By Lee Stubblefield
The Cassville Ladycats evened their season record at 3-3 with a stoic 53-29 win at Reeds Spring on Monday night.
"We just took care of business," said Cassville's Chris Shore afterwards.
Eight Ladycats scored in the contest, led by Marti Richmiller's 15 points. Hannah Elkins added 14 points for Cassville.
Cassville opened the game with an Emily Orrell fast break layoff off the tip and then rode Elkins' 9-point outburst to a 14-4 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Richmiller took over in the second period, scoring a trio of baskets, and the Ladycats twice led by 18 before a Reeds Spring flurry set the score at 26-11 at the half.
Cassville's defense, from both zone and man-to-man sets, put maximum pressure on the Reeds Spring guards and forced turnover after turnover in the first half.
"It's important to get the momentum early on the road," Shore pointed out. "Our intensity was good early, especially on defense."
After not scoring in the second quarter, Elkins opened the third period with a conventional three-point play. Orrell found her with the slick assist in the lane, and then Tawni Freeman was guilty of the foul as Elkins canned the layup. Her free throw opened the third 18-point lead for Cassville at 29-11.
The lead grew to 22 on a twisting layup through defenders by Richmiller, and then she scored again on a "found it" layup when multiple players slapped a loose ball under the Cassville basket. Gail Edie clipped the backboard with a nice bank shot, and Richmiller broke loose and converted on a fast break to up the lead to 41-13.
The Lady Wolves' Sabra Boes found the range from behind the arc to lead a slight comeback. Still, Cassville held a 45-20 advantage at the end of the third quarter.
Reeds Spring's Remi Dunn scored the opening basket of the fourth quarter with 7:39 on the clock, and then Cassville took the air out of the ball. The Ladycats ran the classic four-corner delay, shortening the game and reducing opportunities for the Lady Wolves. Shore called timeout from the bench with 5:18 on the clock.
Reeds cut the lead to 20, but free throws by Lindsey Turner and baskets by Jaime Everett and Sara Byler pushed Cassville to the last buzzer and the 53-29 final.
"It was a good team effort," concluded Coach Shore.
In the JV game, Cassville took a 46-22 win, pitching a 13-0 shutout in the first quarter. The Ladycats led 19-3 midway through the second period, but Reeds ended the half with a 9-0 run to produce the 19-12 halftime lead.
Cassville regained a 12-point lead in the third quarter, reaching the last break with a 30-18 advantage. A turnover-laden final quarter favored Cassville 16-4, for the 46-22 final.
Cassville scorers were Gabrielle Ogan 18; Cari Vollenweider 15; Sara Byler 6, Amber Balch 5; and Amanda Holder 2.
The Ladycats play at home on Thursday night against Big 8 Conference rival East Newton.