Lady Mt’neers shown early exit, stunned by Cats

The Mt. Vernon girls basketball team came into district play as the two seed only behind host Seneca. However, their postseason dance was over early as six seed Cassville ended the Lady Mt’neers season 34-31.
Mt. Vernon took care of business in their district opener against seven seed Monett as the Lady Mt’neers downed the Cubs, 45-24, behind a big performance from senior Cameryn Cassity. This would set up a semifinal matchup against Cassville fresh off a 31-29 upset over three seed East Newton.
The Lady Mt’neers didn’t show the Cats any love last time these two matched up on Valentine’s Day as they downed Cassville, 45-33, and early on it looked like an encore performance as Mt. Vernon jumped ahead early. Cassville went on a run at the end, but Mt. Vernon emerged from the physical defensive battle up 9-5. The second quarter can only be described as ugly basketball as both teams struggled with turning the ball over and taking bad shots. However, it was Mt. Vernon who emerged from the half leading 16-12.
Whatever was said in the Cassville locker room really resonated, as the Cats came out on fire. A Cassville three capped a 6-0 run and gave the Wildcats a 18-16 lead. The lead wouldn’t last long as Mt. Vernon senior Jolie Prescott would give Mt. Vernon a 19-18 lead with a three of her own. It was Cassville who would get the last laugh as another three fell, their fourth of the quarter, to take the 26-23 lead. Cassville wouldn’t surrender the lead but a Kadence Krempges steal, and bucket cut the once eight-point lead to just one, but Cassville ultimately took the game 34-31.
“This team has a special place in my heart. They were part of one of the greatest things to happen in Mt. Vernon girls’ basketball history. They were one of three teams to play for a state title. They lost some good players, but we had some good players returning. We just worked on finding our roles and at times we did that. Our defense was as good statistically as any team I have had here,” head coach Grant Berendt said.
A year following a state runner up, Mt. Vernon fails to advance past districts for the first time since 2017. The Lady Mt’neers finish the season 14-12 as a very decorated class of seniors saw their careers come to an end. Cameryn Cassity, Raegan Boswell and Jolie Prescott finish their career 90-28 with three district championships and a state runner up a year ago.
“Being a Mt’neer is great. The community support is unlike anywhere else, and they support anything you do. They always have food ready to go and they have been great supporting us,” senior Raegan Boswell said following the loss. “Jolie and Cameryn are my two best friends. Getting to play the last four years with them and getting to know some of the younger girls are among my favorite memories. Me and Coach B are super close, and I see him, and Coach A more than I see my own family and they have made my whole career special.”
Berendt added that this was no ordinary class.
“This class has been special. They played for a state championship, and we have been spoiled with tradition. I mean we were going for six straight district championships. Most kids would kill for that opportunity. Most importantly they are good kids. I am super proud of all three seniors and the challenges they have overcome, and they will be missed,” Berendt said. “Just like last year, we have a lot of scoring to replace and some big pieces to replace but now is when we get better. I told the girls we need to be in the gym shooting soon.”  


Lawrence County Record

312 S. Hickory St.
Mt. Vernon, MO, 65712


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