After 2 wins, Wildcats set sights on consolation championship
By JOSEPH ELERSON | News-Telegram Sports Writer
Dec. 9, 2007 - WILLS POINT - For Sulphur Springs head coach Braughn Curtis, reaching 10 wins could not have come at a better time.
Playing in the consolation bracket of the Wills Point Kiwanis Tournament, the Wildcats defeated Ferris, 62-38, in the first game of the day and then defeated the host team Wills Point, 55-39, to improve to 10-2 on the season.
"Today's goal was to get Thursday's game out of our system and out of our lives forever," Curtis said. "We did not play very hard at all in that game and we came out flat.
"Today, we wanted to take care of the ball, play with intensity, go get loose balls and rebounds and play with superior effort and we did that today. It was a good day for us because we were able to do that."
The Wildcats were scheduled to face McKinney Boyd today at 11:30 a.m. for a chance at the consolation title against Edgewood at 4:45 p.m. today.
SSHS 55, Wills Point 39
In their second game of the day, Curtis said the Wildcats did not come out with the same intensity against Wills Point as they did against Ferris.
"In the first game, we were ready to play, but in the second game I didn't think we came out playing hard, and the first quarter we were flat," the coach said. "We started to pick it up in the last three quarters and we are not doing situation-type of things right during that first quarter."
SSHS opened up the game with a 14-9 lead after the first quarter as Rashad Hall had an offensive putback, while Jonathan Lee had a jumper off an assist from Tyrick Rollison as time expired.
Lee and Rollison led the team in scoring as they both scored 12 points. Rollison also had five assists, four steals and three rebounds, while Lee had eight rebounds, one steal, one assist and one block for the Wildcats.
SSHS shot 23-of-57 from the field for 40 percent, but went 0-for-7 from 3-point range. They also out-rebounded Wills Point, 50-33.
In the second quarter, the Wildcats continued to put the pressure on the Tigers defensively, but held a slim seven-point lead at the half, 29-22, as SSHS went on a 9-0 run in the final three minutes.
"I told the guys that we are not playing hard against Wills Point and that is the bottom line," Curtis said about his halftime speech. "We were turning the ball over in key situations and we got in our half-court trap and they got a couple of easy buckets. We then got in our full-court press and we were coming in and out of two different things."
The Wildcats had back-to-back buckets from Rollison, a jumper from DeQualin "Boo" Evans and free throws from Kedrick Dial and Anthony Mills during the run.
In the second half, the Wildcats went on a 16-6 run in the third quarter as the Tigers could not keep 6-6 junior post Colton Nash off of the offensive glass. Nash had six points on six offensive rebounds in the third quarter and finished with 15 rebounds to go along with eight points in the game.
The Wildcats had a 14-10 advantage on the offensive glass and had a 50-33 advantage in rebounding.
SSHS 62, Ferris 38
The Wildcats jumped out to an 18-7 lead after the first quarter behind another strong game from Rollison, as he finished with 15 points, four rebounds, three steals and three assists.
SSHS shot 29-of-64 (45 percent), compared to 15-of-46 (32.6 percent) for the Yellowjackets.
With two minutes remaining in the first quarter, Anthony Mills found a streaking Rollison for the easy bucket as Sulphur Springs held a 14-3 lead.
With a double digit lead at the half (36-21), Curtis said the effort his team showed in the first half was what he was wanting to see against Trinity Christian on Thursday.
"That is a good feeling and that comes by playing hard," Curtis said of the halftime lead. "We should expect that from our guys every time and we should dominate in the area of giving effort. If we will give great effort, then good things will happen for the Wildcats."
The Wildcat defense held Ferris to under 10 points in three quarters and held a 20-point lead heading into the final period.
With time running out in the fourth quarter, Rollison received a pass from Joseph McCann and tossed up a 3-pointer from a foot inside the sideline and drained the 3-pointer for the 62-38 finale.
Lee had 10 points, four rebounds, three steals and three assists, while Dial had a near double-double with eight points and 10 rebounds to go along with two assists.