will start at 1 p.m.
Special note: While both of the teams Cassville played are conference opponents, neither will be counted on Cassville's conference record due to the fact that the games were played in tournament play.