Stall Tactic: Longview pulls out win over Lady Cats
By BOBBY "BUTCH" BURNEY | News-Telegram Sports Editor
Dec. 29, 2007 - Longview coach Tommy Aldridge instructed his girls to go into the stall with 4:40 to play and an eight-point lead against the Sulphur Springs Lady Cats on Friday.
It was a risky move, but it paid off as the Lady Lobos survived with a 50-45 victory at Wildcat Gym.
It appeared that the Lady Cats (8-10) would be able to make up the ground as they cut the lead to three points, 46-43, on Stephanie Conley's two free throws after being fouled on an offensive rebound with 95 seconds left. But, Sulphur Springs turned the ball over twice on its final three possessions, and Longview's Shatoria Mallett hit four free throws in the last 17 seconds to ice the victory.
Conley had nine points and 15 rebounds for the Lady Cats, and sophomore guard Stefanie Pruitt finished with a team-high 16 points.
For Longview (18-4), Mallett had 19 points, six rebounds and three steals, and Shamiya Domino came off the bench to added nine points and nine rebounds.
The Lady Cats turned the ball over 24 times, compared to 15 for Longview, and SSHS head coach Tina Carrillo said those miscues played a major factor.
"I thought it was an accumulation of several different things," she said. "We had lapses where we would turn the ball over with unforced errors. The very last sequence of offense was just a whole pattern again of unforced errors. We turned the ball over more than our average tonight."
The Lady Cats stayed in the game by out-rebounding Longview, 34-27, as senior guard Jessica Savage pulled down seven rebounds to go with nine points.
"The part of the game I felt most comfortable with was that we out-rebounded them, which was what I was most concerned about," Carrillo said.
Savage's shooting helped the Lady Cats get a second-quarter lead. She hit three 3-pointers in the first half, including two possessions in a row to start the second quarter. Sulphur Springs made eight of its first 11 shots as they took a 21-19 advantage 60 seconds into the second period.
But, Longview's Traci DeVance answered with a 3-pointer of her own as Longview retook the lead and wouldn't trail again.
The Lady Lobos made their lead stand up with outstanding free throw shooting. They made 17-of-21 charity shots, while SSHS hit 13-of-20. Neither team shot well from the field, however, as Longview hit 14-of-53 shots (26 percent) and SSHS made 13-of-36 (36 percent).
"We had a hard time scoring out of our half-court offense," Carrillo said. "It seemed like we were most effective when Mackenzie would push the ball and advance it to Pruitt, who would get a good, clean shot off before the defense was able to settle into their half-court defense."
Sulphur Springs was within two points to start the fourth quarter as Pruitt scored five of the team's eight third-quarter points. Mackenzie Cross, who finished with seven points, three rebounds and four assists, had a pair of free throws in the period.
The Lady Cats have one final non-district game, set for Monday afternoon at Royse City, before starting District 11-4A next Friday against Texas High. The Royse City game is scheduled for a noon start for freshmen and JV and a 1:30 p.m. tipoff for varsity.
Carrillo hopes the Lady Cats are getting prepared for district with the slate of tough games.
"Those are games we should be winning, but I think they are still good practice for what is going on down the road," she explained. "I don't know if we'll face a team as athletic as this one in district."
Longview 37, SSHS 29
The Lady Cats suffered through one of their worst shooting games of the season, dropping their record to 15-5.
Talea Reynolds led the team with 17 points and 10 rebounds, Kayla Phillips and Chasity Hall each scored three points. Hall also had five rebounds.
Alyssa Burney had two points, six rebounds and two assists, JaMonica Hall added one point and three boards, Jamie Askins scored two points and Kayle Askins had five steals and five assists.
Longview 28, SSHS 26
Longview made two free throws with 3 seconds remaining to break the tie and win the game.
SSHS' Frankeisha Hawkins and Caitlyn Nix each made a free throw in the final 11 seconds to tie the game at 26-26. Hawkins finished with nine points and six rebounds and Nix had five points, five rebounds and five steals.
Kyri Ivery finished with four points and nine rebounds, Katy Hu added two points, Bradyn Burney had two rebounds and two assists and Taylor Eastwood came up with two steals.