Tigers’ Hill unleashes 3-point barrage in win over SSHS

By JOSEPH ELERSON | News-Telegram Sports Writer

Jan. 12, 2008 - The Sulphur Springs Wildcats opened up the District 11-4A schedule with their worst loss of the season, 70-35, to the Mount Pleasant Tigers Friday night at Wildcat Gym.

MPHS senior guard Trentson Hill drained seven 3-pointers in the first half and scored 30 of his game-high 34 points to go along with five steals and four rebounds.

The Wildcats (14-10, 0-1) committed 26 turnovers on the night and shot 15-of-36 (41.7 percent) from the field, compared to 25-of-50 (50 percent) for the Tigers, who had just seven turnovers.

"My assessment was I told my guys the things we have to do to win the game was take care of the ball and we have to eliminate the fast break points," SSHS first-year coach Braughn Curtis said. "If you do those two things, we are going to win the game, without a doubt. When we have 20 turnovers in two quarters, how in the world are you going to win a game doing that?

"When you have a guy shooting seven threes in one half, you might want to guard that guy and it was not like we didn't know. We knew what we had to do to win and we did the opposite of what we needed to do."

SSHS returns to the court Tuesday night as they travel to Lindale looking for their first win in district with the varsity scheduled to begin around 7:30 p.m.

"They are going to press us with their zone defense and if we can handle that pressure and make good decisions with the basketball we can win that game pretty handily," the coach said.

With the loss Friday night, the Wildcats are 1-6 in their last seven games after going 13-4 in their previous 17 games. Curtis said it is hard for him to see how his team is currently playing.

"It is very hard for me and this is not the same team that we were starting out with playing hard and doing the things we have to do to win," Curtis said. "We are having issues and we are trying to fight through them to get on the winning track. We've got to get back to the fundamentals and we do them every day in practice. We need to stay grounded in what got us 14 wins in the first place."

Mount Pleasant (13-9, 1-0) jumped out to a 9-0 lead on the Wildcats in the first quarter behind seven points from Hill and 2-of-3 free throws from Tyrone Rogers on the opening possession of the game.

Sophomore Kedrick Dial and junior Colton Nash scored all 10 of the Wildcats' points as Dial scored on a jumper from Bryant "Day Day" Jackson for a 9-2 deficit with 5:40 left in the first quarter. Nash finished the game with 12 points and nine rebounds, while Dial added 10 points and four rebounds.

Just over a minute later, the Tigers extended their lead to 21-3 behind their pressure defense and a layup by Rogers. The Wildcats cut the lead to 11 points, 21-10, on a bucket from Dial off an assist from Tyrik Rollison before MP scored five unanswered for a 26-10 lead after the first quarter.

Mount Pleasant came out in the second quarter and outscored SSHS, 22-8, to take a 30-point lead at the half. At one stretch, the Tigers went 6-for-6 from 3-point range for a 46-16 advantage with just over three minutes remaining.

With 2:20 remaining in the half, MP guard Tye Lewis came up with a steal and a breakaway pass to Hill for a slam dunk.

In the second half, the Tigers outscored SSHS, 22-17, and stalled the ball for most of the half relying on drives to the basket to take advantage of one-on-one match-ups.

"It was a smart move by them because they had a 30-point lead, and if you shoot the ball you are giving us a chance to come back," Curtis said. "They played good basketball in pressuring us and they scouted us good all year. They knew that we couldn't handle the pressure. We press ourselves every day during practice and should know what to do against the press."

The Wildcats held a 32-21 advantage on the boards and had four blocks in the game as Rollison had two and Nash and Dial had one block each. The Tigers had a 19-4 advantage in steals and a 16-11 advantage in assists.

Junior Varsity

Mount Pleasant 48, SSHS 44

The Wildcats held a 12-11 lead after the first quarter, a 22-20 lead at the half and a 32-29 lead after three quarters of play but could not hold on for the win. Jesse Vasquez was the team's leading scorer with 11 points.

Freshmen

Mount Pleasant 41, SSHS 39 (OT)

Tylan Harris sent the game into overtime with a last-second shot to tie the game at 32-32. With the Wildcats down, 41-39, with time running out in overtime, Kaylan Alexander went for a 3-pointer and was fouled with three seconds left. Alexander went to the line and missed two free throws as MPHS held on for the win.

Alvin Frazier was the Wildcats' leading scorer with 12 points.

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