|Wildcats win first district game|
|Joseph Elerson | News-Telegram Sports Writer|
Jan. 17, 2007 - The Sulphur Springs Wildcats found just the right time to pick up their first district win Tuesday night at Wildcat Gymnasium.
The Wildcats took care of the Lindale Eagles in a 49-42 win to improve to 16-5 overall and 1-1 in District 11-4A.
"It was huge. I talked to them about if they played as hard as they did on Tuesday they would be in this game," said SSHS coach Rusty Harden.
"Down the stretch, I told them that they had to make plays and you have to take care of the ball and they did that tonight. Our guys wanted the game tonight and they outplayed them in every area."
With both teams tied at 39-39 with 3:56 remaining, sophomore Tyrick Rollison took a charge on a fast-break layup by Lindale's Logan Gilley and then the Wildcats outscored the Eagles 10-3 the remainder of the contest.
SSHS received a team-high 13 points, eight assists, five rebounds and one steal from senior post Bradley Washington, while teammate Ladarius Harrison had 11 points, two rebounds, one steal and one assist.
Lindale (17-6 overall, 0-2 in district) jumped out to a 13-10 lead after the first quarter of play with the Wildcats having a hard time containing Lindale's Jacob Holman, who scored five of his 14 points in the opening quarter.
Washington capped off the first quarter scoring with a 3-pointer off an assist from Harrison with time running out, and then Sulphur Springs took their first lead of the game on buckets by Colten Nash and Harrison for a 14-13 advantage with 6:53 remaining in the opening half.
Lindale continued to put on the pressure for the remainder of the half as the Wildcats got to within 20-18 on a jumper by Nash off an assist from Washington, but Lindale scored the last four points of the quarter for a 24-18 halftime lead.
In the second half, the Wildcats found a way to contain post players Holman and Cameron Dossey - who combined for 14 first half points - to just seven in the second half by changing the play call on the defensive end.
"I know late in the game Coach (Jason) Wilkerson told me to tell our players to pull them farther outside on our man-to-man and that was a great call," Harden said.
With back-to-back runs in the third quarter, the Wildcats were able to tie the game at 31-31 when Rollison nailed a 3-pointer from the top of the arc with time running out as SSHS outscored Lindale 13-7 in the third quarter.
"I laughed so hard on that shot because Ty has made about three or four shots from five or six feet outside of the 3-point line this year," the coach said.
In the fourth quarter, both teams looked to make the game interesting as neither team held more than a five-point lead before Sulphur Springs iced the game with free throws in the final minute of the game.
The Wildcats shot 18-of-42 (42.8 percent) from the field, compared to 16-of-42 (38.1 percent) for the Eagles. SSHS was out-rebounded (31-24), but had more assists (15-13) and more steals (7-3) in the contest.
The Wildcats look to pick up their second district win on Friday at Paris. Harden said that game will not be an easy one as they are a game out of first place in district play.
"I think every night is going to be tooth and nail," Harden said. "It is going to be a tough game, and it will come down to the team that wants it more and makes the least mistakes."
SSHS 53, Lindale 27
With the debut of Chris Young, the Sulphur Springs junior varsity picked up their first district win in commanding fashion Tuesday night.
Young scored a game-high 12 points off of the bench, while Johnathan Lee and Dequalin Evans pitched in nine points each in the win.
Lindale was led by J. McDaniel with eight points.
Lindale 11 6 4 6 -27
SSHS 16 12 14 11 -53
Lindale - Scott 2, Kile 3, Boogerats 2, Nicole 2, Hebron 2, Cates 4, M. McDaniel 4, J. McDaniel 8.
SSHS - Johnathan Lee 9, Keedrick Dial 5, Kaylon Page 4, Dequalin Evans 9, Chris Young 12, Cedric Finnie 4, Anthony Mills 8, Carlos Harrison 2.
SSHS 40, Lindale 38
The SSHS freshmen started the sweep of Lindale with a nail-biter as Lindale tried to send the game into overtime on the final shot, but fell just short.
Jacob Carona led Sulphur Springs with 14 points while Bryant Jackson added 11 point.
Lindale 11 14 8 5 -38
SSHS 10 8 13 9 -40
Lindale - McCoy 5, Wyatt 6, Clemmons 3, Welch 3, Terry 7, Miller 6, Black 8.
SSHS - Jacob Carona 14, Jaz Debase 3, Bryant Jackson 11, Joey Davis 6, Jordan Lee 2, Lemarcus Kendricks 4.