By Travis Mounce
The Cassville Wildcats traveled to Crane to face the Pirates last Friday night with hopes of securing their first win. Despite a tough battle, the Wildcats found themselves facing their seventh loss of the season as Crane was able to break away with a fourth period shooting spree that gave the Pirates a 47-38 victory.
The action was close and it was anybody's game during the first half as the Wildcats put up 6 points in the first period and 9 in the second to nearly match Crane's total of 16 points going into halftime.
As the second half got underway, the game intensified as both teams put up an even fight, scored 13 points each in the third quarter to keep it a one-point match going into the fourth.
Unfortunately, in the fourth period, Cassville was unable to keep pace with Crane as the Pirates put up 18 points to overshadow the 10 points tallied by the Wildcats.
"We competed well for three periods, but lost it in the fourth," said Head Coach Randy Robertson. "We couldn't hit our outside shots and that really hurt us."
Despite the excellent performance by the Wildcats, senior Ryan Pace was the only player to contribute double figures with 16 points on the night.
Sophomore Chris Smith hit two three-point shots for Cassville and tallied a total of 8 points for the night. Nashe Lugeanbeal, the team's other senior, also had 8 points for the Wildcats. He also came up with an impressive five steals.
Cassville mirrored the Pirates in rebounds with each team grabbing 28 boards. Pace led the way for his team with nine rebounds, followed by Josh Lewright, Devin Linenbrink and Lugeanbeal at 5 apiece.
The Wildcats' JV squad fared well again last week, as they were able to bring down the Pirates at Crane with dominant scoring in the first half and an adequate defensive effort in the second to give Cassville a 22-16 victory.
Evan Stubblefield was Cassville's leading scorer with 6 points. Other Wildcats adding to the point total were: Jordan Bailey and Rocky Young with 4 each; Linenbrink and Mason Wilks with 3 apiece; and Kyle Rhea with 2 points.
Cassville also dominated in rebounds with Bailey pulling down five of the team's 20 in the match, while Young was a close second, hauling in four for the 'Cats.
Coach Robertson and the Wildcats hosted Reeds Spring on Tuesday, Jan. 6 and will travel to Branson on Friday, Jan. 9 for a road game. Both matches are slated to start with junior varsity action at 6 p.m.