Lady Wildcats enjoy big game and beat Lamar, 43-33

Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Ready for battle Chuck Nickle Photography Jaime Everett and Emily Speakman battle a Lady Tiger player for a loose ball during Thursday night's 43-33 victory.

The Cassville Lady Wildcats built a 26-18 halftime lead with a 20-point second quarter and held the visiting Lamar Lady Tigers to just 4 points in the fourth quarter while claiming a 43-33 Big 8 Conference victory on Thursday night.

While the Cassville offense sputtered and also struggled at the free-throw line, that trademark impenetrable zone defense held Lamar at bay throughout most of the contest.

Lamar led with a football score at the end of the first quarter, 7-6. Bethany Graves scored all 7 points for the Lady Tigers in the period. Raeghan Blisard, Emily Speakman and Jaime Everett all scored for Cassville in a tentative period for both teams.

In control Chuck Nickle Photography Cassville's Raeghan Blisard drives the ball down court during last Thursday night's game against Lamar. The freshman had an outstanding game, scoring 13 points.

But in the second quarter, Cassville found some openings. The Lady Wildcats had a decided height advantage, especially at the guard positions. Speakman scored 8 points in the paint against the Lamar zone, and Blisard saved a Katelyn Pitts' tapback and nailed a 12-footer to beat the buzzer and open the 8-point halftime lead.

Lamar made a game of it in the third quarter, opening with a 10-0 run to take a 28-26 lead. The Lady Wildcats went scoreless for the first five and a half minutes of the period until Speakman scored with a putback to tie the score at 28-28.

Lamar's Ryan O'Sullivan hit one free throw to regain the lead, but Kennadi Howard went to the block with a three-inch height advantage against Taylor Jackson, and her bounce off the glass gave Cassville a 30-29 lead at the final break.

Blisard went wild in the fourth period, scoring 7 points alone. With the game going nuclear around her, the smooth freshman looked like a character out of "The Matrix" -- cool and under control and moving at a gear higher than anyone else on the court.

Cassville's defense dug in and held the Lady Tigers to a single field goal and a pair of free throws, and the Lady Wildcats took the 43-33 win. Chris Shore's team missed a chance for a wider margin by connecting on only seven of 19 at the free-throw line. Lamar gave away points at the line as well, hitting only six of 14 free throws.

The Lady Wildcats improved to 10-11 overall with the victory and will play at East Newton on Thursday night.

Cassville scorers: Emily Speakman, 16; Raeghan Blisard, 13; Kennadi Howard, 8; and Jaime Everett, 6.

Lamar scorers: Bethany Graves, 11; Brooke McDonald, 8; Taylor Jackson, 6; Ciara Shoff, 4; Emmie Robertson, 2; Chynna Moore, 1; and Ryan O'Sullivan, 1.

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