Cassville, Mo. (For OzarksSportsZone.com) -- The Cassville Wildcats have had a rough stretch recently on the road. Last Thursday they fell by five at McDonald County, Saturday they lost an 11 point 4th quarter lead at Richland to lose 88-77, and Tuesday at Aurora a buzzer beater capped a Houn’ Dawg comeback and left the Wildcats winless in the Big 8. Some home cooking was just what Cassville needed and the Cats got it tonight as they defeated East Newton, 58-40.
Senior Garrett Kirk led the way for Cassville with 20 points and eight rebounds as Cassville never trailed in the contest. Junior post Ethan Lowery took advantage of early foul troubles for East Newton big man Bryce Zimmerman to score eight points in the first quarter to give Cassville a 15-8 lead at the first break. But Kirk would seize the spotlight in the second period.
Patriot forward Colby Thomas opened the scoring with five consecutive points to pull East Newton within two. Cassville would respond with a three from senior Logan Scott, a three point play on a driving layup from Kirk and then another three point play as Kirk would be fouled while hitting an acrobatic shot on a drive. Finally, Kirk would hit a 3 from behind the arc to stake the Wildcats to a 27-14 lead on their way to a 33-23 halftime score.
“He came out inspired tonight right from the beginning. That first-half was one of the best first-halves I’ve seen anybody play.” said Cassville head coach Danny Powers of Kirk’s night. “He played really well tonight and we feel real lucky to have him after his injury in football.”
East Newton tried to get back in the game in the second-half. But Lowery would contain Zimmerman inside, holding him to just 11 points and five rebounds on the night, and the Wildcats would not break.
“Whenever we started to get down a little bit we rallied around each other, came back, and finished it off.” said Kirk.
The biggest challenge came in the fourth quarter when the Patriots would use a 9-0 run to trim Cassville’s lead to 10. Powers used a time out to allow his troops to regroup.
“We had a stretch where we turned it over three times in a row. But we called time out, got some different personnel in there, took care of the ball, got to the foul line and put the game away,” said Powers.
Lowery would add 16 points and seven rebounds to the Wildcat cause. East Newton would place three players in double figures with Thomas scoring 12, followed by Swartz and Zimmerman with 11.
East Newton 8 15 5 12 – 40
Cassville 15 18 6 19 – 58
East Newton: Sam Swartz 11, Jacob Patterson 2, Deion Clark 2, Rocky Liveoak 2, Colby Thomas 12, Bryce Zimmerman 11
Cassville: Garrett Kirk 20, Connor Redmon 4, Ethan Lowery 16, Gabe Kirk 5, Ty Craig 6, Logan Scott 3, Caleb Sparks 2, Jordan Shore 2