Wildcats seek wins at Seymour Bank Classic

Cassville falls to host, play Bradleyville next for shot at 5th-place game

The Cassville boys basketball team took the No. 5 seed into the eight-team Seymour Classic on Monday night, getting one of the toughest matchups in the opening round, host and No. 4 Seymour.

Caleb Reynolds, Cassville boys basketball coach, said going into the contest that limiting mistakes would be a key, as will defense against the Owls’ leading scorers. However, Spokane got hot early and the Wildcats struggled, leading to a 74-57 loss.

“We really did not have a great night against Seymour,” Reynolds said. “Foul trouble and turnovers piled up, and it was just too much to overcome. Too many mistakes against a good team.”

The rest of the bracket on Monday was pure chalk, with No. 1 Springfield Catholic topping No. 8 Bradleyville, 90-44; No. 2 Bakersfield besting No. 7 Lighthouse, 78-61; and No. 3 Aurora topping No. 6 Dora, 74-42.

Reynolds said he thought Cassville got a fair vote in the seeding, and the team is now setting its sights on two straight wins to snap a steak of six away losses.

“We got votes for the 2, 3, and 4 seeds, so I think we’re fairly evenly matched with several of the teams in the tournament,” he said. “It will come down to who does a better job exploiting mismatches and who competes the hardest. The next two games we’ll be focused on us making improvements more so than what our opponents will be doing.”

The Wildcats are one of the taller teams in the area with 6-8 senior Jon Dunbar, 6-7 junior Eli Stokes. 6-5 senior Ethan Bohmke and 6-2 senior Cadyn Smith. Running the offense through the bigs is a priority on the floor.

“We just have to continue running the offense inside out,” Reynolds said. “Getting those [big] guys established early in games opens things up on the perimeter, and our guards have been shooting the ball well. Defensively, if we can do a better job of stopping middle drives and rotating into help we’re going to be in good shape.”

The Seymour Bank Classic and 39th Annual Spokane Invitational are back-to-back away tournaments for Cassville after taking a break from Dec. 20 to Jan. 2, and the Wildcats will not return home again until next month’s Feb. 2 matchup with Lamar. Reynolds said he hopes the two-week break will pay off with so many road games on the schedule.

“I think the time off was good for us,” he said. “We’re well-rested at a time when most teams haven’t had much rest. On the coaching side, I’ll have to do a good job of managing our practice schedule the next two weeks, but I don’t think this will be anything our guys can’t handle.”

Cassville faces Bradleyville on Thursday at 4 p.m. in Seymour, and Reynolds hopes the coming games deliver more consistency moving forward.

“There will still be a scouting report of course, but we have some things we need to do better and that’s where most of our focus will be,” he said.

If Cassville wins, it will face the winner of Lighthouse-Dora for fifth place on Saturday at 4 p.m., and a loss would set up a 7th-place matchup at 5:30 p.m. Saturday.