Wildcats head into Thanksgiving break undefeated
Joseph Elerson | News-Telegram Sports Writer

Nov. 22, 2006 - CRANDALL - The Sulphur Springs Wildcats head into the Thanksgiving break at 3-0 after a 53-35 win over the Ferris Yellowjackets Tuesday night in their final game of the Crandall Shootout.

"This was a team that we should have had success against since they are so young," said SSHS coach Rusty Harden. "Our pressure hurt them and early on we made mistakes with the ball, but once we started executing better we did all right."

The Wildcats were led in scoring by sophomore Tyrick Rollison with 10 points, two boards and one assist while junior DaQualin "Boo" Evans had nine points and three rebounds off the bench. Bradley Washington finished with seven points, nine rebounds, one steal and one assist.

The Wildcats shot 20-of-57 for 35.1 percent compared to 13-of-39 shooting (33.3 percent) for the Yellowjackets. SSHS also out-rebounded Ferris, 38-24, with a 16-4 advantage on the offensive glass.

Both teams played an aggressive first quarter as neither took more than a five-point lead as Sulphur Springs fell behind, 5-0, during the first two minutes of the game before going on an 8-0 run to take a 8-5 lead on a bucket by Ledarius Harrison off of a Drew Biggerstaff assist.

The Wildcats continued to put pressure on Ferris in the second quarter as Ferris shot 2-of-8 from the field and were outscored 9-6 in the quarter.

"The reason why they didn't pressure us is because they are so young and he had a lot of players that just got back from football. Usually he has 10-or-15 players that are in the gym with him before the season," Harden said. "When you see them later in the year they will be a totally different ballclub."

Sulphur Springs took a 22-12 lead with 2:27 remaining on a 3-pointer by Rollison off of a pass from Aaron Williams for their final bucket of the quarter.

Sulphur Springs held Ferris to just 6-of-17 shooting in the first half compared to 7-of-22 shooting for the Wildcats.

In the second half, the Wildcats came out as a much different team, outscoring the Yellowjackets 31-19. Sulphur Springs held a 14-point lead on a bucket by Harrison for a 30-16 lead with 4:47 remaining in the third period.

Ferris was able to cut the lead down to 10 points at 42-32 in the fourth quarter as Tevin Richard - who finished with a game-high 13 points - drove in for a lay-up with 5:39 remaining. After a Wildcats timeout, SSHS went on a 9-0 run to put the game out of reach.

Harden said with the team needs to cut down on the turnovers and play consistent basketball.

"We play in spurts this year with some good moments and some bad moments, but I am pleased with us being 3-0. We still have a lot of work to do," the coach said.

"Every game we can protect the basketball better. The thing I like about this group is that they work hard, they play with intensity and will give you everything that they have. They need to learn to do the right thing all the time."

The Wildcats will take off for Thanksgiving and return to the court next Tuesday at Royse City. The freshman team will tipoff at 4:30 p.m.

"We are used to being on the road and we will take off Wednesday through Friday and then come back on Saturday and practice and then practice on Monday and play Tuesday," the coach said. "I don't know much about Royse City but if they are still in the (football) playoffs, then that will be an interesting situation."

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