By Denise Tucker (For OzarksSportsZone.com)
Cassville Wildcats basketball coach Barrett Milleson is excited about the upcoming season.
Despite an 8-16 overall record and 1-6 Big 8 Conference finish, Milleson was pleased with his team’s hard work over the summer and is eager to see how that translates to this winter.
The Wildcats, who lost 64-53 to McDonald County in the first round of the Class 4 District 10 Tournament, lose just one starter from last season.
Guard Austin Wilson was a solid perimeter player who helped on defense. Also gone from last year is guard Trey Dalton, who Milleson said would have been a “difference-maker” for the Wildcats, and who missed all but three games after suffering a knee injury in August 2017.
Milleson returns four starters and six lettermen as he enters his fourth year at Cassville (29-47 record), which will be competing in the Big 8 Conference West division this year.
• Ethan Hoppes – 5-10 senior – averaged 15.6 points per game, 2 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.7 steals. Hoppes was an All-District and All-Big 8 Conference second-team selection, and a three-year starter.
• DJ White – 6-0 junior – averaged 13.5 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 3.7 apg, 1 spg. White was an All-Big 8 Honorable Mention pick last season, and a two-year starter.
• Jarrod Wallace – 6-3 junior – averaged 7.3 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 1.1 apg, and was a two-year starter.
• Luke Lowery – 6-5 senior – averaged 6.1 ppg, 5.2 rpg, and was a two-year starter.
• Evan Kessinger – 6-1 senior
• Brendan Seufert – 5-10 senior
• Andrew Littlefield – 6-3 senior
“They all come with multiple years of varsity experience,” Milleson said of Hoppes, White, Wallace and Lowery. “Overall, this will be the oldest and most-experienced team I have ever coached.”
Cassville has four junior newcomers who will look to compete for varsity minutes.
• Jake Thomas – 5-9 – “A good playmaker and tough defender.”
• Carson Roller – 6-1 – “Can play a lot of positions on the floor. Can shoot, rebounds well, and can make plays for people offensively.”
• Quinn Cook – 5-11 – “Great shooter who can make great plays for his teammates.”
• Dane Martin – 6-0 – “Smart player who can score in multiple ways.”
The Wildcats host a jamboree on Nov. 13 before opening the season on the road Nov. 20 at Berryville, Ark.
“This is the deepest and most complete team I have ever coached,” Milleson said. “With some good fortune concerning injuries, which we did not have last year, we could be very competitive in conference and district play. We will be able to play a variety of styles this year with so many players returning.”