The Wildcats and Lady Cats try to play themselves into district form with road basketball games tonight.
The Sulphur Springs boys will be matched against another set of Wildcats as they play at Paris High School. The ninth grade plays at 5 p.m. followed by the junior varsity and varsity games.
The Wildcats, 4-13 for the year, are coming off a 77-37 loss at home against state-ranked Princeton.
“Paris is a very solid team with several really good players. They are very disciplined in what they do both offensively and defensively,” said Jeremy Josey, Sulphur Springs head boys basketball coach. “We had a great practice yesterday and will today. Right now, we have had eight practices and played 12 games total since we gathered our entire roster. Intense, competitive practices are the most important element for our program and will help us in progressing in the right direction.”
The Wildcats are working on cutting down turnovers. Sulphur Springs had a season high 26 turnovers against Princeton. Josey said that those turnovers were turned into 42 points.
“Our main challenge has not changed from game to game - defend every possession and value the ball by limiting turnovers,” Josey added.
While the boys are in Paris, the Lady Cats will be in road against No. 1 Martin’s Mill.
The Lady Mustangs have a 15-1 record, their only loss a 54-48 defeat at the hands of T.K. Gorman. The squad is scoring 57 points a game, allowing 38 points a game.
The Lady Cats lost 53-46 to Martin’s Mill in the Winnsboro Tournament. Since that point, Sulphur Springs has won five of their last six games.
“I think we are playing better now, we know more what to do. Our players are learning what is expected from them,” said Jeff Chapman, Lady Cats head basketball coach. “Martin’s Mill is a very fundamentally sound team. They don’t throw the ball away and very good on defense. They are No. 1 in the state for a reason.”
Chapman said that part of mystique of Martin’s Mill is the team’s success including six straight trips to the state tournament. The Lady Mustangs won state titles in 2006 and 2008. The team is currently ranked No. 1 in the Class 1A, Division I polls.
“They have a strong tradition. I really did not want to play at their place,” Chapman said with a laugh. “They are tough to beat over there. But I have been talking to my team. I told them to ‘respect all, but fear none.’ We will play them and do our best.”
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