SSHS Lady Cats fall to 0-2 in district play
Bobby "Butch" Burney | News-Telegram Sports Editor

Jan. 12, 2005 -- The North Lamar Pantherettes made a statement about where they stand on the District 12-4A food chain Tuesday night, serving up a 94-51 win over Sulphur Springs.

The Pantherettes came into the game fresh off a 96-26 win over Paris, showing why they are the favorites in the district race. NL improved to 16-5, 2-0 in district, while the Lady Cats fell to 6-17, 0-2.

The real race for third place in the district starts for the Lady Cats on Friday when they host Paris. Sulphur Springs' first two games have been against Texas High and North Lamar, who are distancing themselves from the other 12-4A teams.

"They're good. They're better than we are, that's all you can say," said SSHS head coach Carin Bryant. "Their kids know how to play, they have depth and they're young so they're going to be good for years to come.

"I would have liked for it to have been a closer game, but North Lamar is that good. They can score, they're quick and they can press."

Sulphur Springs' sophomore post Cresha Hubbard had a solid game with 24 points, shooting 10-of-13 from the field, and eight rebounds.

But, North Lamar countered with 27 points and six steals from Stormy Smith, and 23 points, five rebounds, four steals and three assists from Celeste Coward.

North Lamar's full-court, trapping defense hurt Sulphur Springs early, leading to 44 Lady Cat turnovers.

In fact, the first five possessions of the game were a prelude to how the contest would go. North Lamar forced four SSHS turnovers, converting them all into points for an 11-0 lead a little over two minutes into the game.

"We didn't handle the pressure well, and that's just part of being inexperienced and young and not playing much," Bryant said. "North Lamar runs their trap very well and we had problems against their defense."

The Pantherette advantage eventually reached 16-0 on Erica Anderson' 3-pointer before Hubbard got the Lady Cats on the board when point guard Terra Jackson found her in the paint for a bucket. Hubbard added another bucket in the period and Minta Mannon scored off a Kayla Morgan assist, but the Lady Cats trailed, 26-6, after one period.

Things didn't improve much for the Lady Cats in the second quarter, though Jackson started the period by hitting two straight jumpers.

Anderson hit two more treys on her way to 11 points and NL went into halftime with a 55-16 lead.

Sulphur Springs' post play came to the fore in the third period as Hubbard hit four field goals, while junior forward Kati Riggs and sophomore post Kayla Morgan each had a bucket. Riggs finished with seven points and four rebounds.

But, NL's Coward and Smith combined to go seven-for-eight in the quarter as the Pantherettes added to their lead, 80-34.

The Lady Cats outscored North Lamar, 17-14, in the fourth quarter. For the game, SSHS hit almost half of their shots from the field (16-of-36) and out-rebounded North Lamar, 33-27, but the problem was the turnovers. When they could get the ball into Hubbard, she was able to produce.

"I told them if we could break the press and hit our posts, I felt like we could score because I didn't feel like they had the kids to stop our posts the way they have been playing lately," Bryant said. "Cresha had a real good game. She has really improved a lot in the last two weeks. We've been working on them getting position and being strong inside."

Jackson ended with six points, five rebounds and team-highs in steals and assists (three each). Ne-Ne Hynson added six points, two steals and two assists, and Mannon added four points, three rebounds and two steals.

For North Lamar, Alyssa Garey had team-highs in steals (six) and assists (five), while freshman Ali Stone added eight points, four steals and four assists. Emily Fouse scored 12 points.

JUNIOR VARSITY

North Lamar 42, SSHS 19

The Pantherettes outscored Sulphur Springs in every period to win the 12-4A contest.

SSHS was led in scoring by Emily Bouyear with eight points and Amanda Wade added four.

North Lamar's Whitney Shackelford and Robyn Bush scored a game-high 10 points apiece.

North Lamar 12 7 13 10 -42

Sulphur Springs 2 6 4 7 -19

North Lamar - Methren 5, Shackelford 10, Steelman 9, Bush 10, Grider 8.

Sulphur Springs - Bouyear 8, Scudder 2, Cannon 2, Nash 2, Wade 4, Green 1.

FRESHMEN

SSHS 30, North Lamar 12

The SSHS ninth-graders improved to 9-2 overall, 2-0 in district play behind 11 points from Kelsey Evans and 10 from Star Wright.

The Lady Cats broke open a 12-10 halftime game by holding North Lamar to just two points in the second half.

Olivia Stribling led SSHS defensively with six steals.

North Lamar 4 6 0 2 -12

Sulphur Springs 9 3 8 10 -30

North Lamar - Crawford 2, Garrett 4, Jacki 2, Suggs 2, Bivens 2.

Sulphur Springs - Olivia Stribling 1, Shardae Jones 4, Kelsey Evans 11, Star Wright 10, Stephanie Connally 4.

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