Lady Cats extend their season with win

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

Feb. 7, 2007 - PARIS - It was Senior Night for the Paris Lady Cats on Tuesday, but it was a Sulphur Springs senior who stole the show.

SSHS' Cresha Hubbard scored a season-high 19 points and grabbed seven rebounds to lead the Lady Cats to a 55-35 victory over Paris.

By winning, the Lady Cats set up a win-or-go-home match-up with Texas High on Friday for third place in District 11-4A. SSHS and Texas High ended up tied for third after T-High beat Lindale 59-37 on Tuesday.

The pair will square off at either 6 p.m. or 8 p.m. Friday in Daingerfield, with the winner advancing to the playoffs.

"So far, we've been taking just one game at a time," said SSHS head coach Tina Carrillo. "Our whole season hinged on what we did in this last game. Sure enough, with Texas High winning, it did boil down to us winning.

"We finished district as I had predicted we'd do, which is in the playoff race. It's fun to be in the race."

Sulphur Springs started slowly on Tuesday, scoring just two points in the first five minutes of the contest. But, their defense allowed them to stay in a 2-2 tie until Starkeisha Wright scored on a low-post feed from freshman Stefanie Pruitt to take a 4-2 lead.

The Lady Cats never trailed after that. Wright finished with eight points and eight boards and Pruitt had a game-high five assists to go with 11 points.

by the middle of the second quarter, Sulphur Springs had a 10-point lead at 17-7 by virtue of a nine-point run kick started by a bucket from Hubbard and aided by Pruitt's 3-pointer, a baseline jumper by Emily Bouyear and a putback by Stephanie Conley, who finished with 10 rebounds and three points. Bouyear was the third Lady Cat in double-figure scoring with 10 points, five rebounds, three steals and three assists.

"Last night, we were balanced with scoring," Carrillo said. "We didn't have just one with a hot hand. It's nice to have three or four in double figures. It just shows it was an overall offensive team effort."

The Lady Cats' lead dipped below double digits only a few times for the remainder of the game, and Paris never got closer than eight points.

Sulphur Springs built a 16-point advantage, 33-17, early in the third quarter on a pair of buckets from Wright and Hubbard off assists from freshman Jamonica Hall. Paris followed with a 7-3 run late in the third quarter, ended by Jarissa Patt's jumper with five second left, that pulled the score to 38-29.

But, Pruitt opened the fourth quarter with a 3-pointer off an assist from Shardae Jones, who had three helpers, and then Hubbard scored eight of her points in the final four minutes of the contest as Paris tried doubling the ball and Hubbard was able to work herself open underneath.

"We kept a good, steady lead the whole game," Carrillo said. "We had an 8-10 point lead the whole time. In the end, when they started doubling the ball, we did a good job of finding the open man. We were able to execute every time down the floor."

Paris was led in scoring by Estosha Sims with 11 points, and Patt added eight. Paris shot just 13-of-51 from the field (25 percent) while SSHS hit 22-of-52 (42 percent). Sulphur Springs held a 45-37 edge in rebounding.

Notes: Mount Pleasant won the 11-4A championship with a 10-0 record after beating North Lamar 61-53 on Tuesday. MP will get a first-round bye in the playoffs, while North Lamar is the district's second-place team. ... The bi-district playoffs open next Monday and Tuesday. ... Five of Paris' eight players are seniors.

JUNIOR VARSITY

Paris 46, SSHS 36

The Lady Cats rebounded from an early 8-0 hole to take a lead in the third quarter, but Paris made 8-of-11 free throws in the final period to pull away.

Erika Garrett had a team-high 14 points and five steals to go with three rebounds and three assists, and Jamie Askins added six assists, six rebounds and two points. Talea Reynolds contributed six points and six boards.

Stevie Moore added 10 points and 11 rebounds, and Kayla Phillips had four points. Alyssa Burney and Melanie Hudson had four rebounds each, while Amy Highfield had two boards and a steal.

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