Wildcats enjoy a two-game comeback

Thursday, January 29, 2009
Nashe Lugeanbeal brings the ball down court.

While last week started off rough for Cassville, who suffered a 40-65 loss to Chadwick in the opening round of the Spokane Tournament, the Wildcats rallied and earned their first two wins of the season to take home a fifth place trophy. Cassville downed Galena 59-31 and then defeated Verona 41-34 to finish out tournament play.

Chadwick takes down Cassville

On Monday, Jan. 19, the Cassville Wildcats battled Chadwick in what turned out to be a loss.

Chadwick dominated the court early on and kept a tight stranglehold during the first half of the game, scoring 41 points by halftime while the Wildcats put up 16 points.

In the third period, Cassville scored 10 points to Chadwick's 16. The Wildcats were unable to gain momentum until the final period of play when they outscored Chadwick 14-8 but ultimately lost by a 40-65 deficit.

Ryan Pace was the leading scorer in the game for the Wildcats, tallying 10 points. Nashe Lugeanbeal and Chris Smith trailed closely, contributing 7 points each, while Devin Linenbrink and Ricky Nichols added 4 points apiece, Josh Lewright and Evan Stubblefield put up 3 points each, and Axl Larson scored 2 points for Cassville.

Lugeanbeal and Pace each went home with eight rebounds to their credit.

Wildcats swat down Galena

The Wildcats finally tasted victory last Thursday when they faced Galena in their second tournament match.

The game took off at an even tempo with the Wildcats outscoring Galena by a slim 12-9 margin in the first quarter of play.

As the second period began, the difference widened as Cassville held Galena to only 2 points while putting up another 16 points to give the 'Cats a 28-11 advantage going into halftime.

Galena returned to the court in the second half and outscored Cassville 14-13 to usher in the fourth period.

The Wildcats would not allow Galena to recover, however, as they went on to paralyze Galena's offensive effort, pinning them down to 6 points while Cassville went on to put up another 18 points to finish the game with a 59-31 win.

Smith led the Wildcats in this match-up, hitting with destructive accuracy. The sophomore long-shooter was three-for-three from three-point territory and hit 80 points of his two-point attempts to accumulate 17 points for the night.

Pace contributed 14 points, Linenbrink tallied 9 points, Larson added 8 points, Lewright put up 5 points, Lugeanbeal had 4 points and Nichols scored 2 points for the Wildcats.

Linenbrink and Pace hauled in six boards apiece for Cassville.

Cassville rolls over Verona

The Cassville Wildcats faced Verona on Saturday in the tournament's fifth place game. Both teams got off to a slow start with Verona coming out on top 6-3 in the first quarter.

From there, the Wildcats took over and never let go as they managed to tie the game up at 15-15 at the half thanks to Smith's three-pointer at the buzzer, which completely shifted momentum in Cassville's favor.

The second half saw Cassville outscoring Verona 14-8 in the third period and 12-11 in the fourth period for a solid 41-34 victory.

Larson was in charge of the scoreboard against Verona, tallying 15 points for the Wildcats. Smith was not far behind, scoring 14 points as well as managing to top the team in rebounds with seven for the night.

Other players who contributed to Cassville's success were Pace, who scored 8 points, and Lewright and Lugeanbeal who put up 2 points apiece.

Coach Randy Robertson was proud of his team's performance and glad to earn the team's first victories of the season.

"The kids are playing better now," said Coach Robertson. "It was nice to see them pick up a couple of wins."

Fans are encouraged to come out and show their support as the Wildcats host Carl Junction this Friday night at 6 p.m.

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