Special to the Chickasaw Journal
HOULKA – As the Houlka Wildcats and Lady Wildcats took the homecourt on Tuesday, they hosted a close rival in South Pontotoc on senior night.
Although the Lady Wildcats struggled to make shots in their game and were defeated 33-17, the Wildcats got ahead early against the Cougars and coasted to a 77-60 victory.
The Wildcat boys didn’t have to worry about bad shooting. They got off to a hot start.
The Wildcats jumped out to a 20-8 lead after the first quarter thanks to Smoody Turner who had eight points in the opening quarter.
The second quarter was more of the same for the Wildcats as Lawrence Gladney and Madarius Hobson got on a roll offensively alongside Turner.
Also, the Wildcats played tough defense against the quick Cougars team, and after a Cougars miss, the Wildcats would quickly gather the board and skip it ahead for easy baskets.
This game plan worked beautifully as the Wildcats extended their lead to 37-18 heading into halftime.
In the second half, Hobson took the game over for the Wildcats, and the Cougars team had no answers for him.
Not only did he score at will and get his teammates involved, he also was a force on the defensive end.
Hobson and the Wildcats held a 24-point lead after three, and in the fourth, reserves for the Wildcats came in and capped the win, 77-60 over the rival Cougars.
After the game, Coach McDonald said that rebounding was a big key for his team tonight. He mentioned, although the Cougars were fast, once they started missing shots, the Wildcats got the board and got easy transition baskets.
“That’s mostly our game,” McDonald said. “If we beat you down the floor, we have a chance to score.”
McDonald also reiterated how this was an important win for the players and the fans in this rivalry game.
“South Pontotoc people and our people work together,” McDonald said. “This is a big win for our fans.”
Sophomore Madarius Hobson led the Wildcats in scoring as he finished with 28 points on the night. Senior Lawrence Gladney had a nice night as well, finishing with 10 points.
The win sent Houlka to 17-8 on the season with a game against West Union in Myrtle played Feb. 12 and the tournament just around the corner.
- Pontotoc 33,
Points were hard to come by for the Lady Wildcats as they faced the Lady Cougars.
In the first half the Lady Wildcats could only manage four points as they couldn’t get anything to fall. Even when they would get to the basket, the ball refused to go through the hoop.
On the defensive end, the Lady Wildcats were doing an adequate job as the Lady Cougars only managed 19 points in the first half.
Although trailing 19-4 at the half, the Lady Wildcats came out of the break with more energy and an offensive mindset to attack the basket.
And while they found a margin of success with this new game plan, the Lady Wildcats couldn’t find enough in the second half to overcome the Lady Cougars.
“You hold somebody to 17 points at halftime you ought to be in the game,” Houlka head coach Jimmy Guy McDonald said post game. “We had good looks they just didn’t go in.”
“We just stunk it up shooting the basketball,” McDonald said.