Wildcats lose two games in Quinlan Ford tournament
Joseph Elerson | News-Telegram Sports Writer

Dec. 3, 2005 - QUINLAN - After facing a bye in the opening round of the Quinlan Ford Hoop Magic Tournament, the Sulphur Springs Wildcats dropped both games against the Kaufman Lions and the Crandall Pirates Friday afternoon to drop to 1-5 on the season.

"I never once thought of this season as a rebuilding year, and I still consider us to be battling for a playoff spot, and we have got to continue trying to be that," said SSHS coach Jeff Carroll. "I am never going to look at this season as anything other than an opportunity for us to get better every day."

Carroll said poor shooting in both games played a major role in how the Cats lost to Kaufman and Crandall.

"We didn't shoot the ball really well from the free throw line or from the floor and that caused us some problems. If you can't make free throws or jump shots, then you are going to have some problems," the coach said.

The Wildcats were scheduled to play at 8 a.m. today against Commerce and the two teams will square off again Tuesday night at Wildcat Gym. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

"Commerce is very athletic, and we are going to have to prepare to handle their athleticism and their dribble penetration, and if we can do that then we will definitely have a chance to win both games," said Carroll.

Game 1

Kaufman 50, Sulphur Springs 36

With the Wildcats leading 18-17 heading into intermission, Kaufman outscored Sulphur Springs 33-18 in the second half to take a 50-36 victory.

The Wildcats shot 14-of-47 (29.8 percent) from the field and 6-of-21 from the free throw line (28.6 percent), which was the second time this season they have been under 30 percent from the free throw line.

Carroll said the team needs to show major improvement from the line in practice to have success during the pre-district season. 

"We need to shoot more and more free throws and the more that we work on it the better we will become at it, and it is something that we are going to work hard at the next few days," he said.

The Wildcats once again had a slow first quarter and scored their first bucket 2:30 into the game on a Chris Young bucket for a 4-2 deficit. Young scored a game-high 16 points with nine rebounds and one steal.

Sulphur Springs outscored Kaufman 12-7 in the second quarter behind seven points from Young, who gave them their first lead of the game on a 3-pointer with five seconds remaining.

The Wildcats came out in the third quarter with one of their worst offensive quarter of the season and were outscored 9-1 as they shot 0-of-13 from the field and 1-of-6 from the line as Aaron Williams converted a free throw.

Both teams found their offense in the fourth quarter as they combined for 41 points as Sulphur Springs was within five points at 33-28 with 5:32 remaining on a bucket by Young off a  Williams assist. Williams had seven points, three boards, four steals and three assists.

After a basket by Williams cut the deficit to six at 39-33, Kaufman went on a 7-0 run on baskets by Lester Camp and James Valladares and free throws by Derrick Bolden and Roy Martinez.

Chris Neal was the leading scorer for Kaufman with 13 points and seven rebounds, while Valladares had a double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds.

Game 2

Crandall 64, Sulphur Springs 47

The Wildcats once again had a slow first quarter as Crandall jumped out to a 12-5 lead and won 64-47 in the consolation bracket.

Sulphur Springs shot 2-of-12 from the field in the first quarter and overall shot 16-of-63 for 25.4 percent in the game. The Cats shot 10-of-20 from the free throw line.

In the second quarter, Crandall went on a 5-0 run as senior Andrew Doster scored all five points for the Pirates during the run to take a 17-9 lead with 4:32 remaining in the half.

Wildcat senior Jose Vargas was able to cut the Pirates lead to 24-19 on a bucket with 45 seconds remaining as SSHS outscored Crandall 14-12 in the second quarter.

Crandall was able to take an 11-point lead into the final quarter at 42-31 on back-to-back buckets by Brett Russell and Austin Good as time was running out in the third.

The Wildcats could not get the Pirates' lead below 11 points in the fourth quarter and Crandall held as much as a 22-point lead as B.J. Brawner had eight of his game-high 13 points during the period.

Sulphur Springs was led in scoring by senior Sam Pettit, who had his best game of the season with 11 points on 4-of-11 shooting, six boards and two assists. 

Young pitched in 10 points, four boards and one steal, while Jay Pope and Jeff Kramer had six points each for the Wildcats.

Good was the only other double-figure scorer for Crandall (5-1) with 10 points, three boards, four assists and one steal. Trent Klein had nine points for the Pirates.

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