Sulphur Springs rallied for 20 fourth quarter points, but came up short, losing 45-39 to Mount Pleasant in Tuesday district action in the SSHS gym.
After managing just 9 total points in the first half, the Wildcats scored more than half of their points with the game on the line in the final frame. Mount Pleasant kept the Wildcats at bay with timely scoring key free throws.
For the night, Mount Pleasant made 20 of 29 free throws, including 12 of 18 shots from the charity stripe in the fourth period.
The Tigers (18-9, 5-1) were led by the scoring of Jonathan Johnson with 18 on the night, including three 3-pointers. Sulphur Springs got 11 points and two 3-pointers from Darian Dial in the hard-fought contest.
"We had a better effort this time against Mount Pleasant. We cut the margin down (from 20 points), we just did not get a win. It was a close game and we just came up short," said Jeremy Josey, Sulphur Springs head boys basketball coach."We played hard, we are getting better. The free throws were the difference in the game. But they got some calls and we were aggressive. I was proud of the way we battled back. We have just played two of the top teams in district (Marshall and Mount Pleasant) pretty close. If we continue to play this hard we be a good team."
The Wildcats entered the final period on the short end of a 31-19 score. Mount Pleasant was playing smart and drawing fouls. D’Andre Fields and Dionte Hill connected on free throws to pad the Mount Pleasant led. Darian Dial had a 3-pointer and the Wildcats trailed 34-24 with five minutes to play. The Wildcats got a hoop inside as they tried to stay close. Lacy came up with a steal and dished off to Andra Smith for a driving layup for the Wildcats. Mount Pleasant countered with two more free throws to make it a 38-26 game. Dial canned another 3-pointer from the wing. But Johnson answered with a low post bucket in the paint for the Tigers. Derick Ingram had a pair of 3-pointers sandwiched around a score in the lane from freshman Cain Cody. But time was running out with less than a minute left and Mount Pleasant up 44-39. The Tigers got another free throw from Flanagan and took the win by the final of 45-39.
The Tigers were growling early as Johnson started the game with 3-pointer from the wing to give the visitors a 3-0 lead with only 30 seconds gone off the game clock. Johnson then scored while getting fouled and sank the following free throw. The Wildcats found themselves down 6-0 and Cody had to go to the bench with two early fouls. Andra Smith came off the bench and popped the net on a 3-pointer for the Wildcats. Lacy scored on a penetrating move to the goal. The first quarter ended with Mount Pleasant holding an 11-5 lead.
The Wildcats were outscored 10-4 in the second frame. Johnson again hit a 3-pointer and twice the Tigers scored off fast breaks. The Wildcats increased pressure using a press, but it did not deter Mount Pleasant. Sulphur Springs had open shots they could not convert and fell behind 21-9 at the half. In the opening two quarters Sulphur Springs missed 14 shots. Many of the shots were forced from the outside with Mount Pleasant doing a good job to limit the Wildcats to jumpers.
In the third period, Mount Pleasant again started the frame with momentum as Johnson blistered the net with a trifecta from the corner. Sulphur Springs got a nice put back in the paint from Dial. Reid Burns entered the game and contributed with a 3-pointer for the Wildcats. Smith hit a one-handed floater in the lane. But it was too little too late as the Wildcats fell behind 31-19 as the third period ended.
Sulphur Springs outscored Mount Pleasant 20-14 in the final period, but could not take the lead. The Wildcats fell to 0-6 in district play with the 45-39 loss.
Mount Pleasant 45, Sulphur Springs 39
Sulphur Springs 5 4 10 20 -39
Mount Pleasant 11 10 10 14 -45
Sulphur Springs - Andra Smith 7, Isaiah Lacy 6, Darian Dial 11, Derick Ingram 6, Cain Cody 6, Reid Burns 3.
Mount Pleasant - Montravious James 5, Dionte Hill 8, D'Aundra Fields 4, Andrew Flanagan 6, A.J. Skeins 4, Jonathan Johnson 18.
JV score - Mount Pleasant 39,
Sulphur Springs 36
Sulphur Springs - C.J. Stephens 4, Melroy Givens 9, DeAndre Wright 2, Landon Brock 7, Dillon Carpenter 7, Kade Hudgins 3, Johnny Morgan 2, Hunter Coleman 2
9th grade- Mount Pleasant 57,
Sulphur Springs 40
Sulphur Springs - Zaccheus Petty 5, Zach Hayward 2, Keylon Hall 5, Garrett Jones 12, Derrick Weeks 7, Trenton Brock 1, Tyler Follis 8.
Next up - Sulphur Springs at Texas High, 9th, JV, V, first game at 5 p.m.
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