Hubbard leads Lady Cats into rematch with Texas High

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

Feb. 9, 2007 - The first time the Sulphur Springs Lady Cats took on Texas High, Cresha Hubbard did her part with 14 points and eight rebounds.

The Lady Cats will be looking for similar production on the court - and leadership in the locker room - from the senior tonight when they meet the Lady Tigers for the third time.

The two teams play at 7 p.m. in Daingerfield, with the winner advancing to the playoffs. They are tied for third place in District 11-4A with 5-5 records.

Hubbard is the third on the Lady Cats' team in scoring and second in rebounding, but her contribution goes beyond that, said head coach Tina Carrillo.

"Cresha has been such an inspiration for me as a coach because she has natural God-given leadership qualities that cause others to just naturally want to follow," Carrillo said. "This is her time to display those qualities and its been very helpful during the course of the season."

Carrillo explained that on several occasions during the season, most notably after a loss to Winona in late December, Hubbard was the glue that kept the team focused.

That wasn't always the case. Hubbard left the team in January of 2006 for personal reasons. She rejoined them in the spring offseason, but had to prove to the coach and her teammates that her commitment was solid.

She went through the summer workouts and played in the summer and fall leagues as she rejoined the team.

A three-year letterman, Hubbard averaged a double-double in her shortened junior year. This season, she is putting up 5.5 points and 6.7 rebounds per game as an undersized (5-7) post player. She is coming off her best scoring game of the season, 19 points against Paris, and is averaging 7.0 points and 6.5 rebounds in 10 district games.

The Lady Cats (21-10 overall) will need her production tonight because Texas High (14-10) has three players scoring in double figures and has an additional post player in 6-0 Dedra Ganaway, who was recently eligible for varsity competition after playing JV until this week.

Just as importantly as her play on the court, Hubbard will likely be the one in the locker room to provide inspiration.

"Through one of the darkest times this season, I could turn around and find Cresha right behind me," Carrillo said. "She's also been a mediator for the team."

Notes: The winner between Sulphur Springs and Texas High will play Whitehouse, the 12-4A runner-up, in the bi-district round. Whitehouse has already reserved the gym at East Texas Baptist in Marshall for Tuesday. ... North Lamar, the District 11-4A runner-up, will play Jacksonville, the third-place team in District 12-4A, early next week in bi-district. The site and time are to be announced. ... Meanwhile, 11-4A champion Mount Pleasant will get a first-round bye and play the winner between Lake Dallas and Richardson Pearce late next week.

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