|Lady Cats lose to Pantherettes, 50-33, at Wildcat Gym|
|Bobby "Butch" Burney | News-Telegram Sports Editor|
Jan. 28, 2006 - The equation for scoring points for the Sulphur Springs Lady Cats was simple Friday night. The X factor, though, was North Lamar.
The more turnovers the Lady Cats committed, the fewer points they scored, which is North Lamar's goal with its intense pressure defense.
The Pantherettes broke from a close first-quarter contest by holding the Lady Cats scoreless for more than seven minutes, which gave them time to get out to a double-digit lead in a 50-33 victory at Wildcat Gym.
The Lady Cats handled North Lamar's run-and-jump press better than they did in the first meeting (a 74-22 NL victory in Paris), but the Pantherettes still forced 34 SSHS turnovers and came away with 16 steals.
It also didn't help that North Lamar hit four 3-pointers, including the first two shots of the game by Pam Elmore, while SSHS went 0-for-11 from beyond the arc.
Elmore finished with a team-high 15 points and four assists, while sophomore Ali Stone, the daughter of head coach Roy Tom Stone, registered a double-double of 12 points, 13 rebounds, five steals and four assists.
The Lady Cats' offense was dependent on senior center Bridgette Nash, who hit 10-of-16 shots from the field to finish with 22 points and 13 rebounds. Senior Whitney Jordan added six points, but they were two of only four Lady Cats who scored.
Despite Elmore giving North Lamar a 6-0 lead less than 45 seconds into the game, the Lady Cats came back to take a 9-8 advantage as Nash scored two buckets off assists from Jordan, who also had a putback basket and a free throw.
The Lady Cats' last lead came at 13-12 with 1:10 to play in the first quarter when Nash hit a leaner off an assist from freshman point guard McKenzie Cross, who had four assists and three steals.
But, Sulphur Springs went more than seven minutes after that without making a field goal to fall behind, 25-14. The only point was a free throw by sophomore Stephanie Conley, who had three points and 10 rebounds.
The Lady Cats went 0-for-10 from the field before Conley found Nash on a press break for a lay-in to cut the deficit to 26-16 at the half.
Sulphur Springs got the lead before double-digits just once in the second half, 29-20, on consecutive putbacks by Star Wright and Nash. But, North Lamar led, 35-22, to begin the fourth quarter.
North Lamar 51, SSHS 33
The Lady Cats again started slowly, falling behind by 15 points to start the second quarter.
Tasha Lee had a strong game defensively with five steal and five rebounds to go with four points, and Janelle Davis added a team-high six rebounds and five points.
Stevie Moore scored 10 points, Brittany Scott added seven, and Erika Garrett hit a 3-pointer and had two steals. Alyssa Burney scored two points to go with four rebounds and three assists, and Jennifer Mitchell contributed two points, two steals and three assists.
North Lamar 48, SSHS 38
The Lady Cats took a 15-2 lead in the first period, but lost the advantage after being outscored 15-1 in the third.
Neisha Miles led the team in scoring with 18 points to go with three rebounds, while Jamie Askins had five points and five boards. Kayle Askins added a team-high six assists, six points and three steals. Tale Reynolds and Amy Highfield had three rebounds each, while Rachel Johnson added two points and five rebounds.