Lady Wildcats take tourney crown, set goals higher

Wednesday, January 24, 2018
Cassville’s Hallie Long was named to the All-Tournament team at the Galena Tournament on Saturday. Jared Lankford/

Shore aims for historic milestone

It was almost like deja vu all over again for the Cassville girls basketball team.

On Saturday, for the second time this season, the Lady Wildcats (13-3) found themselves in a tournament championship game against Wheaton.

History repeated itself, as the Lady Wildcats earned a 65-35 win over the Ozark 7 Conference member to take the Galena Lady Bear Classic title.

“I thought we shot the ball well all three games in the tournament,” said Chris Shore, Cassville coach. “We knocked shots down from all over the floor and shot 57 percent in the championship game, and that was even before Madi [Stokes] got all of her points.”

Shore spent time with the team on Monday talking about where it is as far as development this season and what goals he had as the conference and district races heat up.

“I was honest with the team and said that we can’t rely just on Madi to carry us,” Shore said. “That’s why I was so pleased with the tournament. Our girls hit shots, inside and out, and made teams come out and guard. Then, that opened up the middle for Madi. If we plan to win a district title and beat a Carl Junction or Webb City, we have to make jump shots from the floor. I told the girls there is no reason why we can’t win those games and be a district champion.”

In the semifinal, Shore put his team’s shooting touch to the test.

“Forsyth is a tall and long team that can match up with us size wise inside,” Shore said. “The game plan coming in was not to even look at our post. I told the girls they were going to have to make shots to win.”

The result was a 57-39 decision.

“We faced both zone and man defenses and were able to attack both successfully at Galena,” Shore said. “I think that is one area that we have improved this season. We’ve also seen the growth of players, and that has been exciting.”

Shore singled out Alondra Miller and Leslie Turner for their growth and forcing the coach to find minutes for them on the floor.

“It’s a good problem to have,” Shore said. “Both of those girls have earned the right to play varsity minutes. I like where we are as a team right now.”

Coming into the week, Shore had 299 career varsity coaching wins. The Lady Wildcats had an opportunity to get him that milestone on Tuesday with a home game against Verona. Results for that game were not available at press time. They also host Carthage on Thursday.

Hallie Long also earned All-Tournament honors for Cassville at Galena.

Tipoff against the Lady Tigers is set for 6 p.m.

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