The Cassville Lady Wildcats celebrated their home opener with a 49-32 victory over Monett at Cassville on Thursday night. Kennadi Howard and Emily Speakman led Cassville with 17 points each, while Breanna Varner paced Monett with 12.
Speakman opened the game with 8 points in the first two and a half minutes. Speakman also scored the final bucket of the first period, and the Lady Wildcats owned a 14-4 lead at the first break.
After a low-scoring second quarter, Cassville held a 25-9 halftime lead and held a double-digit lead throughout the remainder of the contest. The Lady Cubs did mount a 7-0 run midway through the third period but could not overcome a lead that once stood at 20 points.
This game between the Big 8 Conference rivals was classic Chris Shore basketball: score a little and defend a lot. The bigger Cassville team controlled the boards thanks to the efforts of Speakman, Jaime Everett and Kelsey Vollenweider, and the Lady Wildcat guards walked the ball patiently up the floor to limit Monett's opportunities. Only the press, foul and hope strategy by the Lady Cubs forced the game into a pace that pushed Cassville over the 40-point threshold.
The win helped the Lady Wildcats even their record at 2-2, while Monett dropped to 0-6 on the season.
Cassville scorers: Emily Speakman, 17; Kennadi Howard, 17; Jamie Everett, 8; Kelsey Vollenweider, 4; Lindsey Nolan, 2; and Raeghan Blisard, 1.
Monett scorers: Breanna Varner, 12; Abby Krueger, 8; Kelsey Wiseman, 4; Faith Schmidt, 3; Cheryl Barnes, 3; and Raigan Ratliff, 2.
Monett won the freshman game, 23-16. Brooke Burnside scored 10 to lead the Lady Cubs, and Autumn Scott was Cassville's high scorer with 8.
Cassville won the JV contest, 34-16. Kelsey Baker scored 12 and Sydney Curnes added 10 for the Lady Wildcats.