Ladycats take two-of-three at home
The Cassville Ladycats won a pair of games and lost one in a long home stand. Cassville beat Reeds Spring, 60-31 on Tuesday, Jan. 13, dropped a Big 8 conference game to Mt. Vernon 56-36 on Thursday, Jan. 15 and recovered to defeat Chadwick 55-28 on Friday, Jan. 16.
Cassville's girls jumped to a big 19-3 lead against Reeds Spring in the first quarter and kept the Lady Wolves' offense out of sync with steals and deflections that led directly to baskets.
Gail Edie led the Lady Wildcats in scoring and rebounds with 17 points and 9 boards. Hannah Elkins scored 16, and Emily Orrell and Kennadi Howard each had 8 points.
The home cooking continued when the Lady Mountaineers of Mt. Vernon came calling two nights later.
Late arriving spectators missed the three-point shooting exhibition of the Mt. Vernon JV girls. Freshman Shae Johnson dropped a total of five bombs in leading her team past Cassville 52-27. Cari Vollenweider led the Ladycats with 6 and Leah Denton added 5.
Johnson's offensive show was just a precursor to the varsity contest where the Lady Mountaineers buried seven treys to none for Cassville.
"We are a streaky three-point shooting team and shoot a limited amount of them," said Cassville Coach Chris Shore after the contest.
Instead, Cassville tried to play a ball control game against Mt. Vernon with emphasis on getting the ball inside. The Lady Mountain-eers had their own game plan, mixing strong post play with pressure defense and jumping to a 10-2 lead when sophomore guard Kenzie Williams hit the first three of the game with 3:54 left in the first quarter.
The Ladycats only scored from the free-throw line the rest of the period, with Edie hitting a pair and Marti Richmiller accounting for the other. Mt. Vernon stretched the lead to 15-5 to end the period.
Edie led Cassville in the second quarter with a pair of field goals, but Mt. Vernon stormed to intermission, leading 34-18 as Erin Rust drained a late three to give the visitors the largest lead of the game.
Howard opened the third quarter scoring and was able to pull Cassville within 14. When Mt. Vernon held a 16-point lead again at 4:01 of the quarter, Cassville looked out of it, but the Ladycats rose up on defense and shut out the visitors until the 4:41 mark of the fourth quarter, while cutting the lead down to a mere 7 points at 40-33.
Jessica Curl drove through the Cassville defense, scored and drew a foul from Jaime Everett. Curl's three-point play spearheaded a 16-3 finishing run for Mt. Vernon and the resulting 56-36 score.
Mt. Vernon, the top team in the Big 8 Conference, collected their ninth win of the season. Cassville fell to 6-7 overall.
"I thought we played hard," said Coach Shore. "They (Mt. Vernon) have a solid team, and I was pleased with our effort. Gail Edie really scrapped for her 10 points, and Emily Orrell played a good floor game at the point guard position. We just have to keep trying to get better."
The Cassville girls were certainly better on Friday night against Chadwick. After a sluggish first quarter that ended with a 12-10 Ladycat lead, Edie took over the game, scoring 11 of her 19 game-high points in the second period. Chadwick only managed a paltry pair of field goals in answer, and Cassville led at halftime 29-14.
The third quarter droned on with a virtual stalemate for four minutes and Cassville held a 34-20 lead. Another Edie basket and back-to-back jumpers from the same left baseline spot by Elkins ignited the Ladycats on an 11-0 run that spanned into the fourth quarter.
Trailing 41-20 after three quarters and down 45-20, Chadwick's Shelby Jones finished off a fast break and ended the Cardinals' scoring drought at the 6:11 mark of the fourth quarter.
The Lady Cards would score only six more points down the stretch, and six Cassville players figured in their team's final 10 points with Denton connecting at the buzzer for the 55-28 final.
Elkins was high scorer for the game with 19 followed by Edie with 14 and Orrell with 9. Jamie Hale topped Chadwick with 7.
Cassville improved to 7-7 after the weeklong tripleheader, and Chadwick dipped to 10-4.