Members of the seventh grade Lady ‘Cats are: Sadie Hutsell, Katelyn Mitchell, Mylie Peterson, Addison Floyd and Mya Rinne.
After the cancellations of their first three games, the seventh grade Lady ‘Cats finally opened the season traveling to West Plains to face the Zizzers. Nerves definitely showed up the first half of the game, leading to several turnovers and allowing the young Zizzers to capitalize on the offensive end, giving them a 23-7 lead at half-time. The young ‘Cats calmed down and were able to put some pressure on the Zizzers and control the ball offensively to put points on the board. They outscored the Zizzers 11-8 in the second half. It was just a little too late, with the Zizzers pulling out the win, 31-18.
On Thursday, Nov. 12, the ladies had their home opener facing off against the Willow Springs Lady Bears. For the second night in a row, nerves got the best of them in the first quarter, allowing the Bears a 12-0 lead. The Wildcats buckled down, got some turnovers and outscored the Bears the remaining three quarters but that first quarter shutout was too much to overcome. They dropped their second game that week, 25-19.
Tuesday, Nov. 17, they hosted the Mtn. View-Liberty Lady Eagles. After two losses, the young ladies were determined to pull out a win, starting with a quick, 6-point lead in the first quarter and extending it with each quarter of play. Aggressiveness defensively and advancing offensively gave them the win, 29-17.
After a long week of practice and Thanksgiving break, the Lady ‘Cats returned to host the Houston Tigers, Monday, Nov. 30. Due to low numbers on the Tiger bench, the girls were only able to play two quarters. The break from playing was a little much and could be seen once again by the beginning nerves and turnovers.
Friday, Dec. 4, the Lebanon Yellowjackets came to town to face our hometown Lady Wildcats. Three days of hard, focused practice after the Houston scrimmage showed benefit and allowed hope that the girls could pull this one out. Improvement was seen in several areas by all five of the young team, but they could not match the fresh legs Lebanon was able to keep on the court, falling 24-31. They will finish their season with Rolla at home Dec. 15 and at Willow Springs for a rematch to end the season on Dec. 17.
Following the eighth grade Lady ‘Cats on Dec. 8, the seventh grade took the floor to face the Waynesville Lady Tigers. The ‘Cats were slow to figure out their defensive responsibilities, but once they did, they were able to slow the Tigers down, but they had taken a quick 12-2 lead in the first quarter. The following three quarters, the Lady ‘Cats stood their ground, figured out some offensive drives and controlled the boards, not allowing the Tigers second chances to score. It was a hard fought second half in which the ‘Cats fell short at the final buzzer, 31-26, to the Tigers.
“These girls have struggled throughout the season, but not without lack of effort. Every game, there is a different area of improvement.” Coach Kaylon Buckner
Friday, Dec. 11, they started the evening at Ava facing the Lady Bears. The game was tense the entire first half with lots of steals, rebounds and chances at scoring. The girls were a bit nervous and took a little bit to settle down before taking a 7-5 half-time lead. The second half, nerves crept back into the hands of the Lady ‘Cats with several offensive turnovers, allowing the Bears to control the ball. The Bears got on the board quickly and continued to score, defeating our ‘Cats 23-12.
“The seventh grade ‘Cats have had lots of hills to climb this season, but they continue to improve and show different aspects of the game as they work hard to show their crowd what they can do.” Coach Kaylon Buckner