|Wildcats lose opener at Wills Point Tournament|
|Joseph Elerson | News-Telegram Sports Writer|
Dec. 8, 2006 - WILLS POINT - With a late start in the opening round of the Wills Point Kiwanis Tournament, the Sulphur Springs Wildcats lost their opening round game against the Trinity Christian-Addison Trojans 59-48 to fall into the consolation bracket today.
"I don't think anything went right for us and we just started off bad," said SSHS coach Rusty Harden. "My kids played hard tonight, and I am not ashamed of them."
The Wildcats were scheduled to face Forney at 12:45 p.m. today in the consolation round. With a win, the Wildcats will play at 11:30 a.m. Saturday; if the Wildcats lose today, they will play at 2 p.m. tomorrow.
Senior Bradley Washington led the Wildcats in scoring with 14 points while pulling down nine rebounds and one assist. Teammate Drew Biggerstaff had 13 points, three assists and two rebounds.
SSHS (8-2) fell behind 9-0 to start the game as TCA had four points from Dane Wamstab - who finished with 11 points, seven boards, two steals, one assist and three blocks.
The Wildcats got on the board with 4:37 remaining in the first quarter as Ladarius Harrison nailed a jumper to cut the deficit to 9-2.
Sulphur Springs cut the Trojans' lead to seven at the half with back-to-back 3-pointers from Biggerstaff and Washington to go into the locker room down 33-26.
"They (TCA) were just making everything that they put up and they shot unbelievably in the first half," Harden said. "I think the second quarter we got back in it and cut the lead down to seven and then in the third we held the lead. When the game is close you have to execute and get things done, but we didn't do that."
Trinity Christian shot 14-of-31 (45.2 percent) in the first half compared to 10-of-22 (45.4 percent) for the Wildcats.
In the second half, the Wildcats continue to fight from behind and cut the Trojans lead to three, 41-38, heading into the final quarter.
With 5:32 remaining in the third quarter, Biggerstaff drained a 3-pointer off an assist from Harrison for the 37-33 deficit before TCA extended the lead back to eight points, 41-33, on baskets from Wamstab and Tyler Janick.
The Wildcats could not find their offense in the fourth quarter as they were held scoreless for three minutes while Trinity Christian went on a 8-0 run for a 59-44 lead.
Washington scored the final two buckets with under 30 seconds remaining for the 59-48 deficit.
The Wildcats finished with 20 turnovers, and Harden said that statistic hurt them.
"You can't beat yourself with turnovers," the coach said. "We thought when we broke their press that we had to come down here and chunk something up and that hurt us."
Note: Following the Wills Point tournament, the Wildcats will have their first home game of the season against Nevada Community on Dec. 15. The tip-off for the varsity is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.