Ladycats tally three big wins this week

Thursday, February 15, 2007
Game winning shots Senior Julie Cupps drives to the basket during the last home game of her Ladycat career. Cupps hit two free throws to seal Casville's 48-46 win over East Newton last Thursday night. Photo by Robert Hoppie/Action Sports Photos (b)

The Cassville Ladycats had a busy time last week, playing three games in the span of four days. Cassville faced Monett on Monday and East Newton on Tuesday and Thursday. The Tuesday game was a make-up game from earlier in the season. Despite the strenuous challenge, the Ladycats excelled and came away with three wins.

The Monett Lady Cubs came to town on Monday night to face Cassville in an annual rivalry. Cassville came out swinging in the contest and held an 18-4 lead after one quarter. The second quarter also held favor for the Ladycats, and they led 28-11 at half. After the break the Lady Cubs worked hard and climbed back into the contest trailing by 10 (42-32) going into the final frame. The home squad, however, held tough and put the visitors away 58-43.

Cassville as a unit did well in some very key areas. The Ladycats were able to get to the free-throw line 22 times and they also only allowed the visiting team two steals, while turning the ball over only eight times themselves. Cassville did not shoot great from the line, converting only 59 percent (13-22) and also fouled the Ladycubs 16 times.

Julie Cupps led Cassville with 10 points, four steals, three assists and hit important free-throws down the stretch (4-4). Brittany Vollenweider also did well, scoring 12 and bringing down eight rebounds.

Other contributors for the home team were: Jessie Gripka, 10 points; Emily Orrell, 5 points four rebounds and one steal; Gabby LeCompte, 9 points; Abby Munoz, 8 points; Misty Long, 4 points; and Hannah Elkins, 2 points.

Denae Beckett helped keep Monett in the game by scoring 18 points, 6 of which came from her 86 percent free-throw shooting (6-7).

The very next day Cassville traveled to East Newton for a non-conference game. The Lady Patriots came into the contest at 8-7.

The first quarter was defense oriented as Cassville got out to a small 5-2 lead. In the second and third frames, the Ladycats expanded their lead to 17. However, in the fourth the Lady Patriots would make a furious rally, but just fell short, falling 48-43 to Cassville.

As a team, Cassville only committed nine fouls and shot an improved 67 percent from the line.

Senior leader Munoz had an outstanding night, scoring 23 points in the contest and grabbing eight rebounds. Vollenweider and Cupps also did well combining for 12 points, 12 rebounds, three steals and five assists. Others helping in the winning cause were: Brittney Wilbanks, 2 points and one steal; Orrell, 1 point and one steal; LeCompte, 6 points; and Gripka, 4 points.

In their last game of the week, the Ladycats met East Newton yet again but this time on their home turf. The game would also be the conference game between the two teams.

After East Newton's furious comeback two days before, the Ladycats knew that the visitors would be hungry for the win. In a quarter that saw six lead changes and five ties, East Newton's Lindsay Sturgeon was the difference maker, scoring 8 and helping the Lady Patriots to a 16-13 lead.

The home team took back control in the second quarter going up 21-16, in large part due to the 6 points of Cupps and 4 rebounds of Munoz, but East Newton ended the quarter by scoring 9 unanswered points and retaining a 31-28 lead at halftime.

In the third quarter, Cassville took the lead briefly before the visitors scored their third run of the game and took an 8-point lead into the final frame. Through three quarters of play both teams had attained the lead in every quarter and the home squad ensured that again in the fourth.

Cassville tied the game and took the lead with just 30 seconds remaining and then forced a turnover to close it out. The Ladycats shot 4-4 from the free-throw line in the closing quarter and outscored East Newton 12-2.

Cassville was led by their seniors on the night. Cupps and Munoz combined for 26 points, 10 rebounds, three steals, three assists and were 6-6 from the line. Other contributors were: Vollenweider, 8 points and nine rebounds; Gripka, 6 points and three assists; Orrell, 2 points, one steal and two assists; Wilbanks, one steal; and LeCompte, 6 points.

"It is tough playing three games in a week, but to play the same team back to back is even harder. Out kids stepped up and really played well," said Coach Shore. Cassville moves to 12-11 overall and climbs up three spots in the conference at 3-2. Cassville closes out Big 8 against Seneca (11-7 and 1-2) on Thursday. The Ladycats will start the district tournament on Monday. Feb. 19 at Monett High School. Cassville earned the tournament's fourth seed and will play fifth-seeded Carl Junction at 6 p.m. Cassville has already played the Lady Bulldogs twice this season and has split the series.

Jayvee action

The junior varsity Ladycats also played three games this week, matching up against the same opponents as their varsity counterparts and winning all three games.

Cassville dominated Monett to begin the week, winning 59-17. Elkins scored 22 in the game. In their first game against East Newton, the JV girls slipped easily past their adversaries 41-21. Elkins and Long both scored 10 in this contest. In their second game against the Lady Patriots, Cassville had a little more trouble.

The young Ladycats led by only four after three quarters, but finished strong and won the game 39-30.

The junior varsity team's record now stands at 9-4. They will play their last game of the season at Seneca on Thursday night.

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