Lady Cats need overtime to beat Lindale

By BOBBY "BUTCH" BURNEY | News-Telegram Sports Editor

Feb. 3, 2007 - Whether it was bad offense, good defense or a smattering of both, Friday's recipe for a win wasn't exactly what SSHS coach Tina Carrillo cooked up.

But, the end result was just what the Lady Cats ordered.

Sulphur Springs persevered through a 24 percent shooting performance at home to clip Lindale in overtime, 32-24, in a game that had important ramifications on the district standings.

That win, coupled with Mount Pleasant's 69-67 overtime victory over Texas High, puts Sulphur Springs into a tie with Texas High for third place in District 11-4A with one game left in the regular season. Both teams have 4-5 records.

Sulphur Springs (20-10 overall) travels to Paris on Friday, while Texas High (14-7) visits Lindale in must-win contests for both teams. If they end up tied after Tuesday, there will be a one-game playoff at the end of the week to determine the district's final playoff representative.

Midway through the fourth quarter on Friday, it didn't appear Sulphur Springs would be able to uphold its end of the bargain.

Lindale scored seven straight points, the final two coming on a nifty reverse layup by Madison Killingsworth to go up 22-15 with six minutes left in the game. Killingsworth, who fouled out in overtime, had five points and nine rebounds.

But, the Lady Cats then started a comeback, and it started on defense as they held Lindale to just two points over the final 10 minutes of the contest.

"I can highlight very few positive offensive sequences, but defensively our overall team effort tonight won us this game," Carrillo said. "Tonight, we finished on a positive night. Our reputation this year has not been very good as far as finishing tight ones, but in the end we made some big plays."

Sulphur Springs started its comeback with 5:50 to play in regulation when Starkeisha Wright hit a 15-foot baseline jumper to cut the deficit to 22-17. Wright ended with 13 points and eight rebounds. Emily Bouyear, who had a game-high six assists, then found Cresha Hubbard under the goal for an easy lay-in a minute later.

Lindale tried to milk the clock, but with 3:05 to play, Wright stripped Killingsworth of the ball near midcourt and was fouled while driving to the basket. She made both free throws to cut the score to 22-21.

It stayed that way until 35 seconds remained when Bouyear gave SSHS a lead at 23-22 with a baseline drive.

Killingsworth was fouled on Lindale's next possession and sank both free throws to again put the Lady Eagles up by one point, but Wright tied the game back up at 24-25 by hitting the front end of a one-and-one with seven seconds left.

In the four-minute overtime, Sulphur Springs outscored Lindale 8-0. Neither team scored until Stephanie Conley put in her only field goal of the game off an inbound pass from Bouyear with 95 seconds left.

Lindale then had three turnovers in their final four possessions. Meanwhile, Wright hit a pair of short jumpers and Bouyear made two free throws to close out the scoring.

Bouyear, Conley and Shardae Jones each scored four points, and Conley added a team-high five steals. Sulphur Springs forced 29 Lindale turnovers while coming up with 14 take-aways.

Lindale shot 33 percent from the field (9-of-27) and out-rebounded SSHS 37-27, but had no one in double figure scoring. Whitney Binder led the team with eight points and 10 boards.

"This is the fewest points we've scored in a long time and the fewest points we've allowed in a long time," Carrillo said. "It looks like Lindale led at the end of every quarter, but that last quarter is the one that counts."

She said Bouyear made a significant contribution with her assists and defense.

"She had some good looks and good reads," the coach added. "In the fourth quarter and overtime, Emily and Star were superb."

Notes: Bouyear and Hubbard were honored before their final home game in Senior Night activities. ... In both games against Lindale, SSHS won in overtime. The Lady Cats are now 3-2 in overtime games this year.

JUNIOR VARSITY

Lindale 25, SSHS 17

The Lady Cats scored just four points in the second and third quarters to lose an early lead.

Melanie Hudson and Stevie Moore each scored five points for SSHS. Moore added six rebounds and Hudson had three. Alyssa Burney and Erika Garrett had three points each; Burney had four steals and six rebounds and Garrett had three rebounds. Amy Highfield scored one point.

Talea Reynolds had a team-high nine rebounds and Shay Hutchinson added four boards.

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