|Lady Cats face adversity in beating Gilmer|
|Bobby "Butch" Burney | News-Telegram Sports Editor|
Dec. 17, 2005 - Playing their first game since their leading scorer and rebounder left the team, the Sulphur Springs Lady Cats got the job done Friday evening.
Led by a double-double from senior post Bridgette Nash, the Lady Cats tightened the defensive screws on the Gilmer Lady Buckeyes in a 55-28 victory.
It was the first game since junior Cresha Hubbard, who was averaging over 10 point and 11 rebounds per game, decided to leave the team for personal reasons.
In her place, sophomore Star Wright got the start and came away with nine rebounds, two points and two blocked shots. Senior forward Whitney Jordan had her season-high with 14 points to go along with four rebounds and four assists.
Nash bore much of the load for the Lady Cats (5-11) with 21 points, 14 rebounds and five steals. She did most of her damage in the paint, posting up down low and then making a move to the basket.
Defensively, the Lady Cats held Gilmer (6-7) to just 22 percent shooting from the field (11-of-50), including 2-of-18 from beyond the 3-point arc, and out-rebounded the Lady Buckeyes 43-33.
"I really feel that we've dealt with some adversity and loss, and responded well to it," said SSHS head coach Tina Carrillo. "I feel like it was a team effort last night, even though we kind of rode on the shoulders of Bridgette's scoring.
"I really feel like our team understands their roles better, that everybody has a part to take."
The Lady Cats got out to a 9-0 lead in the first period, a run started by two buckets from Nash and punctuated by freshman guard McKenzie Cross' 3-pointer from the left wing with 4:22 to play in the period.
Gilmer's Kiara Jordan, who led her team with 11 points and three steals, broke the Lady Cats' shutout out with a basket on the Lady Buckeyes' next possession, but Sulphur Springs ended the period on a 5-0 run. When Whitney Jordan took a pass from sophomore Shardae Jones and drove in for a lay-up with 26 seconds left, the Lady Cats had a 14-2 lead.
A 3-pointer from Gilmer's Jordan midway through the second quarter cut the SSHS 12-point lead to nine at 18-9, but Sulphur Springs sophomore Stephanie Connally, who has emerged with several solid back-to-back games, scored three straight points off a putback and a free throw, and Jones ended the second quarter on a 17-foot jump shot to give the Lady Cats a 23-9 halftime lead.
Connally finished with six points and eight rebounds, while Jones had five points and three assists. Cross added five points, four rebounds and four assists. Kaytlin Black and Emily Bouyear came off the bench to combine for three rebounds, two steals and two assists.
"We've got to make up for those points and rebounds the Cresha provided," Carrillo said. "It can't just come from Bridgette and Whitney, because they were already doing that. It's got to come from other members of our team, the younger players.
"We'll make it a positive thing. I'm asking our younger players to step up earlier than they thought. I feel like right now we have a unified team effort. I like our team effort right now."
She also liked what she saw from Nash in the second half. Nash knocked down 6-of-7 field goals in the third quarter and made both her free throws to steer the Lady Cats to a 20-point lead.
Sulphur Springs will host Gladewater in an afternoon game on Tuesday. The freshmen and JV will begin at noon, with the varsity scheduled to tip off at 1:30 p.m.
Gilmer 48, SSHS 41
Gilmer outscored the Lady Cats, 17-7, in the third quarter to turn a four-point deficit into a six-point lead.
Freshman Alyssa Burney led SSHS with a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds. Brittany Scott added seven points, 10 boards and a team-high six steals, and freshman Erika Garrett recorded eight points and a team-high four assists.
Stevie Moore added five points, four steals and three assists, and Tasha Lee had six rebounds.
Gilmer - K. Owens 4, D. Hobbs 5, R. Osborne 15, C. Walker 16, A. Weeks 4, A. Putnam 4.
SSHS 49, Gilmer 10
Keyana Denmark bucketed a game-high 11 points to pace the Lady Cats (5-6).
Kayle Askins and Molly Smith each scored eight points, while April Wright, Nesha Miles and Jaime Askins had six points apiece.
The Lady Cats held Gilmer to just two points in the second half.
Gilmer - Choyce 1, Smith 5, Shephard 2, Godlock 2.
SSHS - Kayle Askins 8, April Wright 6, Molly Smith 8, Nesha Miles 6, Keyana Denmark 11, Talea Reynolds 2, Rebecca Johnson 2, Jaime Askins 6.