Wildcats seeking spark

Tuesday, December 18, 2018
D.J. White rises up to knock down a jumper against the Eagles on Friday. Jared Lankford/sports@cassvile-democrat.com

Cassville holds off determined Purdy team

Cassville Coach Barrett Milleson did his best to prepare his team for the rigors that awaited them as they entered the Nest of Purdy on Friday to face the Eagles.

When the final horn sounded, his Wildcats walked out of the gym with a 56-50 win that was far from routine and hotly-contested.

Luke Lowery challenges Purdy’s Harley Stephens for a rebound during varsity action on Friday. Jared Lankford/sports@cassvile-democrat.com

“You have to credit coach Ryan Stokes and that Purdy team,” Milleson said. “They were ready to play. We took care of the ball better than what appeared on the stat sheet. It was less than what I thought it was, but defensively, we weren’t very good and gave up a lot of easy baskets, and when you can’t keep the ball out of the net, it is hard to run the ball back down the floor.”

Fans can debate whether or not the Wildcat players looked past the Eagles on their schedule, and Milleson, during one timeout, told his team that style points mean nothing if you cannot hit a layup.

Cassville never did separate themselves from the Eagles and even trailed 47-42 with four minutes to play in the third quarter.

Milleson said he had a list of things that the Wildcats were going to address this week in practice as they prepare for Webb City on Thursday and the Southwest Holiday Tournament next week.

“We have to get better at the little things and pay attention to defense,” Milleson said. “We have to keep our turnovers low and understand how to get stops and get teams to take the shot we want them to take.”

Cassville led 13-11 at the end of the first quarter and 28-23 at halftime.

After Purdy took a 5-point lead, DJ White ripped off 6 consecutive points to allow Cassville to take a 42-39 edge into the fourth quarter.

Scoring for Cassville: White, 26; Ethan Hoppes, 19; Carson Roller, 7; and Jarrod Wallace, 4 points.

Scoring for Purdy: Osiel Aldava, 17; Fernando Garcia, 11; Mason Schallert, 8; Scotty Henry, 6; Harley Stephens, 4; and Bryan Ruiz, 4 points.

Tipoff against Webb City is set for 6 p.m. Thursday.

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