The Cassville Lady Wildcats won their home opener against Galena, 53-41, and evened their season record at 2-2 on Dec. 3.
Emily Speakman poured in 16 points to lead the Lady Wildcats.
Even though Cassville led by as many as 20 points in the third quarter, no lead seemed safe against the Lady Bears.
Bryanna Erpelding, the "Galena Gunner," nailed five treys and led a ferocious fourth quarter comeback that saw Cassville's lead shrink to 7 points with 3:35 to play.
Chris Shore was concerned about how his defense would hold up against Galena's perimeter onslaught, concerned to the point that he put in a box-and-one defense during the pregame to contain Erpelding.
"That defense was the key to winning the game," said Shore.
Cassville's offense showed a lot more life Monday night than it did at the Blue Eye tournament.
After the first quarter ended in a 15-15 dead heat, the Lady Wildcats streaked to a 34-22 halftime lead on the strength of a 13-0 run.
Raeghan Blisard scored 7 straight points to push the lead to 28-22. Kelsey Baker hit a rim-rattling jumper, Brittani Long scored in the paint, and Speakman canned a baseline jumper to create a 34-22 halftime score.
That streak extended into the third period, growing to a 23-2 run. Galena managed only one field goal in the entire third quarter, and the Lady Wildcats held a 44-27 edge at the final break.
But Galena answered with a 6-0 run, and then Erpelding hit back-to-back treys to cut the lead to 46-39. Speakman stopped the bleeding with a pair of timely free throws, and Cassville held on to the 53-41 win.
Cassville scorers: Speakman, 16; Blisard, 13; and Katelyn Pitts, Baker, Long and Sydney Curnes, 6 points apiece.
Galena scorers: Erpelding, 15 points; Ashley Stults, 10; Haley Inman, 8; Leanne Sansoucie, 4; and Kristin Hufferd and Alicia Sullivan, 2 each.