Wildcats continue to improve
Although last Friday night's game against Carl Junction resulted in a 63-59 loss, the Wildcats' performance has notably improved in the past few games, and despite a season record that leaves much to be desired, things seem to be looking up for this hopeful group of young athletes.
"It has been a slow process," said Coach Randy Robertson. "We have been playing much better. Unfortunately, we were unable to make enough points last week to come back from the advantage that Carl Junction gained in the second half."
The contest against the Bulldogs, which was hosted here in Cassville, started off very strong and fierce with the two teams coming out dead-even at 17 points apiece by the end of the first period.
The Wildcats continued to compete closely with the Bulldogs, and although both teams showed moments of strength and weakness, neither camp could gain control of the flow and by the end of the first half Cassville enjoyed a thin 32-31 lead.
The third period was the most decisive one for the winners as they were able to muster a brief, but damaging, lead of seven points, which would prove to be too far of a distance for the Wildcats to cross.
Down 50-43, the Wildcats began to take control of the game and hacked away at the Bulldogs' lead, but in the end, the Wildcats could not overcome CJ and fell 59-63 even though Cassville outscored their opponents 16-13 in the fourth period.
Axl Larson was the leading scorer this week for Cassville, scoring 16 points and going two-for-two from three-point land. Devin Linenbrink and Nashe Lugeanbeal also had strong games, scoring twin figures of 11 points each.
Chris Smith was able to put up 10 for the Wildcats, including yet another three-pointer to build his lead as the top three-point shooter in the Big 8 so far this year.
Also contributing points for the Wildcats were Ryan Pace with 8 points and Josh Lewright with 3 points.
Linenbrink was credited with the most rebounds in the game, accumulating seven in all, while Lugeanbeal followed closely with six.
Coach Robertson and the Wildcats traveled to McDonald County on Tuesday, Feb. 3 and will host Hollister this coming Friday, Feb. 6.
The JV Wildcats fell to Carl Junction 32-42 last Friday.
The young 'Cats had control for the first period but were unable to find that success throughout the rest of the game, succumbing to the Bulldogs by 10 points in the second period and again by three points in the third period before finally holding their own to tie Carl Junction at 16 points apiece in the fourth period, rendering a final score of 42-32.
Mike Nolan topped the points column for Cassville with 11 points on the night. Other Cassville scorers were: Evan Stubblefield, 9 points; Kyle Rhea, 5 points; Rocky Young, 3 points; and Bo Blisard and Mason Wilks, 2 points apiece.
Blisard was Cassville's leading rebounder, hauling in five boards for the Wildcats.