Growing pains confront Lady ‘Cats
Cassville still finding its feet as hoops season starts
Youth and varsity inexperience have led the Cassville girls hoops squad to a 1-6 start to the season.
The Lady Wildcats’ lone win came on Nov. 19, a 50-43 decision over Pierce City.
The season record is not a complete shock to those that have followed the team the last few years. After being senior-laden, a youth movement was expected this year, along with the growing pains that come with the inexperience.
“A lot of the stuff we are struggling with is because of our youth,” said Tom Hubbard, Cassville coach. “Going back and looking at film, we have done some good things. The problem is that we can’t maintain it. We’ll look good for a couple of possessions and then turn around and make some freshman and sophomore mistakes.”
Hubbard has taken a rotation-by-committee approach to the season, mixing and matching his lineup on the floor to make sure players are exposed to varsity play.
“We have been able to do some things that I didn’t know if we would be able to handle this year,” Hubbard said. “Teams have pressured us, and I think we are handling the pressure better than I thought we would. We are boxing out on rebounds better than I had though possible.
“But, our youth shows. Other teams can see what we want to do and sometimes react faster than we do. We have worked on bounce passes more in order to keep balls from flying through girls’ hands.”
Hubbard knows that patience is the name of the game for Cassville this season, and he is not focused on wins and losses. The Lady Wildcats’ ultimate deciding factor on whether this season is successful or not is if the girls grow and get better as players.
“We are going to give the girls five days off next week and come back to work after Christmas,” Hubbard said. “Hopefully that will recharge the girls and we’ll be ready to work. We want this season to be a positive one and one in which they grow. I see lots of good things happening.”