The Cassville Wildcats finished strong in both of their contests this week, but it wasn't enough to overcome defeat. Cassville dropped itsfirst contest to Branson 65-29 and the second to Carthage 64-52.
Against a taller Branson team, Cassville struggled from the word go. The Pirates had runs of 10-1 and 7-2 in the first quarter and the Wildcats trailed 17-5 after one quarter.
The Wildcats did not find their stride in the second quarter, getting hit for two more runs of 13-2 and 8-0. Cassville trailed 42-13 at the half.
The Pirates put the game away to start the third, hitting a 15-2 run to lock up the victory.
Cassville struggled in many aspects of the contest. The Wildcats did not make a single three-point shot, scored only 29 points, had only four assists and committed 19 fouls and 23 turnovers.
Marcus Henry might have been Cassville's biggest bright spot on the night. The senior did a nice job in the paint, grabbing five rebounds and netting 4 points.
Kelby Haynes and Clint Reed also did well. Haynes scored 5 points and grabbed a team-high eight rebounds, and Reed led the squad in scoring with 8 points.
Others scoring for Cassville included Ryan Pace 6, Martin Hernandez 3 and Ethan Couch 3.
The squad also traveled to Carthage this week.
Cassville again dug themselves into a hole they could not climb out of. The Wildcats were outscored in each of the first three quarters and trailed 27-51 heading into the final frame.
However, the 'Cats made a furious rally to get back in the contest. Cassville dominated the fourth quarter, 25-13, but it was not enough as the squad lost 64-52.
Despite the loss, Cassville improved in several areas.
The Wildcats shot well, hitting 36 percent (5-14) from behind the three-point arc. They controlled the boards, knabbing 19 offensive rebounds and 35 total rebounds and keeping Carthage's offensive rebounds to just four. They also forced 20 Tiger turnovers and allowed only eight Tiger assists.
On the flip side, Cassville shot only 39 percent (7-18) from the free-throw line, had 19 turnovers and only nine assists and committed 16 fouls. The biggest problem they had was stopping the Carthage scoring machine. The Tigers scored 64 points due to shooting 58 percent (7-12) from three-point range and 61 percent (25-41) from the floor.
Cory Howard and Reed led the team. Howard scored the team-high 14 points, while grabbing five rebounds, dishing out three assists and poking out three steals.
Reed scored 13 points with three treys. He also grabbed six rebounds and came up with two steals.
Others scoring for Cassville included Hernandez 7, Pace 4 and Dannon Rose 1.
The varsity squad is now 1-6 on the season. They will play Southwest at home on Thursday night, beginning with the junior varsity game at 6 p.m.