Wildcats put an end to 2-game losing streak
By JOSEPH ELERSON | News-Telegram Sports Writer
Dec. 16, 2007 - NEVADA - The Sulphur Springs Wildcats got back on the winning track following a two-game losing streak with a 50-29 win over the Class 3A Nevada Community Braves Friday night.
The Wildcats (12-4) shot 51 percent from the field (25-of-49) compared to 23 percent for the Braves (11-of-47) and dominated on the boards with a 39-24 advantage and a 13-7 advantage on the offensive glass.
SSHS first-year head coach Braughn Curtis said he was pleased with the team's effort against Community after a tough loss to Whitehouse on Tuesday.
"I thought we played well," Curtis said. "The last few days have been about competing in practice and getting a better feel of blocking out and rebounding. We broke it down to the basic fundamentals and went back to square one and said we are going to start playing hard."
SSHS led for all but 30 seconds against Nevada as three players scored in double figures. Community held a 5-4 lead on a bucket by Tanner Marshall off an assist from Ross Hutchinson with 4:30 remaining in the first quarter.
Sophomore Colton Nash led the team with 14 points and four rebounds, Bryant "Day Day" Jackson had his best game of the year with 13 points, five rebounds, one steal and one assist, and Jonathan Lee added 11 points, five rebounds, one steal and one assist.
"I thought Day Day played well because they were playing a 2-3 zone and he is a guy that we are looking at getting the ball to because he is so versatile," the coach said. "I like when people play zone because then we can get a lot of easy baskets with Day Day, so hopefully we will keep that trend going."
The Wildcats defense clamped down on Community following the basket by Marshall as Sulphur Springs went on a 8-0 run to take a 12-5 lead. During the run, Sulphur Springs had a layup and offensive rebound from Lee and two jumpers from Jackson, the last coming with 32 seconds remaining in the quarter.
Nash gave the Wildcats a 14-7 lead after the first quarter on a tip-in basket at the buzzer and then Sulphur Springs scored the first six points of the second quarter on jumpers by Jackson and Nash and a basket by Anthony Mills off an assist from Dequalin "Boo" Evans with 6:32 remaining.
Following a layup by Community's Matthew Hollien, the Wildcats went on another run as Nash had an offensive putback and then Lee scored a layup and drained a 3-pointer for a 27-9 lead. The Wildcats held a 30-14 lead into the locker room after a 3-pointer from Community's Marcus Underwood.
"We didn't do anything fancy with the press, and I just said, 'Get back and protect long passes and keep the ball in front of us,' " Curtis said. "We didn't do anything special and started taking care of the ball a little bit better tonight. In the second half, we didn't protect the ball very well but I thought we made better decisions."
Curtis said his goal for the Wildcats is to commit only 15 turnovers per game this season and SSHS had 18 turnovers compared to 20 for the Braves.
Sulphur Springs will return to the court Tuesday night at Liberty-Eylau in the final game before the Christmas break. Tipoff for the varsity action is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
"Liberty-Eylau is going to be athletic and they will be a good team. We have to play well and continue doing the things that we do to keep us in the district hunt," Curtis said. "We will then take the week off and then travel to Fouke, Ark., for a tournament on Dec. 27-29 because the Mount Pleasant tournament got canceled. All of the teams that weren't district opponents removed themselves so we decided to not play in it this year."
Community 43, SSHS 42
Jesse Vasquez led the way for the Wildcats with 12 points, while teammate Alex Lucco added eight points, Jordan Lee and Lemarcus Kendricks added six points, Jacob Corona finished with four points and Gage Williams and Jonathan Tsai scored two points each.
SSHS lost the game on a free throw with less than a second left to play.
Community 58, SSHS 39
The Wildcats were outscored in three of four quarters Friday night as Alvin Frazier led the team with 19 points while Hayden Jacobs had nine points.
Community held a 27-10 lead at the half and a 42-19 lead after three quarters.
SSHS 6 4 9 20 -39
Community 10 17 15 15 -58
SSHS - George Green 3, Alvin Frazier 19, Tylan Harris 4, Hayden Jacobs 9, Kadarian Wright 4.
Community - Simon 3, Eckert 15, Strahan 15, Pose 3, Marks 4, Ng 2, Donahoe 4, Tutt 2, Montgomery 10.