Wildcats split final 2 tourney contests: Lee named to the All-Tournament team

By JOSEPH ELERSON | News-Telegram Sports Writer

Dec. 10, 2007 - WILLS POINT - After a second-place finish at the Quinlan Ford tournament two weeks ago, the Sulphur Springs Wildcats wrapped up their second tournament of the year with a sixth-place finish Saturday at the Wills Point Kiwanis Tournament.

SSHS (11-3) split its final two games on Saturday with a 56-54 win over McKinney Boyd in their first game and then lost to Edgewood 57-42 in the consolation championship game.

"We were definitely not ready to play today. We just thought that we were going to mop the floor with somebody because they are a 2A school," said SSHS first-year coach Braughn Curtis. "I told my guys that these guys (Edgewood) are fundamentally sound and they are going to shoot the ball well and expose you if you don't play hard."

Junior Jonathan Lee was named to the All-Tournament team for his play during the three-day event.

SSHS will return to the court Tuesday night as they travel to face the Whitehouse Wildcats, the No. 10-ranked team in Class 4A. Tipoff for the varsity action is scheduled for 8 p.m.

"Whitehouse is a good basketball team. They are big and athletic and smart on the court," Curtis said. "The teams that have been smart in this tournament have just worn us out. I am not real confident right now going into Whitehouse, but I am going into the game looking to get after them and playing hard. I am disappointed in the effort that we are giving on a daily basis right now."

Consolation Championship

Edgewood 57, SSHS 42

The Wildcats jumped out to an early 3-0 lead as Andrew Panter found Tyrick Rollison for the 3-pointer with j15 seconds gone in the first quarter.

The Bulldogs then went on a 15-0 run as they had 3-pointers from Chase Sage, Trey Prater and Wes Jameson wrapped around free throws from Colten Humphries and Sage. Humphries and Prater also had buckets during the run before junior Anthony Mills ended the run with a jumper with 1:40 remaining in the quarter.

Mills was the leading scorer for the Wildcats with 13 points to go along with seven rebounds and one assist, while classmate Colton Nash had 10 points, five boards and one block.

In the second quarter, SSHS could not get anything going and was outscored, 12-6, as Edgewood took a 27-13 lead into the locker room. SSHS shot 3-of-5 in the quarter and turned the ball over eight times against an aggressive Bulldog defense.

The Wildcats never got the deficit into single digits as Edgewood kept the lead over 14 points throughout the second half.

Curtis said the problem with the Wildcats is playing a full 32 minutes of basketball every time they step on the court.

"The things that we have got to get done is play hard and quit being lazy on defense and learn how to play at a high level every day," the coach said.

The Wildcats shot 17-of-48 from the field for 35.4 percent, compared to 22-of-54 (40.7 percent) for the Bulldogs. The also had a 24-7 deficit in the turnover category.

Game 1

SSHS 56, McKinney Boyd 54

The Wildcats held an 11-point lead (52-41) with three minutes remaining in the game on a steal by Dequalin "Boo" Evans and had to hold on to advance to the consolation championship game.

The Broncos went on a 13-4 run and had a chance to tie the game at the buzzer, but Luke Tarazewich missed the shot off the back of the rim.

Following a timeout by the Wildcats, Rashad Hall drained two free throws to give SSHS a 55-48 lead. Tarazewich then drained his first 3-pointer with 11 seconds remaining for a 55-51 deficit. After a Broncos timeout, Wildcat senior Andrew Panter was fouled and made 1-of-2 free throws to give them a five-point cushion.

With two seconds remaining in the game, Tarazewich drained another 3-pointer for the 56-54 deficit.

Evans and Nash each scored 12 points for the Wildcats as the game's leading scorers. Nash had seven rebounds and one assist, while Evans had five rebounds, two steals and two assists.

SSHS shot 20-of-40 from the field for 50 percent and had a 42-25 lead in rebounding.

In the first half, the Wildcats had a tough time holding on to the basketball as they had 13 turnovers and finished with 25 in the game.

After a 22-21 deficit on an offensive putback by McKinney Boyd's Michael Glazier with 2:35 remaining in the first half, Sulphur Springs never gave up the lead the remainder of the game. They held a 29-22 lead at the half on a putback by Mills.

In the third quarter, the Wildcats held an 11-point lead at 35-24 on a putback by Lee with 6:03 remaining in the quarter.

With the Wildcats up 45-34 heading into the fourth quarter, the Broncos outscored SSHS, 20-11, as the Wildcats shot 3-of-5 from the field to hold on for the win.

Curtis said the Wildcats will continue to work on their transition defense during practice and making sure they communicate on fast-break situations.

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