The Cassville Wildcats played their last basketball game of the season last week. The fifth-seeded 'Cats faced off against fourth-seeded Monett in the first round of the district tournament, which was held at Monett.
Both teams' schedules were similar to each others, neither got out to a very good start, but both finished the season strongly. The first matchup between the two teams resulted in a 61-55 Monett victory.
Monett knew the Wildcats would be hungry for vengeance in the game and so set up a game to take Cassville out of it early. The Cubs did exactly that in the first half.
To begin the first quarter, Monett went on a 13-2 run on 10 hustle points off of turnovers and offensive rebounds. Cassville's Tim Orrell did score 5 in the first quarter, but it was not enough and left the Wildcats trailing 7-17.
Monett did not let up on the 'Cats in the second quarter. Cory Howard and Ethan Couch both did well in the quarter, totaling 5 points and five rebounds respectively. Monett however, held their adversaries in check. Cassville shot 0-5 from three in the quarter while Monett was 4-5 from behind the three-point arc. The Cubs put up two more runs to lead 37-17 at halftime.
Down by 20 at the break, Cassville came out strong and started the third quarter with an 8-2 run that brought them within 16 at 25-41. The Cubs bounced back, and despite a combined 16 points from Orrell and Clint Reed, Cassville still trailed 54-32 after three.
The fourth quarter did not flow as Cassville would have wished. The 'Cats did make two runs in the quarter of 10-2 and 7-2, which would have been great if not for the 10-0 run that Monett made in between the two. The Wildcats got out-rebounded in the quarter 11-4, but Orrell did manage to score 13 points.
Orrell fittingly led Cassville on his last night in a Wildcat uniform. He totaled 27 points, shooting 86 percent from the line (6-7) and 50 percent from the field (9-18). The senior also had five rebounds, five steals and no fouls, despite playing all four quarters. Couch had a good game off the bench, scoring 2 for the 'Cats and grabbing five boards. Kelby Haynes and Howard were also key contributors, tallying 6 and 5 points respectively. Howard also grabbed three steals and Haynes shot 80 percent from the line (4-5).
Other contributors were: Reed, 6 points and one steal; Dannon Rose, three assists; Chris Born, 2 points, two steals and three rebounds; Ryan Schlichtman, 2 points and one steal.
For Monett, Daniel Holt scored 26 points and had five steals, and Brendon Cox tallied 18 points and four steals. The Wildcats got behind early in the contest and could never catch up. Cassville's starting five were out-scored and out-rebounded in the contest, 55-41 and 21-14. Monett also got 17 points from their bench.
Cassville did do some things well, prying out 13 steals, forcing 20 turnovers, holding the Cubs to only six offensive rebounds and drawing 18 fouls. Yet, Monett always seemed to have an answer. Cassville gave up 72 points to the Cubs and allowed them to shoot 46 percent from the arc (6-13) and 63 percent from the field (25-40). The Cubs also drew 19 fouls on the Wildcats giving them an ample amount of free-throw attempts at 23. Cassville was also held to only eight offensive rebounds and seven assists, while committing 16 turnovers and shooting 24 percent from three-point (5-21) and 35 percent overall (17-49).
Cassville ends their season with a mark of 8-18 (2-5).