A tough stretch of scheduling saw the Cassville Wildcats remain winless for the new year. Back-to-back home losses to conference foes Carl Junction and Mt. Vernon erased any holiday cheer left over from the Southwest Holiday Tournament wins over East Newton and Wheaton.
After taking a 69-48 bite from Carl Junction on Jan. 4, the Wildcats hosted Mt. Vernon on Jan. 8. The Mountaineers jumped out in front 8-0 and led wire to wire in a clock-shortened 63-33 game.
The Wildcats were on the ropes at halftime, trailing 34-19. The Mountaineers supplied the knockout punch with a 17-4 third quarter, taking a 51-23 lead at the final break.
Mt. Vernon led by as many as 34 in the final period.
Turnovers and a lack of outside shooting stymied Cassville's offense. Big Ethan Lowery was often double-teamed in the paint and was limited to just 9 points on the night. Garrett Kirk led the Wildcats with 12.
Three Mt. Vernon players reached double figures in the contest. Although Shane Williams didn't lead the green wave in scoring, he always seemed to make a shot when his team started to struggle on offense.
On Friday, Jan. 11, the Wildcats dropped a 70-49 decision on the road at Lamar and saw their record slide to 4-7 overall.
Scoring for Cassville: Kirk, 12 points; Lowery, 9; Ty Craig, 6; Logan Scott, 4; and Kayleb Sparks, 2.
Scoring for Mt. Vernon: Luke Call, 19 points; Williams, 15; Chandler Myers, 12; Braden Adams and Zane Phillips, 7 each; and Joey Curl, 3.