Houston’s MJ Smith and Houlka’s C.J. Turner fight for a rebound.

HOUSTON – The Houston Hilltoppers basketball team took on the Houlka Wildcats at home in Houston on Tuesday, Nov 12. The Toppers would go on to take the victory by a score of 83-48.

The Hilltoppers came out to an early lead, and the Wildcats were forced to play catch up the whole game. The first half was definitely dominated by the Toppers, with the score at the half being 47-18 in favor of Houston. The second half, however, was more evenly split. Houston added 36 points while Houlka put up 30. It was just simply too little too late for the Wildcats. They were behind from the start, but they gave it their all against an impressive Hilltoppers lineup.

A few players had stand out performances in this game.

For the Toppers, it was Xavier Virges, with 33 points on the night, eight rebounds and one steal, and Keshon Bynum with 20 points, three rebounds and four steals.

For the Wildcats, it was DaShun Berry. Berry put up 18 points on the night, one assist and seven rebounds.

Houston head coach, Chris Pettit was pleased with his team’s performance.

“We gave our kids a challenge because we played one of the best scorers in the State of Mississippi, and I thought we did a really good job all game making it as hard as we could on DaShun,” said Pettit. “He’s such a good player and that’s what was, if he scored we made him earn it. I’m more of a defensive coach than I am anything and I thought our defense was really good tonight.”

Houlka’s head coach, Seth Burt was disappointed that his team lost, but he acknowledged the talent that they were up against.

“We got off to a very very slow start and I give credit all to Houston, they came out ready to play and jumped out to a big lead, so we were fighting a losing battle all night long,” said Burt. “It was easy to see tonight why they are one of the best teams in Northeast Mississippi.”

He discussed their plans going forward as well.

“Going forward, we head to Hickory Flatt on Friday and we need to bounce back and get a win and get our confidence back.”

The Hilltoppers defeated Lafayette on the road, 71-54 on Friday, and the Wildcats defeated Hickory Flat 66-45.

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