Wildcats headed for district play

Wednesday, February 24, 2016
Cassville's Allen Lambel powers up a shot against Seneca during varsity action on Thursday. Cole Jackson Special to the cassville-democrat.com

Cassville steep climb against host Carthage

Cassville Coach Barrett Milleson does not have to search for the right words to describe how far his Wildcats have come this season.

The most common word he uses is -- identity.

Collin Pearman seeks an open teammate to throw the ball to during varsity action last week for the Wildcats. Cole Jackson Special to the cassville-democrat.com

"At the beginning of the season, we struggled to identify almost everything, from who was our scorer and what my expectations were, to what we needed to do to win," Milleson said. "As a first-year coach, you expect to have those kinds of issues."

As the season has gone along, the Wildcats have grown together as a unit, and while Milleson admits that they still have weak areas, the foundation is taking shape.

"We are handling ourselves better on the floor," he said. "I see more fight in their play and in practice. As long as I see that they are giving me everything

they have, the final score of games doesn't bother me."

The Wildcats open the Class 4, District 12 tournament in Carthage for a 6 p.m. showdown with the host Tigers. The two teams met on Dec. 16, with Carthage prevailing, 66-41.

"They have a couple of really good guards and caused us some problems with their man-to-man press," Milleson said. "This is a chance for us to prove that we have grown this season. Tuesday is a winnable game if we play smart."

Webb City earned the No. 1 seed in the tournament, and McDonald County has the No. 2 seed. Both teams received byes into the semifinal round. Monett was selected to be the No. 3 seed, followed by Carthage as the No. 4. Cassville was voted the No. 5 seed, and Carl Junction garnered the No. 6 seed.

Cassville and Carthage open the tournament at 6 p.m. on Tuesday and will be immediately followed by Monett and Carl Junction.

The Wildcats and Tigers winner advances to play Webb City on Thursday at 7 p.m., with the Cubs and Bulldogs victor to entertain the Mustangs at 8:30 p.m.

The district championship is slated for Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

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