Wildcats’ shooting woes leave them on short end of score 
Joseph Elerson | News-Telegram Sports Writer

Dec. 30, 2005 - MOUNT PLEASANT - For the second straight game, the Sulphur Springs Wildcats left the Mount Pleasant Tiger Classic with a loss as the Daingerfield Tigers took a 49-40 victory Thursday afternoon.

The Wildcats are now 3-14 on the year and were scheduled to face the loser of the Gilmer-Commerce contest today at 11:30 a.m.

"Any time you come into a situation where we are, we haven't learned how to win yet," SSHS head coach Jeff Carroll said. "Because of the situation last year where they had struggles and then you come into this year, we haven't learned how to turn the corner and win."

The Wildcats had a tough day shooting the basketball once again as they went 15-of-49 from the field for 38.5 percent, and Carroll said if the players keep working, their play will get better.

"There are going to be days where we are on and where we are off. We need to keep playing hard and let our defense carry us. When you are not shooting the ball well your defense has to play better," the coach said. "The shots are going to fall and when they do we will be OK. We had some wide open looks that didn't fall down and if half of those go down this game was a whole different story."

Sulphur Springs senior Jose Vargas shot 6-of-10 from the field to end with a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds, while junior Drew Biggerstaff scored 11 points with one rebound, three steals and one assist in the game.

Daingerfield (5-7) had a game-high 29 points to go along with six boards and  four steals from junior Ben Castro, while Anthony Peters had seven points and six boards.

"Because of tournament play we didn't get to practice for him (Castro)," Carroll said. "When we played Arkansas High, we knew who their scorer was and that we were able to face-guard him. Castro definitely gave us problems in the game."

Sulphur Springs was able to keep the score close throughout, and in the first quarter Biggerstaff nailed a 3-pointer off an assist from senior Sam Pettit to tie the game at 8-8 with 3:21 remaining.

Castro scored eight of the Tigers' 14 points in the first quarter and gave them a 12-8 lead on a lay-up as Daingerfield took a 14-8 lead into the second quarter.

With the Wildcats down 20-9 with 3:39 remaining in the half, Sulphur Springs went on a small run to cut the deficit to 20-15 as Biggerstaff nailed a jumper off of a Jay Pope assist.

On numerous occasions throughout the game, the Wildcats were able to get the lead down to four points but were never able to take the lead.

Pope scored his only points of the game on a pair of free throws to cut the deficit to 31-27 with 1:30 remaining in the quarter. He also had one rebound and two assists.

The Wildcats tried to battle back in the fourth quarter and cut the deficit to 44-38 on a putback by Vargas with 40 seconds remaining, but Daingerfield's  Matt Whorton ended the game with two free throws.

Daingerfield had 35 rebounds in the game, compared to 30 for the Wildcats and SSHS had 11 assists compared to nine for the Tigers.

Carroll said with four games remaining before the start of District 12-4A play Jan. 6 against Paris, the Wildcats need to get their confidence up for the remainder of the season.

"We need to really be worried about us right now. We need to learn how to win and prepare and keep getting better," the coach said. "We are going to win and I can see it. We are getting closer and closer, and when we do we will see how we do."

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