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Game Day: Wildcats, Lady Cats at Texas High

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On this Tuesday game day (February 5), the Wildcats and Lady Cats’ basketball teams have big games in Texarkana at Texas High.

The #4 ranked Wildcats play #23 ranked Texas High. The Wildcats are in first place with a perfect 7-0 district mark. The Tigers are in second place with a 6-1 district record. The Wildcats are 21-8 for the season. Texas High is 25-7 for the season. When the two teams played in Sulphur Springs back on January 18, the Wildcats squeezed by the Tigers, 53-52. The Wildcats JV will play the Texas High JV at 5 p.m. in the Tigers’ main gym. Then after the Lady Cats’ varsity game against Texas High at 6:15 p.m., the Wildcats varsity will face Texas High at around 7:30 p.m. The Wildcats freshman team will play Texas High in the Tigers’ auxiliary gym at 6:15 p.m.

Wildcats Basketball Coach Clark Cipoletta said the #4 ranked Wildcats overcame perhaps the most inefficient half of the season to rally in the second half to get a 59-46 senior night win over Mount Pleasant Friday night (February 1). Coach Cipoletta spoke on KSST Radio and Cable Channel 18’s Saturday Morning Coaches Show. Coach Cipoletta said it was an emotional senior night and a big rivalry game that had the Wildcats too amped up at the start of the game. He said he was happy to just be behind by one point, 23-22 at halftime. Coach Cipoletta said the Wildcats fixed some things and were locked in in the second half. Still Mount Pleasant led 32-29 in the third quarter before the Wildcats went on an 11-0 run to flip the game in their favor. Coach Cipoletta said pounding the ball inside to utilize size mismatches is now what the Wildcats are mostly about on offense. Sadaidriene Day Day Hall led the Wildcats with 26 points and Xavier Cork scored 15. He said the Wildcats become very explosive when outside shots are falling. Coach Cipoletta said actually the Wildcats defense was good throughout the game. He said in the second half the Wildcats did a much better job of protecting the ball. Coach Cipoletta had praise for Grayson McClure and his ability to get to what the coach calls loose 50-50 balls. He said a player has to really want the ball to get it in those situations. The game meant that for the second straight season, the Wildcats have swept the Tigers. Between 2007 and 2017, the Wildcats only managed 3 wins over Mount Pleasant playing them twice a season. Coach Cipoletta expressed joy in watching senior manager Dylan Jester, who has cerebral palsy, make a basket during a planned false start to the game. Jester, wearing a Wildcats jersey and using his walker, made a ten foot shot. Coach Cipoletta thanked Mount Pleasant Coach Joey Chism for going along with the idea. Coach Chism had words of encouragement for Jester after the made basket. Next for the Wildcats is a summit battle against Texas High in Texarkana Tuesday night. The Wildcats are atop the district standings at 7-0. Texas High, ranked #23 in Class 5A, are 6-1. In their first game this season back on January 18, the Wildcats defeated the Tigers, 53-52 when a last second shot by the Tigers did not fall. Wildcats leading scorer Keaston Willis injured his right ankle during that game. He reentered the game in the fourth quarter and led the Wildcats to a narrow win. With a win Tuesday night, the Wildcats can wrap up the district championship.

The Lady Cats’ basketball team will be wrapping up their district schedule against the Texas High Lady Tigers on this Tuesday game day. The Lady Tigers are tied for first in the district with Royse City. Both have 8-1 records. The Lady Cats are third in the district with a 6-3 record. They are 24-6 for the season. When the two teams played in Sulphur Springs last month, the Lady Tigers won 60-48. The Lady Cats are locked into third place and will face Jacksonville in the playoffs. The bi-district game is expected to be played Monday at a site and time to be determined. Also Tuesday, the Lady Cats JV will face the Texas High JV at 5 p.m. in the Texas High auxiliary gym.

With Lady Cats Basketball Coach Brittney Tisdell not feeling well after a Friday night (February 1) senior night 55-25 win over Mount Pleasant, Lady Cats Assistant Coach Jeremy DeLorge filled in on KSST Radio and Cable Channel 18’s Saturday Morning Coaches Show. Coach Tisdell is thought to be about two weeks away from the birth of her first child. Coach DeLorge said it was a special sight to see all five of the Lady Cats seniors start the Mount Pleasant game Friday night. He noted that all of them scored as the Lady Cats took care of business. The Lady Cats are in third place in district with a 6-3 record and they are 24-6 for the season. Sadavia Porter led the Lady Cats with 23 points. Coach DeLorge said Porter was a big success as she played her typical game of tenacious defense and speed that led to numerous layups. He also acknowledged that Porter works hard to improve her game. Senior Danielle Godbolt scored 12 points and senior Autumn Tanton added 11. 5-foot-2 senior guard Te’Arria Rose made an impression grabbing several rebounds. Senior Tarayla Kelley had a couple of baskets. The Lady Cats wrap up district play in Texarkana against Texas High Tuesday night. The Lady Tigers are tied with Royse City with 8-1 records at the top of the district standings. With the win Friday night, the Lady Cats solidified their third place playoff position. Coach DeLorge said the Lady Cats bi-district playoff opponent is expected to be Jacksonville. The game is expected to be played on Monday night, February 11. The site and time are still being discussed at last report.

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Author: Staff Reporter

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