|Wildcats win first game at Quinlan Ford|
|Joseph Elerson | News-Telegram Sports Writer|
Nov. 23, 2005 - QUINLAN - If close games build character heading into the district season, then the Sulphur Springs Wildcats are starting early.
For the second straight game, the Wildcats were in a battle and this time picked up their first win under coach Jeff Carroll in a 43-42 decision over the Quinlan Ford Panthers.
"There is a coach far smarter than me that once said, '75 percent of the games in a season are won or lost by one or two possessions.' That is something that we talk about all the time with how many games are won or lost by one or two possessions," Carroll said. "If that is the case, then we have to take care of the ball every single possession and we have to defend every play."
With the Thanksgiving holiday tomorrow, the Wildcats will take a week off before their next game at Terrell Tuesday night. The varsity is scheduled to start at 8 p.m.
"To be honest, the late start will be fine for us and it may be better because of the distance that we travel," the coach said. "The big issue will be playing the quality of Terrell because they have a great coach and they have a nice player that is ranked and we need to make sure we defend him and play hard."
The Cats once again came out slow out of the gate and less than two-and-a-half minutes into the game were down 7-0 behind four points from Quinlan post Matt Deeks. Deeks finished the game with a double-double of 15 points and 12 boards.
Sulphur Springs battled in the second quarter with two back-to-back runs and tied the game at 19-19 on a 3-pointer by sophomore Day Day Porter with 3:12 remaining.
After a Ford timeout and a bucket by Deeks, the Wildcats scored six unanswered for a 25-21 lead heading into the locker room.
Neither team could get much offense going in the third quarter as Sulphur Springs shot 2-of-13 from the field, while Quinlan Ford went 3-of-14 during the quarter.
The Wildcats defense stepped up their intensity out of the intermission and held the Panthers scoreless for nearly seven minutes of the third and fourth quarter.
Carroll said defensively they needed to change some formations during the break.
"I think we increased our tempo and the pace of our defense in the second half and our plan defensively coming in we had to change because their coach killed our match-up zone, and once he did that we had to pick up man-to-man and that helped us out," Carroll said.
"Our bread and butter is to play pressure man-to-man and I over-coached myself and tried to do something different but it worked out OK."
The fourth quarter turned into whoever had the ball last was going to win the game as Sulphur Springs held a seven-point lead on a 3-pointer by senior Jay Pope, but Quinlan Ford battled back with eight seconds remaining in the game.
Quinlan's Carmen Hood cut the Cats' lead to 43-42 nailing two free throws and then with five seconds remaining teammate Tyler Northcutt had a chance to win or tie the game for Ford, but missed both free throws.
Sulphur Springs had their worst shooting performance of the year at the line going 4-of-20 in the game and coach said that needs to change before Terrell next Tuesday.
"If you look at our two previous games, we shot the ball from the free throw line actually a lot better than that," Carroll said. "I think the numbers from Clarksville, we shot in the 70s and I think it is one of those things that we do every day and you can't be 4-of-20 and have success."
Chris Young was the leading scorer for the Cats with 15 points, seven rebounds, one steal, two assists and one block. He was the only double figure scorer for Sulphur Springs. Josh Danzer had seven points, two rebounds, three steals and one assist for the Wildcats.
Hood was the only other double-figure scorer for Quinlan Ford with a game-high 16 points, eight boards and three assists.
SSHS 53, QFHS 28
The Wildcat junior varsity held Quinlan Ford to under 10 points scoring in every quarter during a convincing win Tuesday night.
SSHS (2-1) had a game-high 14 points from DeQualin Evans, while LaDarius Brown chipped in 12 points and Ricky Willis had eight points.
The Panthers were led by English with 10 points.
Sulphur Springs - Andrew Panter 4, LaDarius Brown 12, Ricky Willis 8, Tyrick Rollison 6, DeQualin Evans 14, DeKarion Harrison 3, Demarcus Johnson 4, Justin Blount 2.
Quinlan Ford - Miranda 3, Sanders 1, Anderson 5, English 10, Burkham 7.
SSHS 61, QFHS 43
The Wildcat freshman improved to 1-1 on the season and secured the win with a big second quarter.
Sulphur Springs outscored Quinlan Ford 22-9 in the quarter to take a 30-18 lead into the locker room.
Rashad Hall scored 16 points for the Cats, while teammate Jace Jackson had 12 points and Colten Nash had seven.
The Panthers were led by Dooley with 18 points.
Sulphur Springs - Jonathan Lee 2, Joe Ross 4, Anthony Mills 2, Rashad Hall 16, Jace Jackson 12, Will Long 2, Stephen Kramer 6, Johnny McSheffery 6, Colten Nash 7, Teren Wright 5.
Quinlan Ford - Bhatti 2, Dooley 18, Ybarra 4, Grant 7, Dickerson 2, Kirkman 4, Barrow 1, Wilkens 5.