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Lady Cats rally by JT late

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    Sulphur Springs had one more scoring run left - and they needed it - edging John Tyler, 61-55 here Tuesday in thrilling non-district girls basketball at the SSHS gym.
    The Lady Cats (now 6-1) scored 40 of their 61 points in the final half, 20 in each quarter. The Lady Lions were held to 25 points in the final two stanzas.

    Desi Debase led the Lady Cats with 21 points, 16 coming in the second half. Destiny Wade had 13 points and 15 rebounds for a double-double in the high energy battle. Kasey Moore had nine second half rebounds, 12 for the night. Shakoja Debase had 14 points, including four 3-pointers, three coming in the final half.
    Amia Wickware had 16 points for the Lady Lions, Tameal Jones added 11, Ashton Beal and Keyanna Tatum scored 10 apiece.
    John Tyler edged ahead 15-11 after one period and the Lady Lions went up 30-21 at intermission.
    The Lady Cats and Lions battled tooth and toe nail down to the wire.
    The drama unfolded in the second half. Sulphur Springs began the third quarter down by nine points. Then it really got interesting.
    Beal scored on a drive in the lane to pad the JT lead to 32-21. Kasey Moore scored off a rebound put back in the lane to start a rally as the lead was cut to 32-23. Wade hit one of two free throws. Then Shakoja Debase rattled home a 3-pointer from the corner and the Lady Lions lead now was just five points, 32-27 with 4:57 left in the third period. Desi Debase turned a steal into a fast break layup. John Tyler countered with two free throws by Jeramie Ward at the 3:29 mark. Shakoja Debase again was left unguarded on the wing and made the JT squad pay for it as she drilled home another trifecta. The missile cut the advantage to 34-32 with 3:12 remaining. John Tyler went back to their inside game and got back-to-back buckets in the paint from Kaleigh Hackett. The home team was down 38-32 with less than two minutes to go in the third frame. Desi Debase tried her hand at long range shooting and banked in a three-bomb off the glass and the Lady Cats were just down 38-35. Desi Debase scored seconds later off a turnover and the Lady Cats now had the lead at 38-37. With the Lady Lions thinking about the Sulphur Springs outside game, the Lady Cats went inside and Wade got two buckets in the final minutes of the third frame from deadly short range shooting in the paint. The fourth quarter started with John Tyler clinging by their fingertips to a 42-41 advantage.
    Sulphur Springs would close out with a 20-13 run in the fourth period. Here’s how it happened. Daieyshia Pruitt came off the bench and connected on two free throws, then it time to dial long distance, again. Shakoja Debase stayed hot and swished the net on another 3-pointer to give the Lady Cats a 46-42 lead with 6:58 remaining. Chaliyah Moore also came in and paid dividends, scoring in the low post. Desi Debase came up with another steal, drew the JT defense to her and dished off a nice assist to Pruitt for another bucket. Wade made two free throws after getting hacked while shooting. All looked good with the world and the home fans, Sulphur Springs was now up by 10 points, 52-42 with 4:20 remaining. Then JT got back in gear, many of their points came off turnovers caused by their press. Sulphur Springs was also called for traveling and a 10-second half court violation. Beal and Jones both canned 3-pointers. Beal also scored off a steal and on a drive in the lane. The Lady Cat lead was sliced to just one point, 52-51 following the 9-0 outburst by the visitors. Down the stretch, neither team wanted to let up. Sulphur Springs missed chances to pad the lead when Desi Debase and Kasey Moore did not convert free throws. With the game on the line, Desi Debase stepped up and canned two free throws to tie the game at 54-all. Moments later, Desi Debase gave the Lady Cats the lead as she sank two more charity shots to make it a 56-54 lead. John Tyler did not score a point in the final minute with Desi Debase closing out the game hitting three of four free throws as the Lady Cats claimed the 61-55 win.
    In the opening frame, Sulphur Springs went up 6-4 with Wade and Desi Debase both converting three-point plays, making free throws after getting fouled in the act of shooting, but making the shot. John Tyler got buckets from Wickware and Ward to stay close. The game was tied at 11-all with 1:39 left in the first frame. John Tyler scored when Jones hit a shot off the glass, then converted two free shots. The first period ended with John Tyler holding a 15-11 lead.
    Sulphur Springs was outscored 15-10 in the second stanza. Shakoja Debase added a late 3-pointer and Kasey Moore scored in the lane. The first half ended with the Lady Cats on the short end of a 30-21 score.
    The second half belonged to Sulphur Springs as they outscored the visitors 40-25 and won the hotly-contested game by the final of 61-55.
    “It was a nervous game for me, but we fought back to win it,” said Jeff Chapman, Sulphur Springs head girls basketball coach. “In the first half we fell behind, but we cut the margin to nine at the half. That made it within reach and I knew we could come back.”
    Chapman said, “It was a good win for us against a good team. We started using more man-to-man defense and that helped. I was encouraged by the way we played it. We will use it more and I will teach it more in practice.”
    “We needed a win like this coming after the loss to Martins Mill,” Chapman said. “We were making our own shots. We rebounded well. I want our post players to be more dominant. We got good games from Destiny Wade and Kasey Moore. Kasey was more aggressive. We are looking to get balanced scoring from the post to go with our outside game. Shakoja and Desi Debase shot the ball well. We got a spark from Daieyshia Pruitt and Lexi Moore. Chrissalynd Person played well on defense as did Chaliyah Moore.”
    The Lady Cats play in the Edgewood Tournament Thursday through Saturday.
    Chapman said, “We open the tournament with Mineola. We are getting together a scouting report on them. I like the competition in this tournament.”

    Sulphur Springs 61, John Tyler 55 (varsity)
John Tyler  (7-5)    15  15  12  13  -55
Sulphur Springs (6-1)  11 10  20  20  -61
    Sulphur Springs - Daieyshia Pruitt 4, Lexi Moore 3, Kasey Moore 4, Shakoja Debase 14, Desi Debase 21, Chaliyah Moore 2, Destiny Wade 13.
    John Tyler - Amia Wickware 16, Jermonique Ward 6, Kayla Webb 6, Kaleigh Hackett 4, Tamael Jones 11, Ashton Beal 10, Keyanna Tatum 10, Ramey Duncan 2.
    John Tyler 41, Sulphur Springs 17 (JV)
    Sulphur Springs - Jaye Doughtie 5, Tahtiana King 5, Destiny Weeks 3, Destiny Godbolt 2, Erica Wade 2.
No freshman game was played.
    Next up - Sulphur Springs varsity vs. Mineola, 11:30 a.m. Thursday, first round Edgewood Tournament




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