The Cassville basketball boys ended up with a short week as weather conditions postponed a Friday game with Lamar. Earlier in the week, the Wildcats took on Mt. Vernon, the #1 ranked Class 3 team in the state. The Mountaineers came into the contest with an unblemished record of 12-0 (1-0), while Cassville entered the match still looking for its first conference victory.
Mt. Vernon started the scoring, but Cassville quickly answered back, taking the lead twice in the first quarter. At the end of the first, the Wildcats trailed by just four at 15-11.
In the second quarter Mt. Vernon's play-maker, Tomas Brock, stepped up and alone scored 16 points. This contribution as well as good defense led to two runs that totaled 19 points for the Mountaineers and only 2 for the Wildcats. It also left the halftime score at 40-20.
Despite the score, Cassville came out and continued to play hard in the second half. The Wildcats managed one early run in the half that brought them to within 16 (44-28), but the squad could not get any closer. The game ended 61-45 in Mt. Vernon's favor.
As a team the Wildcats showed good cohesiveness, forcing Mt. Vernon into tough shots and helping each other find good shots.
For the first time this year Cassville shot perfect from from the free-throw line (7-7). They also brought down 33 rebounds. The only down side to Cassville's good play was Mt. Vernon's great play.
The Mountaineers fouled only nine times (compared to the Wildcats' 16), turned the ball over nine times to Cassville's 12 and shot 77 percent from the line.
Senior Tim Orrell led the 'Cats individually with 11 points (4-4 from the line) and two steals. Junior Ryan Schlichtman had another nice game off the bench scoring 6 points and grabbing five rebounds. Cory Howard, another junior, also did well coming off the bench, pulling down six rebounds, stealing the ball once and tallying two assists.
Other contributors were: Dannon Rose 6 points and eight rebounds; Ryan Pace, one steal; Clint Reed 9 points and two assists; Kelby Haynes, 7 points and four rebounds; Ethan Couch, two rebounds; and Chris Born with 6 points and three rebounds. Born's point total came from two key treys that he scored during the contest.
Brock, a future Missouri State Bear, had 28 points and 12 rebounds for the Mountaineers.
The junior varsity also played Mt. Vernon and lost 31-35 in a very close game. No stats were available for this game.
The Wildcats move to 3-11 (0-2). The new Lamar game date has not been decided as of yet, but the Wildcats will continue play in the Spokane Tournament this week where they are seeded fourth.