The Wildcats and Rams both started slow and battled shooting problems resulting in a 3-0 Vardaman lead at the end of the first quarter.
The Wildcats got back in the shooting groove in the second posting 14 points, but the Rams hit for 11 points to go into the break tied at 14-all.
The third quarter turned the tide for Houlka as they racked up 28 points and held the Rams to seven and the Cats went on to a 59-39 win.
The Lady Rams also had a slow start, trailing the Lady Wildcats 7-8 after the first quarter, but got back on track to take a 40-26 win. The Lady Wildcats had a fourth quarter rally for 14 points, but it wasn’t enough to close the gap.
Vardaman Coach Deanna Winter took the win, but still sees room for growth in her girls.
“We’re still not where I want to be, but improving,” Winter said.
This was the second meeting with the same result for both teams who will see each other again in district tournament.
Jesse Kelly led for Houlka with 15 points and Dillan Easley added ten while Tavis Townsend led for Vardaman with ten.
On the girl’s side, Jamesha Word led for Houlka with six and Deidre Rose led for Vardaman with nine.
Around the Calhoun County court
On Friday, the Rams and Lady Rams played a county rival at Calhoun City, falling in both the boys and girls games. The Rams lost 49-86 to the Wildcats while the Lady Rams lost 49-56 to the Lady Wildcats.
The Lady Rams fell to Tish County 45-35 Jan. 12 and were scheduled to play Immanuel Christian Monday.
The Rams and Lady Rams will be back in district play hosting Smithville Tuesday.
Houlka boys move to 2-0 in division play
The Houlka boys picked up their second district win with a 63-61 victory over Tupelo Christian Prep.
TCPS led after the first frame but Houlka closed the gap to one point at the break. The Wildcats gained a one-point lead in the third and added another in the fourth for the win.
Jesse Kelly led against TCPS with 21 points, followed by Lewis Moore with 16.
The Wildcats will play out of district this week as they travel to Houston Tuesday, host Okolona Thursday and host the Topper for a rematch Saturday.