By LEE ADAMS
MATHISTON – East Webster wasn't able to hold onto its early lead when Houlka turned up the pressure.
The Wolverines jumped out to an early lead, but a strong second half by the Wildcats gave Houlka the 68-57 win.
A reason for that strong second half was the Wolverines (2-7) seemed to get tired and not execute the same way they did in the first half when they held a nine-point lead.
"We played some guys a lot of minutes in the first half, and we come out after halftime and they turned up the pressure a little more," said East Webster head coach Corey Stidham. "We made some mental mistakes and then we let them get some offensive boards and put-backs that hurt us."
After three quick lead changes at the start of the third quarter, the Wildcats went on a run that lead to an 11-point lead six minutes into the quarter.
One of the main Wildcats that took advantage of the tiring Wolverines was Donte Turner, who finished with 24 points, as he scored six points in a row during an 8-0 run.
When Turner wasn't the one extending the lead it was Kyndrell Atkinson, who finished with 20 points, or Jarvis Pulliam who scored 12 points with most of them coming off of offensive rebounds.
East Webster put up some big numbers as well, but they could never overcome that third quarter where they were held to only 10 points.
Charles Guyton put up 20 points in the losing effort, followed by Darius Dear with 11 and Ty Hendrix with 10.
Even though they were unable to pick up the win, Stidham was pleased with his two team captains.
"Charles and Ty are both captains and they're trying to lead the way and show the guys how to play hard," said Stidham. "Somebody's got to step up into that leadership role and they are trying to make that step in that direction."
The Wolverines never let up and played their game for the full 32 minutes, but the fatigue seemed to be too much to overcome.
"I don't like moral victories but i was satisfied with how hard they played," said Stidham. "They played hard but we somewhat ran out of gas, because we don't have enough man power to keep going that hard."
Losing can be frustrating and the way the first half of the season has gone isn't satisfying for the Wolverines, but they will have time to regroup before the second half and division play begins.
"Our goal is to improve everyday," said Stidham. "When it comes January maybe we'll be where we want to be. Right now, we're still not there and we got a long ways to go. We're very inexperienced, but they are working their tails off and I'm happy about that."
Before East Webster can focus on the second half of the season, there is one more game to be played. Tonight, the Wolverines will host Houston in what could be called a revenge game.
"We owe them a little bit," said Stidham. "We went up to their place and they put a whoppin' on us, but we threw that ball all over the gym. We have to stay poised, take care of the basketball and play our butts off."
East Webster 30
MATHISTON – The East Webster Lady Wolverines fell due to bad second half.
The Lady Wolverines led most of the first half but trailed by one point at halftime. Houlka switched to a full-court press after being down early which led them to a 48-30 win.
"They put a lot of pressure on us and we don't handle it very well," said East Webster head coach Mandy Fondren. "I have two guards who can bring the ball down the floor, but turned the ball over before we could get the ball down the court."
Once the Lady Wildcats began putting more pressure on the Lady Wolverines (3-6), the guards couldn't seem to find a way to get the ball to the inside. Quantesha Patterson was the lone post player for East Webster, and had success early in the first half putting up eight points. However, her scoring became scarce once the Lady Wildcats put the pressure on the guards.
"Our guards couldn't get the ball to her," said Fondren. "She was wide open several times but instead of throwing it to her they just turned the ball over."
The turnovers proved to be too much for the Lady Wolverines to overcome as the Ranesha Townsend and Candis Buggs took advantage of them by scoring in transition. Townsend led the Lady Wildcats with 13 points and Buggs followed with 12, while Patterson led the Lady Wolverines with 13. East Webster will host Houston tonight at 6 p.m. for the final game of the semester.