WIldcats win home opener
Joseph Elerson | News-Telegram Sports Writer

Dec. 16, 2006 - The Sulphur Springs Wildcats took advantage of their first game at home this season with a 61-45 win over the Nevada Community Braves Friday night at Wildcat Gym.

"We came out great in the first half. In the second half, we had a little bit of a lull there and we never pulled away from them very well," said SSHS coach Rusty Harden. "We knew that we were ahead throughout the entire game. They gave us fits here and there, and we have got to take care of the basketball."

The Wildcats (10-3) committed 22 turnovers against Community and are averaging 16.8 turnovers per game this season. This was the fifth game that Sulphur Springs has had at least 20 turnovers in a game.

Sophomore Colten Nash and senior Bradley Washington each had a double-double for the Wildcats. Nash finished with 19 points, 16 rebounds and one assist, while Washington had 14 points, 11 rebounds, three steals and one assist.

"I think they played good, and I still think that we missed some easy ones down there that they could have had maybe 40 points tonight," the coach said. "They played very hard tonight."

Sulphur Springs held a 19-7 lead after the first quarter as junior Andrew Panter scored five of his season-high nine points in the quarter. He gave SSHS a 17-7 lead with an offensive putback with five seconds remaining.

In the second quarter, Community forward B.J. Dale picked off a Sulphur Springs pass and had a fast-break slam dunk for a 21-11 deficit. Dale finished with 15 points, four rebounds, five steals and one assist.

Harden said with only an eight point lead at the half, 29-21, and 14 turnovers at the intermission, the Wildcats focused on that area in the second half.

"My game plan at halftime was that I knew we had 14 turnovers at the half, and I wanted them to take care of the basketball and take advantage of the size on the inside," he said. "We got a lot of shots in the paint and we made a lot of them but we also missed a lot of them."

The Wildcats went 26-of-45 from inside 2-point range in the game while shooting 1-of-7 from 3-point range. The Wildcats shot 51.9 percent for the game, compared to 31.1 percent for Community.

In the second half, Community made the game interesting with a 7-4 run to open the quarter as Andrew Hollien got Community to within three, 33-30, with 4:35 remaining. Hollien finished with nine points, three steals, three assists and one rebound.

Over the final 2:29 of the third quarter, Nash and Washington combined for five points to give the Wildcats a 46-33 lead heading into the final period.

Nash put the game out of reach with a jumper off an assist from Aaron Williams for a 55-40 lead with 4:35 remaining in the game.

The Wildcats were scheduled to face Wichita Falls Hirschi at 3 p.m. today in their final game before the Christmas holiday. Following the break, the Wildcats will finish tournament play in the Mount Pleasant Tiger Classic.

The Wildcats will face Longview Pine Tree Dec. 28 at 2 p.m. with Friday action at 11:30 a.m. in the winners bracket or 8:30 a.m. in the consolation bracket.

"We are going to take seven days off and then come back for one day of practice and play two or three games in the tournament," the coach said. "We are going to get back into shape with three games at the tournament and then two more before district starts."

JUNIOR VARSITY

SSHS 75, Community 34

The Wildcats got out to a 44-13 lead at the intermission and never looked back.

Johnathan Lee led the Wildcats with 15 points, while Keedrick Dial added 11 points. Kaylon Page was the other double-figure scorer with 10 points.

Crosetti led Community with 19 points.

Community 8 5 11 10 -34

SSHS 21 23 16 15 -75

Community - Braughton 1, Haynes 8, Crosetti 19, Brinkanan 1, Aranine 4, Hausdin 6, Butts 2.

SSHS - Kaylon Page 10, Dequalin Evans 9, Jesse Vasquez 4, Cedric Finnie 1, Darrell Franklin 3, Joseph McCann 6, Anthony Mills 2, Harrison 3, Rashad Hall 9, Johnathan Lee 15, Keedrick Dial 11.

Freshman

SSHS 60, Community 46

The freshman team started the sweep for the Wildcats as Joey Davis had a game-high 21 points while Lemarcus Kendricks added 17 points.

The Wildcats held a 23-16 lead at the half and a 41-28 lead after three quarters of play.

Soza led Community with 17 points.

Community 8 8 12 18 -46

SSHS 7 16 18 19 -60

Community - Teel 4, Woolf 8, Pope 1, Strebeck 3, Soza 17, Philpot 4, Gredvilas 9.

SSHS - Jacob Carona 8, Gage Williams 6, Joey Davis 21, Colby Suggs 2, Lemarcus Kendricks 17, Jordan Lee 6.

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