|SSHS Lady Cats drop game to Wills Point|
|Bobby "Butch" Burney | News-Telegram Sports Editor|
Dec. 2, 2005 - Using a full-court press and a hot shooting touch, the Wills Point Lady Tigers successfully defended their home court Thursday afternoon.
The Lady Tigers sent Sulphur Springs to the consolation bracket in the first round of their tournament, 74-37, by forcing 37 turnovers and shooting 53 percent from the field.
Wills Point (5-3) had four players score in double figures and six players with at least two steals as they ended the Lady Cats' winning streak at two games.
Sulphur Springs (2-7) will now face the winner between Dallas Spruce and Terrell (5-4) at 4:30 p.m. Friday. A loss puts the Lady Cats into a noon Saturday game, while a win sets them up for the consolation final at 1:30 p.m. Saturday.
The Lady Cats received 14 points and six rebounds from senior post Bridgette Nash, and seven points and five steals from senior forward Whitney Jordan. But, the Lady Cats fell into a deep hole early and couldn't make a game of it after that.
Wills Point forced 13 turnovers in the first quarter, going on a 19-2 run over the final five minutes of the period to open up a 28-6 lead. Sulphur Springs hit just 3-of-10 shots from the field in the opening quarter, with Nash making two buckets and sophomore post Star Wright making the other. Wright finished with six points and three boards.
The Lady Tigers, meanwhile, made 13-of-20 in the first quarter, including all four attempts from post Shanna Smith, who led all scorers with 15 points to go with seven steals and six assists, mostly on back-door feeds from the post position. She was joined in double-figure scoring by teammates Taylor Austin with 15 points, ShaRonda Jones with 11 and Chavela Booker with 10. Jamie Thompson added nine points and nine steals.
The Lady Cats did better against Wills Point's full-court press after the first period, and the two teams played the second quarter evenly as SSHS freshman point guard McKenzie Cross dished out five assists in the period, two of them on back-to-back buckets by Nash by breaking the press and feeding her the ball.
But, Wills Point scored the first six points of the third period to increase the advantage to 46-18, a streak that was broken when Cross again fed Nash the ball for a basket. Cross finished with two points, two steals and eight assists.
The Lady Cats ended the game on a 7-0 run as Jordan scored on a base line drive, Cross hit a bucket off a Jordan assist and Hubbard hit a low-post shot.
Hubbard finished with four points, eight rebounds and two steals. Junior Emily Bouyear added four rebounds and two assists, while sophomore Stephanie Connally scored four points.
Wills Point made 34-of-66 shots (52 percent) from the field, while the Lady Cats made 18-of-46 (40 percent). The Lady Cats went to the free throw line just five times, making one, while they edged Wills Point in rebounds (30-29) and had a respectable 12 steals and 14 assists.