Wildcats strengthen resolve
Cassville takes 3rd in holiday tournament action
The Southwest Holiday Tournament was a bitter sweet event for the Cassville basketball team.
On one hand, the Wildcats played phenomenally in their, 64-56, third-place win over Gravette (Ark.).
The bitter came in the fact that the Wildcats were denied a chance to play for the championship because of a flat performance in the semifinal round against Marionville.
“We didn’t play very good against Marionville,” said Barrett Milleson, Cassvile coach. “They came out to start the with more energy than we did. We talked with our kids about that and corrected those things against Gravette. it’s kind of disappointing not reaching the goal of not winning the tournament. We felt coming in that we had an opportunity to win a title, but we saw that we have to play at a high level every game in order to make goals a reality. I was proud of the kids for the way we came back and battled on Saturday.”
The Wildcats never trailed against the defending champions in the third-place match and used a combination of pressure defense and hot shooting to lead by as many at 17 in the first half.
The Lions were not able to close within eight points in the second half.
“We talked about for a couple of year about finding out what Cassville basketball is all about,” Mislleson said. “We asked our players to help craft our identity, and I think we saw that on Saturday. We think that when we limit turnovers, take charges, make the extra pass and guard as hard as we can we will be successful of the court and that is what happened on Saturday.”
As the Wildcats head into the new year, they are self-focused when it comes to their development.
“We want to continue to limit turnovers and get better on defense,” Milleson said. “I don’t care how good you are, you can always get better on defense. Offensively, if we can eliminate turnovers and move the ball security, we’ll be fine.”
Scoring for Cassville: Ethan Hoppes, 29; D.J. White, 12; Carson Roller, 11; Jarrod Wallace, 6; Dane Martin, 3; Andrew Litlefield, 1.
White and Hoppes were named to the all-tournament team.
Cassville travels to Pierce City on Friday. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m.