Wildcats lose home opener
The Cassville Wildcats executed in every way they wanted to on Thursday night. Cassville shut East Newton (4-0) down from the perimeter (the Patriots shot 14 percent), limited their offensive boards (the visitors had seven), kept the ball away from them (East Newton had six steals) and forced 18 turnovers. Yet, Cassville came away on the losing side of a 49-40 score and for mainly one reason.
The Wildcats simply had no answer for East Newton's 6'4 Joe Batson, who scored a game-high 21 points, grabbed six rebounds and had one blocked shot for the Patriots. The junior continually found the basket due in part to the Patriots' high-low game. He made 10 of his 12 shots on the night, and the Wildcats could not come up with a way to stop him.
Cassville began the game well. After the visitors jumped out to a 2-0 lead, the Wildcats went on an 8-2 run to put themselves ahead. The Patriots countered with seven straight points and led at the end of the first quarter 11-10.
The Wildcats were doomed by the second quarter. East Newton started the period with a 9-2 spurt and out-scored Cassville 15-6 in the frame, which proved to be the difference in the ball game.
Cassville cut into the lead later in the contest, getting it down to as many as five, but East Newton rallied and won the game 49-40.
The 'Cats did well shooting the ball. The team shot a combined 53 percent from the floor but struggled in some other key areas.
Despite keeping East Newton to 14 percent shooting in the three zone, the Wildcats could do no better from there, hitting only 11 percent (1-9) of their own. Cassville grabbed only four offensive rebounds with only 17 rebounds total. The Wildcats turned the ball over 18 times, fouled 16 times and came up with only six assists. Cassville also got to the free-throw line only four times and made only one shot there.
Dannon Rose had a great game for Cassville. The senior tied for a team-high 12 points and grabbed six boards, three of which were on the offensive side of the floor.
Kelby Haynes also had his best game so far this season. Haynes, another senior, also scored 12 points, all of which came in the second half, and had two steals.
Others scoring for Cassville included Cory Howard 9, Clint Reed 4 and Marcus Henry 3.
The Wildcats played Blue Eye on Friday and seemed to be feeling the effects of a tough Thursday night game. The home team traveled to Blue Eye and lost 56-35.
The Wildcats trailed only by two after the first quarter but lapsed in the second and third, getting outscored 30-14 in those two frames.
Cassville grabbed 32 rebounds on the night, but that was pretty much the only highlight for the visiting team. The Wildcats shot only 43 percent from the free-throw line, punched out only eight steals, came up with just seven assists, committed 18 fouls and turned the ball over 30 times.
Haynes led the Wildcats, scoring a team-high 9 points and added five rebounds.
Rose also helped, chipping in 3 points, pulling down nine rebounds and tallying three steals.
Others who scored for Cassville were Howard 9, Reed 5, Henry 4, Martin Hernandez 3 and Caleb Beuterbaugh 2.
Cassville is now 1-4 on the season and plays at Carthage on Friday and at Reeds Spring on Tuesday.
The Wildcat junior varsity split their games this week.
The JV 'Cats started and finished well in both of their contests, outscoring their opponents 52-18 in the first and fourth quarters. It was enough for a 40-26 win against East Newton, but they came up just short against Blue Eye 34-37.
Ryan Pace "paced" the Wildcats. He scored a combined 21 points in the two games and grabbed 14 rebounds and had five steals.
Hernandez also did well for Cassville. He scored 23 points and pulled down 11 boards.
The JV squad is now 1-1 on the year.