MOUNT PLEASANT — The home court was very powerful for the Tigers.
Mount Pleasant played inspired ball at home as they outscored Sulphur Springs 15-7 in the final quarter, taking a hard-fought 49-46 win Tuesday night.
“We’re disappointed we did not win. It was a coulda, shoulda, woulda game and that won’t get it done,” said Wildcat head basketball coach Braughn Curtis. The Wildcats, who are currently in third place in the district standings, fell to 5-5 in district play with two home games left on the schedule. The win gave the Tigers a 4-7 mark in 13-4A action. On the night, Sulphur Springs made 16-of-44 two point field goals (36 percent) and connected on two-of-15 3-pointers (13 percent). The Tigers made 17-of-33 two pointers (51 percent) and hit two-of-seven from long distance (28 percent).
The Wildcats out-rebounded the Tigers 41-23. Colton Nash had 12 to lead the way. Sulphur Springs had 17 turnovers compared to 16 for the Tigers.
Jason Armstead scored threebig buckets in the second half while outside gunner Patrick Flanagan pumped in eight points late.
Jonathan Lee led Sulphur Springs with 12 points (with eight rebounds) while Mount Pleasant had balanced contributions with Ray Savage scoring 12 while Flanagan and Armstead added 10 each.
The fourth period began innocently enough for Sulphur Springs with the Wildcats holding a 39-34 lead.
Then the Mount Pleasant rally began. Flanagan popped the net with a 3-pointer on the heels of a short range shot by Armstead as the Tigers pulled closer.
Kedrick Dial scored on the inside for Sulphur Springs, but points kept coming from Mount Pleasant. A put back in the lane by Tramaine Elliott tied the game at 41-all and with 6:33 left the catfight was on. The scoring run by the Tigers gave the team a lot of momentum and the home crowd behind them.
Dial scored two in the lane, but the Tigers answered with a dunk by Elliott off a rebound which rattled the rim and gave the home team a rush. With 2:41 left in the game, Sulphur Springs held a 46-45 lead.
But the Wildcats could not secure the ball and a steal by Mount Pleasant led to a lay-up by Armstead on a drive to the goal. Armstead scored again to give the Tigers a 49-46 lead.
The Wildcats missed a chance to cut the lead when Lee could not convert a free throw. Sulphur Springs had three shots late to tie the game, but each one of the 3-pointers missed the mark. The clock ran out and Mount Pleasant held on to take the 49-46 upset victory.
In the first half, neither team was shooting well. Each squad shot under 38 percent in the first two quarters. Sulphur Springs dominated the board with Dial snagging five rebounds and Colton Nash getting four.
Action moved to the second period with the teams deadlocked at 14. The highlight for the Wildcats was two 3-point bombs by Joey Davis to get the team ignited.
In the second period, the Wildcats went on an 11-7 scoring burst. Points coming from a Davis baseline bucket in traffic. Nash and Lee scored on short range buckets in the paint while cleaning the glass. Lee tossed in a bucket while getting hacked in the act of shooting, he made the free throw and the first half ended with Sulphur Springs holding a 25-21 lead. But still the lead did not feel comfortable with Mount Pleasant hanging around.
The teams traded buckets in the third period with Armstead scoring on drives to the goal while Nash added a basket low and Anthony Mills pumped in a short range jumper for the Wildcats. Rollison scored from the outside, but the Tigers responded with a spinning bucket by Ray Savage. Rollison got a fast break scoring opportunity off a steal and slammed home two points to give the Wildcats a 38-29 lead, the largest margin of the game.
The Tigers got a 3-pointer from Flanagan to reduce the Sulphur Springs lead to 39-34 heading into the final period.
The fourth quarter was one the home team made their own with 13 points scored, at least half coming from Sulphur Springs mistakes. Late shots were off target and the Wildcats fell to .500 in the district race with a 49-46 loss.
“I thought our guys fought and played hard for three quarters, we didn't finish the game. We got to find a way to close it out by making our lay-ups and free throws,” said Curtis. “Mount Pleasant played well and did what they had to do to win and we didn't put them away.”
The coach continued, “All we can do now is focus on the next game and get ready for Marshall on Friday.”
The Wildcats are at home Friday against Marshall, the Mavs are also fighting for a playoff slot.
Sulphur Springs 14-11-14-7--46
Mount Pleasant 14-7-13-15--49
Sulphur Springs - Tyrik Rollison 7, Anthony Mills 3, Rashad Hall 1, Joey Davis 8, Colton Nash 8, Kedrick Dial 7, Jonathan Lee 12.
3-pointers - Davis (2).
Mount Pleasant- Jason Armstead 10, D'Quane Hines 2, Ray Savage 12, Patrick Flanagan 10, Kolen McCuin 6, Demarcus King 1, Tarmaine Elliott 8.
Mount Pleasant 79, Sulphur Springs 30
Sulphur Springs - Bubba Wright 7, Jaquavian Willis 6, Kwame Goodson 2, Jacobs 4, George Green 2, Luke Smith 2, Jordan Lee 6.
Ninth grade game
Sulphur Springs 53, Mount Pleasant 40
Sulphur Springs - Cody Clayton 18, Justin Owens 2, Tevin Norris 19, Calise Frazier 10, Jaylon Perry 2, J.K. Taylor 2, Erick Simmons 1.
NEXT UP - Marshall at Sulphur Springs, Friday, 9, JV, V, 5 p.m.
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