Tough district draw awaits Lady Wildcats

Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Junior Raeghan Blisard looks for an open teammate to throw the ball to during the Cassville Lady Wildcats' game against Aurora earlier this season. Chuck Nickle Photography

Consistency and confidence are team's main focus

Chris Shore, Cassville girls head basketball coach, knows that his young Lady Wildcats basketball team has a tough draw in the opening round of the Class 4, District 11 tournament at Republic on Monday.

The Lady Wildcats open tourney action at 7:30 p.m. against Aurora, a team that defeated Cassville, 48-25 on Feb. 17.

Shore noted that his team is in a bit of a slump, losing their last five hardwood tilts.

"We knew we had a tough stretch of games [in February]," Shore said. "We had the four better teams in the conference and a couple of very winnable games on our schedule. We just wore down and didn't play well."

Shore isn't one to make excuses but his Lady Wildcats did have two strikes against them. First, they are young, and second, Mother Nature killed some momentum.

Cassville has one senior and spent most of the season defining roles on the team. The Lady Wildcats then appeared to turn the corner at the first of the year, winning six of their first eight contest, but a week of snow canceled practice and games and stifled the black and gold's momentum.

"You hate to blame weather for causing your team problems, but it didn't help us get better," Shore said. "A young team needs to win in order to keeps its confidence. If we had beat Monett or Lamar, we would have felt better against the tougher teams."

By no means has Cassville packed it in and gave up on this year, but they realize that the easiest games of the season are behind them. It has been almost a month since the team played four solid quarters of basketball.

Shore said the Lady Wildcats played well for one half against Aurora, and just one quarter versus East Newton, and just wore down against and athletic Carl Junction squad over the course of their last three games.

"We still have some players that aren't 100 percent comfortable being on the floor," Shore said. "That is a common problem for a young team. I think it can be fixed in the offseason in our summer league. We just need to find consistency on the floor right now."

Cassville hopes the second time is the charm against the Lady Houn' Dawgs.

"We played them tough for one half earlier this season," Shore said. "If we eliminate our turnovers and rebound we should have a chance to win."

Logan-Rogersville opens tourney play on Monday against Reeds Spring at 6 p.m. immediately followed by Cassville and Aurora.

The winner of the Rogersville's game advances to the semifinals to play top-seeded Republic next Thursday at 6 p.m. The champion of Cassville's tilt plays second-seeded West Plains in next Thursday's night cap.

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