|Wildcats lose two games by a combined six points|
|Joseph Elerson | News-Telegram Sports Writer|
Dec. 12, 2005 - WILLS POINT - The Sulphur Springs Wildcats lost both of their games Saturday by a total of six points during the Wills Point Kiwanis Classic with a 46-42 loss to the Forney Jackrabbits and a 51-49 loss to the Whitewright Tigers.
Coach Jeff Carroll said the first quarter once again played a role in the outcome of both games but the effort was there.
"We took the first quarter off and we have a tendency of falling behind and once we fell behind, we fell behind in both games by as much as 12 points," the coach said. "We played so hard in both games."
The Wildcats will play a rare Monday night contest tonight against the Sherman Bearcats at Sherman, with tipoff scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
"Sherman is as good as anybody on our schedule and we are going to have to come out and play hard and the good thing about this is the turnaround with playing a lot of games in a short amount of time and that really prepares the team for a lot of playing experience, which is what we need," Carroll said. "After that, we have a good solid three days of practice and that can make your team so much better and that is one thing that I am looking forward to."
Forney 46, SSHS 42
After a 3-pointer by Drew Biggerstaff cut the Forney lead to 44-42 with 2:50 remaining in the game, the Wildcats were held scoreless as Forney's Cody Seabolt put the nail in the coffin with two free throws with three seconds remaining on the clock.
Seabolt scored eight of his game-high 17 points in the quarter for the Jackrabbits (7-5). He also had eight rebounds, two assists and one steal.
The Wildcats fell behind by as many as 13 points in the second quarter as Forney went on an 11-0 run to take a 23-10 lead with 2:08 remaining as Cameron Graupman scored six points during that run.
Biggerstaff scored the only points of the quarter for Sulphur Springs nailing a 3-pointer off the assist from junior Bradley Washington.
After trailing 36-28 after the third quarter, Sulphur Springs put together a 9-2 run to draw to within one point at 38-37 with 4:40 remaining as senior Sam Pettit stole the ball and went in for a fast-break lay-up.
"We just started playing hard and if we play smart and we play hard and play together, then we will be OK. We are going to get there, and we keep fighting a good fight, and we are going to get to where we need to be," the coach said.
Carroll praised the play of Biggerstaff and Pettit during both games.
"Sam is definitely coming on for us - and we knew that he would - and Drew had a great day of games. You see Drew at 5-11 and weighs 150 pounds is guarding a guy at 6-4 and 275-280 pounds, and I can't say enough about how hard he plays," the coach said.
Pettit finished the game with a team-high 12 points and three steals, while Biggerstaff had 10 points, six rebounds, one steal, one assist and two defensive charges.
Forney had 10 points, four boards and three assists from Graupman.
Whitewright 51, SSHS 49
The Wildcats held a 44-37 lead heading into the fourth quarter of play, but were outscored 14-5 in the period as the Tigers took the come-from-behind win.
An Aaron Williams jumper with 2:30 remaining was the final basket Sulphur Springs would score in the game to extend their lead to 49-44, before Whitewright's Fred Bowen drained back-to-back 3-pointers for a 50-49 lead.
"We just missed a couple of lay-ups and maybe pulled the ball out a little early. We've just got to keep playing in that situation where we had a lead and we just couldn't keep that lead," Carroll said. "We need to keep attacking the basket and making our lay-ups and making our free throws."
SSHS played the majority of the game without junior Chris Young, who was suffering with an injury and scored four points, all in the first quarter against Whitewright.
"Chris had a knee or leg injury that he has been battling with and he just couldn't get through it in Game 2," the coach said.
The Tigers jumped out on Sulphur Springs in the first quarter and took a 20-8 lead as Whitewright's Aubrey Cox scored 10 points.
In the second quarter, SSHS battled back and cut the Tigers lead to 26-20 on a fast-break lay-up by Pettit, who scored 13 points. Pettit led the team in assists with six and steals with two while pulling down four rebounds.
The Wildcats went into the locker room down 30-24 and took their first lead of the game at 34-33 with 4:15 remaining in the third on a 3-pointer by Pettit off an assist from sophomore Day Day Porter.
Jose Vargas had 13 points, eight rebounds and one steal, while Jeff Kramer had eight points, two boards, one steal and one block for the Wildcats.
Bowen scored 15 points for the Tigers with five rebounds, three steals and one assist.
Both teams were even from the field as Sulphur Springs was 20-of-58 for 34.4 percent, while Whitewright hit 34.5 percent of their shots (19-of-55) from the field.