MP girls cash in on location of shots

By BOBBY "BUTCH" BURNEY, News-Telegram Sports Editor

Jan. 30, 2008 - The Mount Pleasant Lady Tigers shot better from the field than from the free throw line on Tuesday. But, that's because most of their shots were closer than a charity shot.

The Lady Tigers hit 58 percent of their field goal attempts, with all but five points coming from within 7-8 feet of the basket, in a 51-31 victory over the Sulphur Springs Lady Cats at Wildcat Gym.

The Lady Cats led just briefly, at 2-0 on Mackenzie Cross' 15-foot jumper, but Mount Pleasant's flurry of inside shots and layups off ofbackcourt steals soon put the Lady Tigers in front.

"We got a few good looks, but we didn't get the same type of shots they got," said SSHS head coach Tina Carrillo. "They were getting shots around the baskets, layups, penetrations, offensive rebounds, lobs over our heads, those types of things. We didn't generate any points from the inside and they generated all their points from the inside."

Fortunately for Sulphur Springs, the loss didn't dim the team's playoff hopes. The Lady Cats (11-16 overall, 3-5 in District 11-4A) can still place third in district by beating Lindale on the road Friday and then winning against Paris on Tuesday. If that happens, SSHS and Lindale would tie for third and play a rubber game to determine the last playoff team.

Mount Pleasant (21-8, 7-1) wrapped up a playoff berth with the victory. The Lady Tigers had three players score in double figures, led by 16 points from point guard Aleah Robinson, 15 from post Callie Thomas and 13 from forward Destiny Smith.

After Cross gave Sulphur Springs an early lead, Mount Pleasant scored 14 of the next 16 points to take command of the game. The Lady Tigers' run was fueled by three backcourt steals they turned into layups.

Sulphur Springs' only points in that time came off an offensive putback by Stevie Moore, who hit a pair of 3-pointers in the third quarter to finish with a team-high 12 points. Cross had eight points and four assists. Jessica Savage also hit a trey for the Lady Cats, but Sulphur Springs made just 3-of-20 from beyond the arc (15 percent).

Additionally, the Lady Cats just got four combined points from its three interior players.

"They targeted our scorers, and they did a good job on them," Carrillo said. "We had Stevie Moore as our leading scorer, who a lot of times provides depth off our bench. I thought they did an excellent job defensively."

After trailing 16-6 after one period, the Lady Cats stayed within striking distance in the second quarter, finishing on a 6-2 run to get to within 28-16. In the final two minutes, SSHS got two free throws apiece from Cross and Moore and a 15-foot jumper by Ashanti Ivery.

But, in the third period, Mount Pleasant made 7-of-9 shots from the field, as Robinson made all four attempts she took, including the Lady Tigers' only 3-pointer. Sulphur Springs made three 3-pointers in the quarter, but lost ground on the scoreboard, 46-27.

"It was just one of those nights for us when nothing would go in," Carrillo said. "We're going to stay positive because we can still control our own destiny. Winning last night would have made us comfortable, but it wouldn't have put us in the playoffs.

"I thought we played hard and with some energy."

Junior Varsity

Mount Pleasant 32, SSHS 25

The Lady Cats trailed almost the entire game, but had a shot to tie the game in the last five seconds, but the shot was blocked. SSHS (22-8 overall, 6-2 in district) has lost twice to Mount Pleasant, both by three points.

Talea Reynolds led all scorers with 16 points and six boards, JaMonica Hall and Jamie Askins each added five points and four rebounds, Melanie Hudson contributed four points and four rebounds, and Kayla Phillips had two points and four steals.

Alyssa Burney added four rebounds and five steals, and Linsey Fouse had two steals.

Freshmen

Mount Pleasant 36, SSHS 31

Kyri Ivery led the Lady Cats (8-18, 3-5) with eight points and five rebounds, while Frankeisha Hawkins had seven points and Caitlyn Nix contributed six points and 11 rebounds.

Bradyn Burney scored three points and had five rebounds and two steals, Tyesha Thomas scored three points, Ariel Spataro had one points and four steals, Katie Hu scored one point, and Taylor Eastwood added two points and three rebounds.

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