Lady Wildcats face tough test

Wednesday, January 7, 2015
Cassville sophomore Kaileigh Gorski pushes the ball up the floor for the Lady Wildcats during their opening-round game in the Berryville Holiday Tournament. Jared Lankford/sports@cassville-democrat.com

Team improving, coach pleased with progress

With the exception of seniors Brooke Fields and Raeghan Blisard, the Lady Wildcats basketball team is very young.

Last year, Cassville at times had three freshmen on the floor. This year, the team is even younger, with a lineup that features two more freshmen getting serious floor time. For Coach Chris Shore, this presents headaches, but gives him reason to hope.

Brooke Fields looks for someone to pass the ball to during tourney action in Berryville, Ark., last week. Jared Lankford/sports@cassville-democrat.com

"I look at the team on the floor and I see players that played last year and I get frustrated with our mistakes," he said. "I then have to remind myself to be realistic, and that they are still young."

The growth of sophomore Devyn Callahan has caught the attention of her coach. Callahan is leading the Lady Wildcats in scoring, averaging almost 10 points per game.

"She has stepped up and led this team by example," Shore said. "She learns from her mistakes and is starting to take charge on the floor."

The Lady Wildcats finished sixth at the Berryville Holiday Hoops Tournament. While it wasn't the finish they were seeking, it did provide them some answers.

"We are getting closer to being a team that can put multiple runs together," Shore said. "But, it is the little things that are keeping us from getting there."

Turnovers are the No. 1 item the Lady Wildcats plan to address. Cassville committed 28 of them against Elkins in the final game at Berryville.

"We have to improve in our decision making and slow down," Shore said. "A lot of times, we see the pass or play we need to make, but rush it too much and it becomes a turnover."

Shore said only game experience could help the team overcome its turnover issues.

"You can't simulate game speed in practice," he said. "We have to respond when we get in pressure situations."

Cassville has a tough schedule of games in front of it, starting with a road game at Blue Eye on Thursday, and then McDonald County and Mt. Vernon.

"There are not easy games in that stretch," said Shore. "We will face our toughest test of the season."

Tipoff at Blue Eye is set for 6 p.m.

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