Houlka, Vardaman split wins

Vardaman and Houlka met for a Jan. 14 rematch of their earlier division game in December with much the same result.
The Lady Rams came away with the win over the Lady Wildcats and the Houlka boys ended up on the winning side of the scoreboard over the Rams.
The Lady Rams had a commanding 24-3 lead at the half and Danicqua Stevens started the third quarter off strong with a trey, but the Lady Cats produced some extra effort to stay in the game.
Houlka’s Tyesha Atkinson matched the trey on the other end and Chianne Edington got a steal for a goal. Stevens hit for two and Tiara Jones had a hoop and harm to keep the Lady Rams on top, 34-11, at the close of the third.
Houlka’s Jesse Moore, fresh out of rehab for a broken arm, snagged a steal in the fourth and dished to Kyanna Hollin for a goal and Hollin added a free throw, but the Lady Rams’ lead left too much ground to cover and they went on to the 37-25 win.
Vardaman girls’ coach, Deanna Winter, said she sees positive motion in her squad.
“The last two games, they really showed some maturity,” Winter said. “We’re hoping to build on that. We have two division games this week with Friday being our biggest game of the year thus far.”
Vardaman will play in Smithville Tuesday and host Coffeeville Friday.

Wildcats 75, Rams 40
In the boy’s game, the tip went to the Rams and they put the first points on the board with Tavis Townsend hitting from the line and Tae Buchanan getting a deuce, but as the paced picked up, the Wildcats found their rhythm.
Tyreque Reed hit from the charity stripe and James Buggs added another free throw and took a rebound coast-to-coast to tie. Titus White’s trey expanded the lead and Reed added another for a 14-6 lead at the close of the quarter.
Buggs got a hoop and harm to start off the second quarter and the Wildcats took over with Dillon Easley getting a rebound to White and then hitting a trey from the corner. Reed’s trip to the line gave the Wildcats a 28-11 advantage at the half and they cruised to a 75-40 win.
Although both games were non-division, the meeting between the Houlka and Vardaman teams won’t be the last as they will see each other in district tournament.

Lady Cats best Lady Chiefs
The Houlka girls earned their third win of the season Jan. 17 as they
bested the Okolona Lady Chieftains, 50-45, at home.
“That’s three of the last four,” said coach Jimmy Guy McDonald. “We’re trying to build on that.”
The boys’ game was the barn burner, with the Wildcats leading through the first quarter and the Chieftains narrowing the margin to one at the break.
Houlka got an edge in the third, but the Chiefs put the accelerator to the floor in the fourth for the 56-53 win.
Houlka’s Tyreque Reed led all scoring with 29 points in the back-and-forth battle.
“We’d go up six or eight and I’d pull them (starters) to rest and they’d get within two,” McDonald said. “We did that several times. In the end they went up two and we made some turnovers and bad decisions with the ball.”

Upcoming action
The Wildcats will be back in division play Friday hosting Tupelo Christian Prep and will host a make-up game with South Pontotoc Saturday. For Saturday’s game, JV will start at 2 p.m., followed by girls and boys games.

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