Nash leads Cats to win over Greenville

By JOSEPH ELERSON | News-Telegram Sports Writer

Nov. 20, 2007 - After three games this season, the Sulphur Springs Wildcats are starting to learn the run-and-press system of first-year head coach Braughn Curtis.

The Wildcats (3-0) defense forced 21 Greenville turnovers and 22-of-59 shooting (37 percent) from the field in a 78-56 victory at Wildcat Gym Monday night.

Junior Colton Nash led the Wildcats with a double-double of 20 points and 14 rebounds, while Jonathan Lee had 14 points and five rebounds, Anthony Mills added 12 points and three rebounds, and junior Tyrick Rollison had almost had a triple-double with 10 points, nine rebounds, nine assists and three steals.

"We are still a little rusty in terms of getting in our offensive sets and having good possessions," Curtis said. "Transition-wise, we are making good decisions in the fast break. We got Colton, Kedrick Dial and Jonathan doing a good job on the low block."

The Wildcats jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead on two buckets and a free throw by Lee as Greenville was forced to take a timeout. Following the timeout, the Lions battled back to within 9-7 as Alton Dennis scored on a lay-up with 1:58 remaining in the quarter.

With the Wildcats up 13-12 heading into the second quarter, Nash scored 10 of his 20 points in the quarter and gave SSHS a 27-22 lead as he got an assist from Andrew Panter with 2:30 remaining.

In the second half, the Wildcats went to a more aggressive version of their run-and-press and took a 14-point lead midway through the third quarter as Greenville went 5-of-18 from the field.

Curtis said the way the team came out in the second half and started capitalizing on the defensive scheme was crucial.

"It does feel good," the coach said. "Hopefully, we can start learning tomorrow when we come to practice to start taking it to the next level and right now we are surviving with our press and our full-court man."

The Wildcats shot 33-of-65 from the floor for 51 percent and out-rebounded Greenville 54-33 with a 16-7 advantage on the offensive glass. The Wildcats shot 12-of-22 (54.5 percent) from the charity stripe, had more steals (12-9) and more assists (14-10).

The Wildcats will take a week off of the basketball court before hosting Royse City next Tuesday night at Wildcat Gym. The varsity will tip-off at 7:30 p.m.

"We are going to work on our press and trapping the ball more and putting more pressure on the ball this week," Curtis said. "I am looking forward to this week because the football players are running off of talent and not running my system well right now. I am looking for this whole week to really get after the fundamentals of fast break offense and press."

He said with the Royse City football team still in the Class 3A state playoffs, he is not sure what kind of team they will face when they return to the basketball court.

"They are going to be athletic and they have some good players over there," he said. "It will be another good test just like Greenville was and it showed us that we can run and play a little bit. Hopefully, we stay after the fundamentals and continue to get better."

Junior Varsity

Greenville 58, SSHS 35

SSHS dropped to 0-3 on the season as Greenville jumped out to a 35-15 lead at halftime.

Charles Carns led the Wildcats with 12 points, while Gage Williams added 11 points and Patric Miller scored 10.

SSHS hosts Royse City next Tuesday at 6 p.m.

Greenville 12 23 6 17 -58

SSHS 7 8 14 6 -35

Greenville - Greene 17, Ratliff 6, Team 18, Mason 8 Coleman 2, Shepard 2, Steward 6.

SSHS - Gage Williams 11, JaQuivian Willis 2, Patric Miller 10, Charles Carns 12.

Freshmen

SSHS 59, GHS 49

The Wildcats freshmen improved to 2-1 on the season as they held a 26-21 lead at the intermission and a 43-31 lead after three quarters.

Kalyn Alexander had 23 points for the Wildcats while classmate Alvin Frazier added 22 points.

Greenville 5 16 10 18 -49

SSHS 9 17 17 16 -59

Greenville - Davis 6, Burley 16, Taylor 4, Green 8, Farley 7, Wofford 8.

SSHS - Alvin Frazier 22, Tripp Reeves 6, Kalyn Alexander 23, Haydon Jacobs 4, Kadarian Wright 2, Tony Clayton 2.

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