Little things haunting Cassville basketball girls

Wednesday, January 6, 2016
Cassville's Hallie Long (No. 23) drives past a defender during action in the Southwest Holiday Tournament. Cole Jackson Special to the Cassville Democrat

Lady Wildcats refocus on the basics to get victories

A somber Chris Shore, Cassville girls basketball coach, was blunt in how he felt after Monday night's 54-49 overtime loss to Lamar.

"I'm going to have trouble sleeping tonight," Shore said. "I'm not frustrated with our players or our effort on the floor. I'm frustrated with myself. Sometimes, I stick with things too long."

Shore's young Lady Wildcats are 6-6 on the season. What haunts the skipper the most is Cassville is just a few plays, and a couple of baskets, short of having double digit wins this season.

"Right now, our biggest problem is the little things," Shore said. "Turnovers at the wrong time, poor free throw shooting and missing a key rebound. Most of those things are just mental mistakes. We don't need to make any changes in our approach and preparation to games. We have to work hard to clean up the little mistakes."

On Monday, the Lady Wildcats had managed to fend off a pesky Lamar team nearly the entire game.

Leading 46-43 with 15 seconds left, Shore said he took a calculated risk, which ended up backfiring.

"I went with a small guard lineup so we could switch all ball-screens," Shore said. "Looking back, I overthought the situation. Lamar left their big post player in. She got the ball and missed two point-blank shots, but she also was able to get the offensive rebound over our shorter girls. We would have been better off to let her hit one of those first two shots."

After the second miss, Lamar was able to kick the ball outside and sink its first 3-pointer of the game as the buzzer sounded to force overtime.

"They hadn't hit one all night," Shore said. "Then, they hit one to send the game to overtime and then sink another one to open overtime. That left us battling uphill. I feel bad for our girls. They worked hard enough and played hard enough to be rewarded with a win. Instead, we have to come to practice and get past this game."

The Lady Wildcats are off until Monday when they welcome McDonald County to town. They then travel to Mt. Vernon on Thursday.

"The schedule is pretty rough next week," Shore said. "We have to push through, find a way to fix the little things."

Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. for both games.

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