Cassville boys look to avoid slow starts

Cassville, Mo. (For  -- Cassville Wildcats head coach Danny Powers found one of the hazards of coaching Cassville basketball in his first year last season.

Slow starts.

With the Wildcats making another deep run into the state football playoffs, some players got a later start on the season. Add to that a key injury and Cassville started the year with a 4-9 record before again coming alive in the second half of the season to finish 14-12.  

Those same elements come into play again this season as Cassville again played extra football games in the playoffs. But it was a regular season game that may have the biggest impact on the Wildcats basketball season as the team’s leading returning scorer, senior Garrett Kirk (6’1”), suffered an injury that will have him out for some time, possibly even the entire season. The team will miss his great speed, athletic ability, and the spark he gave the squad at both ends of the court.

Kirk’s absence puts even more pressure on a team that lost four starters and five seniors from last year. But that too is not new for Cassville as they faced the exact same situation the year before. The answer is plain to Powers.  

“This year we will look for our seniors to lead the way,” he said.

The Wildcats return three other seniors with a fourth returning to the game after a couple of years away. Leading the way will be forward Logan Scott (6’2”) who will see time at both the post and guard positions.  Scott has the ability to score both inside & outside and will be called upon to do just that.  

The second senior is Jordan Shore (6’), another returning letterman who is a solid defender.  He’s also a versatile player who Powers expects to fill various spots on the floor for Cassville.  The last returning senior is Conner Redmon (6’). Another versatile, athletic player for Cassville, Redmon will split time at guard and forward also.

The final senior is Stone Phelps (5’10”), a fast, athletic player who has been away from basketball for two years.  Phelps has the ability to compete for a starting spot even after two years off.

The final returning letterman is junior post Ethan Lowry (6’6”) the team’s tallest player.  Lowry should improve on his 6.75 points per game average from last year and give the Wildcats a real post presence.  

Powers cited three juniors as being able to make a contribution at the varsity level.  Guard Ty Craig (5’10), and guard/forwards Jordan Adams (6’1”) and Marcus Weatherman (5’11”).
Cassville will not only face their normal tough Big 8 schedule and games against Republic and Carthage, but a district that contains Republic, Rogersville, and Reeds Spring.  The challenges are many for Cassville, but look for them to again be their best at the end of the season.

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