Wildcats get first positive streak
For the first time this year, the Cassville Wildcats got on a win streak. After winning last week's conference game against Carl Junction, the 'Cats traveled to McDonald County and won again. However, the streak ended there as they dropped their next game to Hollister at home.
Cassville traveled first to face the McDonald County Mustangs, a district opponent.
The 'Cats took control early, garnering a 17-13 lead after one quarter of play. In the second quarter, Cassville expanded its lead by 4. McDonald County never gave up, but the Wildcats again edged them in the third and fourth quarters to earn a 64-51 victory.
Cassville had a stupendous night as a whole. The 'Cats shot was electric as they hit 50 percent of both their three-point field goals (8-16) and their overall field goals (20-40). They also found themselves at the free-throw line 24 times in large part due to their drawing of 18 Mustang fouls; these all added up to 64 points for the Wildcats, which is 14 points higher then their season average.
The 'Cats also turned the ball over only seven times. The only things that hurt the 'Cats were below average shooting from the line (67 percent) and non-aggressive defense (only four steals). The Mustangs also shot 42 percent from three-point range (5-12) but also only hit 67 percent from the free-throw line.
Junior Kelby Haynes led the 'Cats, scoring 15 on 63 percent shooting (5-8) and grabbing the team-high eight rebounds. Senior Tim Orrell also had a good night, scoring 17 points, including five treys, and dishing out three assists.
Cory Howard and Clint Reed also did well, scoring a combined 20 points. Reed shot 50 percent from the floor (4-8) and Howard shot 100 percent from the line (4-4). Other contributors included: Chris Born, 6 points; Dannon Rose, 4 points; and Ryan Schlichtman, 2 points.
Tyler Shaver scored 18 for McDonald County.
"The kids rebounded well after an emotional win against Carl Junction." said Coach Randy Robertson after the game. The win also marked a historic 700th career win for Robertson.
In Cassville's second game, they took on a talented team from Hollister. The Tigers came into the game with a record of 8-7.
The Wildcats, looking for a third win in a row, fell behind early (6-10), in what was a slow start for both teams. Hollister lengthened its lead in the second quarter, leaving the Wildcats trailing by 6 at the half.
The 'Cats clawed back into the game after the break, scoring 15 points and cutting the deficit to three. Yet, it was to no avail as the Tigers roared back, outscoring the Wildcats by six in the final frame. Cassville suffered its 14th loss of the season, falling 50-59.
Cassville struggled in some key areas that helped Hollister win the game. The 'Cats had little luck from behind the three-point arc, hitting only one of 14 attempts.
Hollister shot poorly from the free-throw line, 58 percent, but due to Cassville's 25 fouls, got there 31 times. The 'Cats did force the Tigers into 18 turnovers and drew 18 fouls on the night.
Haynes gave a valiant effort in the loss, scoring 13 points on great shooting. Born had one of his best games of the season, scoring 4 points (2-4) and grabbing a season high 11 rebounds, four of which were offensive.
Others helping were: Rose, 9 points on 4-4 from the floor; Ethan Couch, 5 points; Reed, 8 points, two steals and three assists; Schlichtman, 2 points and two steals; Howard, 2 points and two assists; and Orrell, 7 points.
Cassville moves to 7-14 (1-3) on the season but is 4-3 (1-1) in their last seven. The 'Cats stay home this week, taking on East Newton this Friday and Monett on Tuesday, Feb. 13. Friday night's game will feature Tip-Off festivities, which were postponed due to last Friday's bad weather.
The Patriots and Wildcats have already faced off once this season. Cassville lost that one 46-58 but was close until late in the fourth. East Newton is now 24-3 and tied for first in the Big 8 Conference at 3-0. Monett is 6-16 (2-2) on the year but has won their last four out of five games.
Junior varsity action
The Cassville junior varsity continues to rack up wins. This past week, the JV 'Cats won both their games to improve to 8-4 on the season.
Facing McDonald County, the young 'Cats saw an 11-point lead slip away late but were able to stymie the young Mustangs enough to win 37-36. Marcus Henry was the big player of the game, scoring 8 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.
In their second game this week, the team had no trouble dispatching Hollister, outscoring them in all four quarters on their way to a 55-32 victory.
Blaine Hobbs had a big night, scoring 19 points and grabbing three steals. Couch and Howard also did well, knocking the ball away from the Tigers a combined seven times.