Cassville leaning on Blisard's grit

Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Reaghan Blisard knocks down a jump shot for the Lady Wildcats this year. Her leadership has been key for Cassville, according to her coach. Robyn Poyner Special to the Cassville Democrat

Coach looking for solutions to team's turnover issues

Ask Cassville Coach Chris Shore who his team's most valuable player is, and he'll tell you it is senior Reaghan Blisard.

Blisard serves as a calming influence on the floor, a steady ball handler and an outside scoring option.

"Reaghan is a tough competitor and puts us into good position on the floor," Shore said. "When she is healthy we are at our best."

For two years, the Cassville senior has battled injuries. She tore her ACL last season and is currently playing with a sore hamstring. If that was not enough, Blisard played the entire Galena Lady Bears Tournament with a kidney stone.

"She gutted it out," Shore said. "Reaghan just wants the team to win, and she is willing to do what is necessary to help us win. She is the leader we need on the floor."

Shore said his team has responded well this year to the coaching. The Lady Wildcats' rebounding, points per game and steals have all improved this season, but there is one statistic that they have not found a cure for -- turnovers.

"When you give it away 17 to 22 times a game, it makes it tough to win," Shore said. "It is the main thing we focus on in practice and really the thing that worries me the most."

Shore pointed to the Galena tournament as a prime example, saying the team was solid for its first two games, but then struggled late against Purdy.

"We have a couple of critical turnovers late and then were forced to foul," he said. "The final score didn't indicate how close the game was. We have got to value the ball."

The Lady Wildcats travel to Clever on Thursday. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.

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