WIldcats defeat Rockwall Heath at Crandall Shootout
Joseph Elerson | News-Telegram Sports Writer

Nov. 21, 2006 - CRANDALL - The Sulphur Springs Wildcats improved to 2-0 on the young season with a 47-38 victory over the Rockwall Heath Hawks at the Crandall Shootout on Monday.

The Wildcats return to the court tonight for their final game before the Thanksgiving break against the Ferris Yellowjackets at 8:30 p.m. in Crandall.

"I don't know a whole lot about Ferris. I played them a few years ago and they were athletic and they pressed us and we had a hard time against them when I was at Greenville," said SSHS coach Rusty Harden. "They are going to be a good team and well-coached, and it will be a tough game."

Sulphur Springs had everything going in the first quarter as they jumped out to an 8-0 lead with 4:20 remaining in the opening quarter on baskets by Bradley Washington and Aaron Williams and a free throw by Drew Biggerstaff.

Rockwall Heath got on the board on a lay-up from Tucker Bailey off of an

assist from Chris Buttermore before the Wildcats went on a 8-0 to end the quarter.

Tyrick Rollison gave Sulphur Springs a 16-2 lead at the end of the first quarter with a 3-pointer at the buzzer, and Harden said the opening frame was what he wanted to see from the team.

"Really, the first quarter everything was going fine and dandy. After that we kind of struggled," he said. "We got into an offensive lull and we have to execute and score when we get down there. Some of the kids were worried about how the officials were calling the game because of how tight it was being called, and they can't worry about that. We have to execute and take care of the ball."

The Wildcats had 21 turnovers and 21 fouls in the game as Washington and Ledarius Harrison fouled out. There were a combined 41 turnovers and 42 fouls in the game as both teams shot a combined 31-of-53 from the charity stripe. The Wildcats shot 14-of-37 (37.8 percent) compared to 10-of-47 (21.3 percent) for the Hawks.

Heath was able to cut into the Wildcats' lead as Sulphur Springs held a 27-17 lead at the intermission behind 6-of-8 shooting at the line and six points from Everett Gilbert in the quarter.

The Wildcats continued to struggle in the third quarter as the Hawks were able to get to within seven, 34-27, as Buttermore scored three points during a 4-0 run. The Wildcats' last basket came with 3:28 remaining on a 3-pointer by Biggerstaff off an assist from Rollison.

Harden said he would like to see more scoring from his post players as Washington, Harrison and Colten Nash combined for 17 of the team's 47 points. Washington finished with a game-high 14 points, two rebounds and one assist before fouling.

"Brad is a kid that if he relaxes out there, he can play real well. He was able to hit some open 3-pointers and he shot well tonight," the coach said.

"We need more of an inside presence during the game and Brad scored some down there and Cootie (Harrison) scored some down there. We need Colten to get down there and score, but he is young and he will learn to do that."

During the fourth quarter, the Wildcats scored nine of their 11 points from the free throw line to put the game out of reach as Biggerstaff went 7-of-8 in the quarter. He finished with 12 points, two boards, two steals and one assist.

After the Thanksgiving break, the Wildcats travel to Royse City next Tuesday and then play in the Quinlan Ford tournament next Thursday through Saturday.

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