Lady Cats make quick work of Paris
Bobby "Butch" Burney | News-Telegram Sports Editor

Jan. 21, 2007 - To keep their legs fresh, the Sulphur Springs Lady Cats have been shortening their practices the last couple of weeks.

They then shortened Friday's game against Paris.

Led by senior Emily Bouyear's best game of the season, the Lady Cats knocked out Paris with a tremendous offensive display in the first half on their way to a 78-50 victory at Wildcat Gym.

Bouyear, starting in place Stephanie Conley who was ill, had a season-high 21 points to go with eight rebounds, five steals and four assists. Junior post Starkeisha Wright added 20 points and nine rebounds and senior post Cresha Hubbard had a double-double with 11 points and 10 boards.

"We had sensational games from Starkeisha Wright and Emily Bouyear," said SSHS head coach Tina Carrillo. "I've seen a spark from Emily every now and then, but tonight she erupted, and I was proud of the game she had. I was extremely happy with her performance."

The victory keeps the Lady Cats in the playoff hunt with a 2-3 record in District 11-4A, 18-8 overall. Paris, last year's district runner-up, fell to 0-5, 7-16.

The Lady Cats host Texas High (3-2) in a pivotal game Tuesday. A second loss to Texas High would nearly cripple their playoff hopes.

"It feels good to be 2-3 now and finish the first round of district with two wins," Carrillo said. "Right now, we're still going to continue to focus on being the team we know we can be and keep our intensity up."

The intensity was running high on Friday, especially in the first half when Sulphur Springs built a 50-24 lead. They immediately got Paris into foul trouble and made it worthwhile, hitting 16-of-17 free throws in the first half and 18-of-20 in the game.

Bouyear had a steal and lay-up to give SSHS its first lead 30 seconds into the game. Sulphur Springs held a 10-9 lead midway through the first quarter, then went on a 13-1 run to close out the period.

The Lady Cats made 9-of-10 free throws during that run, and Hubbard added a pair of baskets.

Paris cut the lead slightly starting the second period. Paris was led by Keitra Brown with 15 points on 7-of-10 shooting and Estosha Sims with 11 points and seven rebounds.

But Sulphur Springs answered the second quarter charge strongly. Sophomore Mackenzie Cross (eight points, five steals, four assists) had a steal that led to a bucket by Bouyear, then freshman Stefanie Pruitt converted a 4-point play that seemed to be back-breaker. Pruitt, who had eight 3-pointers the previous game against Lindale, hit a trey from the right corner and was fouled. Her free throw gave SSHS a 33-16 advantage.

They then scored eight of the game's next 10 points - four by Wright and four by Bouyear - to go up, 41-18.

"Tonight we were blazing from the field," Carrillo said. "I think it's helping too that we've been shortening our practices, and we've got our legs. We are doing more shooting, and it's paying off.

"We've struggled all year with our shooting, but I am happy with the points we put up tonight."

The Lady Cats hit four 3-pointers, one each by Bouyear, Pruitt (who had eight points, three rebounds and three assists), Jessica Savage and Shardae Jones. They finished the evening hitting 28-of-75 shots from the field; including 15-of-38 in the first half.

Just as importantly, the Lady Cats had just 10 turnovers, while Paris committed 24. Paris' tendency to reach on defense got them in foul trouble, and SSHS was able to run the floor when Paris didn't get back on defense.

"We watched film and we knew they would do a lot of reaching and would try to get their hands on the dribble," Carrillo said. "Our point guards did a good job of running the transition and getting that long skip pass down the floor and not giving them time to set up. That helped generate some offense tonight, too."

Notes: Sulphur Springs out-rebounded Paris 48-36, had more steals (17-7) and more assists (20-8). ... Every Lady Cat player had at least one assist. ...

JUNIOR VARSITY

SSHS 52, Paris 28

The Lady Cats trailed briefly early in the first quarter, but led the remainder of the game.

Stevie Moore had 21 points to lead the SSHS offense, and also had eight rebounds and three steals. Ashanti Ivery added nine points, and Erika Garrett contributed six points, four steals and two assists.

Alyssa Burney, Jamie Askins and Talea Reynolds each scored four points. Burney added four rebounds and two steals, Askins had three assists and Reynolds grabbed seven boards. Kayla Phillips added two points and three rebounds, Shay Hutchinson and Melanie Hudson had three bounds each and Amy Highfield grabbed two boards.

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