|Wildcats can't hurdle first-half deficit|
|Joseph Elerson | News-Telegram Sports Writer|
Feb. 1, 2006 - PARIS - A 33-13 halftime deficit was too much for the Sulphur Springs Wildcats to overcome in their loss to the Paris Wildcats in a 57-43 District 12-4A matchup Tuesday night.
"We didn't play as hard as we needed to play to beat a team as good as Paris," said first-year coach Jeff Carroll. "They are a good basketball team and maybe even the best team in our district."
Sulphur Springs drops to 7-20 overall and 1-5 in district play, while Paris (17-6 overall and 5-1 in district) is now in sole possession of first place after Greenville lost to Texas High 83-67. Paris and Greenville were tied going into Tuesday night's action.
"I have never looked at our record this season, and if we had concentrated solely on our record a lot of these guys would have quit a long time ago," the coach said. "These guys have worried about one game at a time and playing as hard as they can for one game at a time."
The Wildcats came out flat in the first half of play as they did not score from the field for the first five minutes until senior Jose Vargas scored on a lay-up and missed the free throw for a 14-3 deficit.
Vargas led the Wildcats with eight points and two rebounds, while Sam Pettit, Jay Pope and Day Day Porter each scored six points. Josh Riley was the team's leading rebounder with three, while scoring five points to go along with three steals and one assist.
Paris forward Keon Furtch capped off the first quarter for Paris with a dunk for a 19-6 lead with 25 seconds remaining.
Furtch finished the game with 17 points, seven rebounds, three assists and one steal, while classmate Courtney Jackson scored 22 points, pulled down seven rebounds, three steals and one assist.
Sulphur Springs was out-rebounded 39-17 in the game with a 21-5 disadvantage on the offensive glass, shot 14-of-45 from the field for 31.1 percent, compared to 21-of-64 for 32.8 percent for Paris, and shot 9-of-20 from the free throw line.
"The main thing is when you get down we just didn't show up ready to play tonight, and you've got to make it one possession at a time and you can't think of it as getting 20 points back," Carroll said.
Sulphur Springs was able to cut the Paris halftime lead to 16 points at 39-23 with 4:20 remaining as Pope nailed a 3-pointer off of an assist from Pettit but could never cut the lead below 16 points during the contest.
Carroll said the Wildcats continue to show good character even though their playoff chances were ended against Paris.
"The life goals are the most important things that we do because basketball is the greatest game in the world," he said. "I have not necessarily been hired here to win or lose basketball games, and I promised them that we would always be proud of the Sulphur Springs basketball team."
"Our goal has always been and will always be to play hard, play smart and play together and if we do those things everything else will take care of itself. We need to continue to do what is right and continue to do those three things for the rest of the year."
The Wildcats wrap up a three-game road trip Friday night at Mount Pleasant before returning home for Teacher Appreciation Night next Tuesday against Greenville. Tipoff for Friday's game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
"Mount Pleasant is very similar to what we had tonight and we need to box out and rebound and we didn't do a very good job of that in tonight's game," the coach said.
�Paris 66, SSHS 64
After losing to Paris 75-74 in overtime at Wildcat Gym Jan. 13, the Sulphur Springs Wildcats played Paris down to the wire again as Paris won in come-from-behind fashion.
DeQualin Evans led the way for Sulphur Springs (11-10, 1-4 in district) with 12 points, while teammate Ladarius Brown scored 11 points in the loss.
Paris was led by Tyson with 20 points and Moore with 17 points.
Sulphur Springs - Colten Nash 8, DeQualin Evans 12, Andrew Panter 6, Tyrick Rollison 7, Ladarius Brown 11, Kaylon Page 3, Demarcus Johnson 3.
Paris - Easter 5, Sims 12, Moore 17, Porter 10, Stallings 2, Tyson 20.
Paris 75, Sulphur Springs 42
The Wildcats (8-8, 1-4 in district) fell behind 37-13 heading into the locker room and could not bounce back Tuesday night.
Johnny McSheffery led the way for Sulphur Springs with 12 points, while teammate Darryl Franklin pitched in seven points.
Paris was led in scoring by Barr and Rollerson with 15 points each.
Sulphur Springs - Jace Jackson 6, Stephen Kramer 3, Joe Ross 4, Johnny McSheffery 12, Jonathan Lee 1, Darryl Franklin 7, Dee Harrison 1, Jesse Vasquez 2, Clay Hansford 4, Andy Ginn 2.
Paris - Barr 15, Rollerson 15, Martin 10, Carrell 7, Harrison 4, McCleary 7, Mallory 1, Johnson 7, Pearson 9.