Cassville closes door on frustrating season

Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Gabe Kirk tries to find an opening in the Aurora defense during the Cassviile Wildcats district game on Saturday. Jared Lankford/

Wildcats look to speed things up this summer

The Cassville Wildcats' basketball season came to halt in the opening round of the Class 4, District 11 tournament in Republic on Saturday.

The Wildcats (9-14) fell to Aurora, 54-22, allowing the Houn' Dawgs to secure victory with the aid of a 33-2 run that spanned the last 12 minutes of the first half.

"It was a disappointing way to end the season," said Danny Powers, Cassville head coach. "We lacked the fire needed to compete today. I think we might have felt that since we beat them in the regular season, we could do it today. We didn't."

The Wildcats end a season in which they peaked in December with a tournament championship in the Southwest Holiday Tournament, then searched the remainder of the year to recapture that magic.

"We are still a young team, and we have to mature as players," Powers said. "We have a lot of athletic players, and we need to focus on getting them to play as one unit."

Cassville will be without the services of two senior starters next year in Marcus Weatherman and Ethan Lowery.

"I was very pleased with the performance of our seniors this year," Powers said. "Marcus and Ethan were good role models for our younger guys, and we will miss them greatly."

For Lowery, the loss brought a chance for reflection.

"For four years, Cassville basketball has meant everything to me," Lowery said. "I tried to give my best every time I took the court. I think if the guys [coming back] put in the work, they can win."

With the departure of Lowery's 6-7 frame, the Wildcats will be a lot smaller next year.

"We are going to change our style of play this offseason. We will have to go up-tempo," Powers said. "You'll see a full-court press and more aggressiveness."

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