The Hope Bobcats hoop squad shined on the hardwood against fierce competition over this past weekend in the big state of Texas, as they returned to compete in the 3rd Annual Guaranty Bond Bank Holiday Tournament in Paris, Texas.
The Bobcats went 3-1 in the tournament to finish fifth place overall, giving Texas hoop teams a taste of hard nose basketball action, representing Southwest Arkansas.
The Cats opened up tournament play in the first round against undefeated and reigning class 1A state champs Waskom, Texas on Thursday, December 27.
The Bobcats took care of business and defeated Waskom 66-56, as Hope handed them their first loss of the season. In the game, Bobcats' K.J. Thompson had a monster performance and led scoring with a season-high 25 points.
Vincent Love followed with 12 points and Jonathan Palmer added 10 points for double-figure scoring for Hope.
The loss put Waskom at 4-1 overall.
On day two of the tournament, the Bobcats had two big battles against North Lamar and Hooks Friday, December 28.
For the Cats first game, they opened up with a big double-digit lead, but wasn't able to execute down the stretch, as North Lamar edged off the Bobcats for a 45-42 defeat. This was the first and only defeat for the Cats in the tournament.
In the game, Bobcats' Vincent Love had a big game and led Hope in double-figures with 22 points in the loss.
In Hope's next game of the day, the Cats bounce back from their previous defeat and pulled off an impressive victory over Hooks, 53-50.
In the opening quarter, the Bobcats trailed Hooks 13-9.
In the second quarter, the Cats matched scoring with Hooks, both posting 12 points as Hope headed into the locker room with a four point deficit, 25-21 at halftime.
In the second half, Hooks won the third quarter scoring battle posting 20 points as Hope was held to 12 points.
Hooks led the Cats 45-33 heading into the final quarter of the game.
In the fourth quarter, the Cats stepped up big and showed no mercy on both ends of the court, as Hope out-scored Hooks 20-5, marking this game their best come from behind victories thus far into the 2012-13 basketball season on the road.
In the game, Bobcats' Vincent Love led scoring with 15 points and Thompson posted 11 points for double-digit scoring. Also, sophomore Darious Nelson contributed eight key points in the Cats' victory over a good Hooks team.
For the final day of the tournament on Saturday December 29, the Bobcats were victorious in their tourney finale over Sulphur Springs 65-46 for an impressive 19 point win.
In the game, senior Vincent Love led the Cats in scoring for his best game of the tournament with an impressive 25 points.
Page 2 of 2 - Juniors' Thompson and Palmer both posted 17 points apiece for double-digit scoring for Hope.
Overall, the Cats improve their record to 5-4 to be plus .500 ending the first half of hoops season 2012 before the new year.
With outstanding performances in the tournament, the Cats will take their momentum and turn their attentions to the second half of the 2012-13 basketball season, hosting the White Hall Bulldogs to open 5A South Conference play beginning this Friday, January 4, 2013.
The Ladycats will tip-off at 6 p.m. to begin the evenings' hoop action, then the Bobcats will take the hardwood for senior high boys play for the nightcap battle at Jones Field House Gymnasium.