Cassville prepares for Spokane Tourney

Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Cassville senior Ethan Lowery battles with a Lamar defender for a rebound during the Wildcats' game on Friday. Chuck Nickle Photography

Wildcats seek to stop four-game skid

With three games in the Spokane Tournament this week, Cassville's boys basketball team (4-7) is looking to take the next step in their season progression.

The Wildcats opened play on Tuesday against the hosts, Spokane, and to say that it has been an up and down ride this year for the Wildcats would be an understatement.

Cassville opened the year dropping three straight games. The Wildcats then responded with a whirlwind three-game winning streak and claimed the title in the Southwest Holiday Tournament.

But, the euphoric feeling of that title has since been mitigated some by tough losses to Fair Grove, Carl Junction, Mt. Vernon and Lamar.

However, Cassville coach Danny Powers is still optimistic and encouraged with his team performance.

"We have played a really tough schedule," Powers said. "Especially these last four games. I still think we have grown and gotten better from over first game of the season."

Powers said the biggest area of need for his team is consistency and the ability to play for four complete quarters.

"In every one of our losses, we have started strong and played even with our opposition," Powers said. "Then, we hit a wall, miss a couple of shots and let the other team go on a run."

Basketball is a game of runs. The trick to winning is stopping your opponents runs when they are only 3-0 or 5-0, and not letting them bloom into 10-0 or greater.

"We got to be able to respond by making shots," he said. "We have fallen into a pattern of letting teams close out the first half on a run and then open the third period with a run. That is a recipe for disaster."

The Wildcats enter the Spokane Tournament as the No. 2 seed and Powers sees it an opportunity for his squad.

"We have be working hard to make adjustments with our offense and not to become too stagnate," Powers said. "Teaching our guards to pull up and take a short jumper instead of crashing to the glass and picking up an offensive foul."

The Wildcats continue to rely on the leadership of senior Ethan Lowrey and the guard play of Noah Hadlow.

Lowrey led the Wildcats with 13 points in Friday's 70-41 loss to Lamar, Hadlow finished with 8.

"As a team, we play with great speed and effort," Powers said. "We just have to make more shots."

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