Lady ‘Cats shake off rust in opener
Strong finish sends team to semifinals
The effects of not playing a game in more than a week were evident as the Lady Wildcats trudged through the first three quarters of a 46-28 victory over Monett in the Class 4, District 10 opener on Monday.
Cassville struggled to find its rhythm and allowed the Lady Cubs to hang around and even cut the lead to 31-25 with five minutes left in the game.
However, the team woke up and used a Madi Stokes 3-point play and a Kandace Wallace basket to restore order and cruise to the 18-point win.
“Tonight was a struggle for sure,” said Chris Shore, Cassville coach. “We kind of jumped on them early, and then we went through a stretch where it was 14-7 for a long time. We were getting the ball, but just kept shooting ourselves in the foot.”
Cassville led 12-5 at the end of the first quarter and 20-9 at halftime.
“At this point in the season, you want to win pretty, but it is just about advancing,” Shore said. “I told the girls that Carl Junction and Webb City were here to scout tonight, and they didn’t see the real team that we could be.”
Shore pointed to the fact that Monett played three games last week and Cassville played just one. He also credited the Lady Cubs with playing inspired basketball.
“We looked rusty out on the floor,” Shore said. “Monett hustled and got to some balls that we usually handle. That said, I’m proud of the way our girls responded in the fourth and pulled away. We need to get ready for Thursday.”
Cassville entertains Webb City at 4 p.m. on Thursday. The two squads did not play in the regular season.
“We’re going to take care of the ball,” Shore said. “Defensively, we are going to have to play better. Webb City has a good group of guards, and we are going to have to be better than we were tonight.”
Scoring for Cassville against Monett: Stokes, 19; Hallie Long, 11; Wallace, 6; Ashlynn Howe, 4; Macey Parsons, 4; and Audra Brooks, 2.