|Lady Cats upended in first round of Ford tournament|
|Joseph Elerson | News-Telegram Sports Writer|
Nov. 19, 2004 - QUINLAN - The opening round game of the Quinlan Ford tournament did not go the way of the Sulphur Springs Lady Cats Thursday afternoon against the McKinney North Lady Dogs in a 63-34 loss to move into the consolation bracket of the tournament.
"The girls need to be able to keep their heads up It will take a little bit of time for us to start playing like a varsity team, and they were seeing good things on the court today," SSHS head coach Carin Hoffman said.
With both teams a combined 0-7 coming into the first round match-up, Hoffman said she saw a much different team in the fourth quarter than in the first three quarters of the contest.
"The intensity in the fourth quarter that I saw, I did not see in the first three quarters of the game," the coach said. "It was almost like a whole different team showed up, and we are here to get better."
SSHS is now 0-3 on the season and was scheduled to play Commerce at 2 p.m. in the consolation bracket of the tournament. Their next scheduled game is Tuesday against at Paris Chisum with a triple-header starting at 4 p.m. McKinney North improved to 1-5 with the win.
Neither team could get anything going in the first four minutes of the game before Maddie Reidy nailed a jumper for McKinney North for the early 2-0 lead.
The Lady Cats got on the board nearly six minutes into the quarter when Kati Riggs nailed the back-end of a pair of free throws for a 4-1 deficit.
"I was very pleased with Kati coming off of the bench. She did exactly what I needed her to do tonight," Hoffman said.
In the second quarter, the Lady Dogs started to turn up the heat on the Lady Cats using a full-court press as Sulphur Springs turned the ball over 10 times in the quarter.
McKinney North went on a 9-0 run to take a 12-point lead at 26-14 with 2:15 remaining in the quarter.
Before the quarter was over, sophomore Cresha Hubbard went down with a twisted ankle but did return to the game. Hoffman said Hubbard's ankle is sore, but she is expected to play today.
The full-court press of the Lady Dogs continued to give SSHS fits in the third quarter as they were outscored 13-4 in the quarter and committed 13 turnovers.
"It is going to take some time for us to get better this season and we are getting prepared for district play because that is when the wins and losses count. I was pleased with the way the fourth quarter went," Hoffman said. "The kids need to just get some playing time because everyone but Terra (Jackson) was on JV last year and so they are inexperienced."
"Hopefully we can work on starting from the opening tip. You can't wait until the end to start playing well because you are behind by so many points."
Riggs got the Lady Cats to within 22 points at 54-32 on a strong three-point play scoring six points off the bench in the final quarter. She finished the game with 10 points and two rebounds, and shot eight-of-11 from the foul line in the game.
Junior Bridgette Nash played one of her best interior games of the season ,according to Hoffman, with six points and five rebounds on three-of-eight shooting from the field.
"We still don't know who are scorers are yet, and we don't depend on just one person right now. We are trying to find out who can be dependable and Bridgette played the best that I have seen her play all season," Hoffman said.
"If she wants to continue playing and to be starting, she needs to play the way that she did tonight, she was posting up hard and wanted to be in there."
Hoffman said Katlyn Black played well off the bench with a steal and a rebound, and she helped get some momentum back to the team late in the contest.
"Katlyn came in off the bench and she is a great defender and is quick and caused some steals and then the team started to get their heads up and they started to pick it up in the game," the coach said.
Ne-Ne Hynson added six points for the Lady Cats, while teammate Kayla Morgan added five points and four rebounds.
Picazo was the game-high scorer in the contest with 15 points, seven steals and two rebounds, while Reidy added nine points, two rebounds, two steals and one assist for the Lady Dogs.