Wildcats sharpening their teeth
Offensive woes become team’s main focus
Could have, would have, should have were the thoughts and words that Cassville Coach Barrett Milleson used to describe the Wildcats’ loss to Lamar on Friday, 42-40.
Cassville (8-13) was 3 seconds away from sending the Big 8 Conference standings into a spiral and controlling its conference finish destiny.
Instead, the large homecoming crowd watched in dismay as Lamar sunk a near half-court shot at the buzzer to stun the Wildcats.
“That was a tough one,” Milleson said. “We had it defended, made them take the shot we wanted, and the kid just made a play. You know what, we are going to learn from it. We had a great practice on Monday and we are going to build going forward.”
Milleson said this season has been the most difficult of the three he has coached in Cassville.
“I hate saying that we are a young team,” Milleson said. “We play a ton of juniors and sophomores, and next year, we will be older. But the truth is, we need players to buy in and step up to be our upperclassmen leaders now.”
One thing that has limited the Wildcats this season has been consistent scoring.
“Our defense has been good enough at times this year, but we just don’t score enough points,” Milleson said. “To me, it is a trust and mental game. We have players trying to do too much and not trusting their teammates to do their jobs. We have to execute better, we have to get better looks at the basket. It all centers on our execution.”
Cassville did receive some encouraging news that Trey Dalton is slated to return this week.
“Not having Trey has hurt this year,” Milleson said. “However, we have had guys like D.J. [White] step up and grow this year because of that void. We still have a ton to play for.”
Cassville hosted Aurora on Tuesday. Results were not available by presstime.
The Wildcats travel to East Newton on Friday.
“We’ve played the Patriots once already this season,” Milleson said. “When they hit shots, they are as tough as anyone. We have a couple of schemes for them on defense. This will be a good test for us this week.”