Wildcats lose at North Lamar
By JOSEPH ELERSON | News-Telegram Sports Writer
Feb. 14, 2007 - PARIS - The Sulphur Springs Wildcats could not break the undefeated home streak of the North Lamar Panthers Tuesday night in their regular season finale.
North Lamar took as much as an eight point lead (38-30) late in the game to hold off the Wildcats 40-36 on Senior Night and finish 5-0 on their home court while going 0-5 on the road this season.
"I knew both teams were going to play hard coming in here tonight," said SSHS coach Rusty Harden. "We played hard and the bad thing is that they made some plays that we didn't make and we still tried. We have nothing to be ashamed of after this game.
"The thing was the officials were letting us play and there were some things that I thought were fouls. In a game like that tonight, you can't whine about those calls and you have to play."
The Wildcats finish the season with a 19-10 overall record and a fifth place finish at 4-6 in District 11-4A.
"I am proud of the kids. I told them that our playoff goal fell short and other than that we had a great year," the coach said. "I think we were surprised, but after we got to practicing and playing we started to expect it. We got some confidence early in the year and we got some momentum and it carried over for us."
For the 19th game this season, SSHS senior Bradley Washington scored in double figures with 12 points, four rebounds and one steal. This was also the 13th game that Washington led the team in scoring.
Senior Ladarius Harrison scored seven points to go along with five rebounds, two steals and two assists, while sophomore Colten Nash had six points and 10 rebounds.
With the Wildcats leading 30-29 heading into the final quarter of play, North Lamar jumped out on a 9-0 run to take a 38-30 lead with 2:20 remaining as Justin Collard scored four points during that run.
SSHS was able to get to within 38-36 on a fast break layup by Harrison as Washington slid into the stands to save the ball with 35 seconds remaining.
In the first half, neither team was able to pull away from each other as both teams held a four-point lead on two separate occasions. The Panthers held a 13-9 lead on a offensive putback by Qualon Fort, while the Wildcats held a 17-13 lead on a fast break layup by Aaron Williams early in the second quarter.
With North Lamar up 20-19 heading into the third quarter, the Wildcats took a four point lead as Washington scored an offensive putback and then Nash scored on an assist from Harrison for a 26-22 advantage. The Wildcats then took a 28-24 lead when Andrew Panter nailed a short jumper off an assist from Biggerstaff with 4:01 remaining.
The Wildcats shot 15-of-48 (31 percent) from the field compared to 16-of-37 (43 percent) for the Panthers. Sulphur Springs went 4-of-14 from behind the arc and out-rebounded North Lamar 11-5 on the offensive glass.
Harden said with the team finishing 19-10 in his first year as coach that the foundation has been laid to turn things around after only winning seven games last year.
"I am going to tell you that I hope this was the class that got everything started for us," he said. "Hopefully next year and the year after that, we will keep this going and they laid the foundation for us."
SSHS 46, North Lamar 29
The junior varsity wrapped up the regular season with a 22-5 record under first-year coach Jason Wilkerson and a sweep of North Lamar.
SSHS led 19-5 after one quarter, 31-12 at the intermission and 37-23 after three quarter of play.
Kedrick Dial led Sulphur Springs with 10 points while Johnathan Lee bucketed seven points.
SSHS 19 12 6 9 -46
NLHS 5 7 11 6 -29
SSHS - Dequalin Evans 3, Anthony Mills 4, Carlos Harrison 3, Rashad Hall 2, Johnathan Lee 7, Kedrick Dial 10, Kaylon Page 14, Lemarcus Kendricks 2, Joey Davis 1.
NLHS - Rucker 2, Parsons 6, Lane 5, Braxton 7, Owen 2, McFrazier 3, Sharrock 1, Moody 3.
North Lamar 55, SSHS 49
The SSHS freshmen held a 24-18 lead going into the locker room, but were outscored 37-25 in the second half to fall to end the regular season at 13-12 under first-year coach Kevin McCasland.
Bryant Jackson led SSHS with 23 points while Lemarcus Kendricks added nine points in the loss.
North Lamar had three players in double figures and were led by Rivas with 14 points.
SSHS 10 14 11 14 -49
NLHS 10 8 16 21 -55
SSHS - Jacob Corona 5, Bryant Jackson 23, Joey Davis 4, Colby Suggs 2, Lemarcus Kendricks 9, Jordan Lee 6.
NLHS - Caldwell 10, Rivas 14, Burns 6, Shirley 12, Smith 4, Parson 2, Rethernan 4, Team 3.