Wildcats take Tip Off victory over Patriots
With just three games remaining in the regular season, the Cassville Wildcats got a much needed win on Feb. 8. The Wildcats celebrated Tip Off by defeating East Newton, 58-40.
This was a get well game from the outset. Cassville never trailed in the contest and led by as many as 19 down the stretch. Garrett Kirk tallied an even 20 to lead all scorers. Ethan Lowery outplayed East Newton's big Bryce Zimmerman in the paint, opening up the lane and the floor for the Wildcats.
Lowery scored the first points of the game with a pair of free throws in the initial minute and then finished the quarter with a powerful inside move that gave the Wildcats a 15-8 lead.
The Patriots threatened early in the second period when Colby Thomas canned a trey, cutting the lead to 15-13. Logan Scott tossed in a long jumper to match Thomas' effort though, and the Wildcats went on a 12-1 run to claim a 27-14 lead at the 4:08 mark.
East Newton rallied to pull within 6 points, but Gabe Kirk threaded a fast break lead to Ty Craig for the hoop and the harm. Kirk's free throw gave the 'Cats a 31-21 lead.
Deion Clark scored late for the Patriots, but Kayleb Sparks rolled in a shot as tough as his red Robert Redford beard to give Cassville a 33-23 halftime lead.
In the third quarter, the Wildcats showed patience and maturity. Danny Powers' club milked the clock and played inspired defense, and the final break saw the Wildcats leading 39-28. Yes, Cassville only scored 6 points in the period, but they limited the visitors to just 5.
The fourth quarter started and ended with Cassville runs.
The Wildcats flashed a 9-1 flurry to begin the period, with Lowery hanging 7 of those. With East Newton hanging around at 48-38 as the game entered the final minute, Cassville finished the game with a 10-2 run. Gabe Kirk keyed the outburst with a snowbird fast break layup, and the Wildcats converted six of eight free throws in the final 51 seconds.
Scoring for Cassville: Garrett Kirk, 20 points; Lowery, 16; Craig, 6; Gabe Kirk, 5; Connor Redmon, 4; Scott, 3; and Jordan Shore and Sparks, 2 each.
Scoring for East Newton: Thomas, 12 points; Sam Swartz and Zimmerman, 11 each; and Jacob Patterson, Clark and Rocky Liveoak, 2 apiece.