Wildcats continue strong start with win over Royse City
Joseph Elerson | News-Telegram Sports Writer

Nov. 29, 2006 - ROYSE CITY - After a week off due to the Thanksgiving holiday, the Sulphur Springs Wildcats continued their strong start with a 65-52 win over the Royse City Bulldogs Tuesday night.

"I thought we played a couple of quarters real well. I thought the second and third quarters we handled the ball well and made good decisions," said SSHS coach Rusty Harden.

"When we were ahead we were throwing the ball away and chunking shots up that we shouldn't have shot. We have to play smarter down the stretch."

SSHS (4-0) returns to the court at 11 a.m. tomorrow for the start of the Quinlan Ford Panther Hoop Magic Tournament against Van Alstyne.

If the Wildcats win, they will play again Friday at 3 p.m. against the winner of the Quinlan Ford-Whitesboro, Kaufman-Liberty-Eylau game. If they lose they will play the Quinlan Ford-Whitesboro loser.

"There are 18 teams in the tournament and I think we will get tougher competition with tougher people," the coach said. "We will play against some people that will push us harder and we will see what we are made of."

Against Royse City, Bradley Washington scored a team-high 20 points and pulled down four rebounds along with two steals. Teammate Aaron Williams had his best game of the year with 16 points on 5-of-6 shooting along with four assists, two steals and one rebound.

On a night when both teams shot a combined 54 free-throws (14-of-26 for SSHS, 14-of-28 for Royse City) and had a combined five players foul out of the game, Harden said having Drew Biggerstaff and Ladarius Harrison foul out of the game was tough.

"The officials were calling the game tight both ways and I don't think we shot the free throws great but they shot worse than we did," he said. "Those two guys are important guys and to make reaches and get into foul trouble it is just not good basketball."

Royse City - which only played with seven guys due to the football team being in the regional quarterfinals this week - jumped out to an early 7-2 lead behind five points from Justin Crutchfield. He finished with 24 points, two steals, two assists and one rebound.

Sulphur Springs took its first lead of the game with an 6-0 run with 3:59 remaining in the first quarter on a lay-up by Williams for the 8-7 lead.

Royse City had its final lead of the game with 4:44 remaining in the second quarter on an old-fashioned 3-point play by Crutchfield for a 21-16 lead.

Washington gave SSHS a six-point lead at the half, 32-26, on a fast break lay-up with 32 seconds remaining.

The Wildcats held a 12-point lead at 53-41 with under six minutes remaining on a nice pass from Williams to DaQualin "Boo" Evans and then outscored Royse City 12-11 the remainder of the game.

This was the second outing that Sulphur Springs has had under 20 turnovers in a game and Harden said the team still needs to work on that area of the game.

"I told the kids that I am happy to be 4-0, and we are going to be playing competition a lot tougher than Royse City and we have to be able to handle the ball better than that," the coach said.

Junior Varsity

SSHS 45, RCHS 34

The Sulphur Springs junior varsity held a 23-15 lead at the intermission and outscored Royse City 22-19 in the second half to take the win.

Kaylon Page had a team-high 15 points, while Keedrick Dial scored 11 points and Johnathan Lee had 10 points for the Wildcats.

Irby lead Royse City with 17 points.

SSHS 5 18 14 8 - 45

RCHS 6 9 12 7 - 34

SSHS - Darrell Franklin 1, Joseph McCann 6, Anthony Mills 4, Johnathan Lee 10, Keedrick Dial 11, Kaylon Page 15.

RCHS - Irby 17, Lanus 5, Ryan 7, Guines 1, Cade 2, Rauch 2.

Freshman

SSHS 25, Royse City 24

The Wildcats freshman team outscored Royse City 8-4 in the fourth quarter to win in come-from-behind fashion.

Royse City held a 20-17 lead going into the final quarter.

Joey Davis scored a game-high 15 points for the Wildcats while Jacob Carona scored six points.

For Royse City, Mapps was the leading scorer with eight points.

SSHS 6 7 4 8 - 25

RCHS 7 4 9 4 - 24

SSHS - Jacob Carona 6, Bryant Jackson 2, Joey Davis 15, Jordan Lee 2.

MVHS - Avery 2, Bronner 2, Clopton 2, Ragsdale 2, Mapps 8, Britt 4, Chandler 4.

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