The hometown Hope Bobcats completed their journey of tournament competition in the big state of Texas last weekend to finish out the first half of the 2017-18 basketball season in Paris, Texas.

The hometown Hope Bobcats completed their journey of tournament competition in the big state of Texas last weekend to finish out the first half of the 2017-18 basketball season in Paris, Texas. The Bobcats along the Hot Springs Trojans were two teams representing the Natural State in the 8th Annual Guaranty Bank Paris Holiday Basketball Tournament in Paris, Texas December 28-30, 2017.

The Bobcats began tourney competition during pool play falling short to Lufkin Hudson-Texas, Commerce - Texas, and Mt. Pleasant, Texas. Once entering tournament mode for second day competition falling to North Lamar-Texas, but finished strong to win the final two games of tourney play defeating Willis-Texas and New Boston-Texas on the last day to build some winning momentum going into the new year for the second half season schedule.

The Bobcats would finish tourney play in Paris, Texas 2-4 as they wrap up another tournament experience in Texas during the Christmas holiday break.

This Friday night, the Cats return to their own territory for home competition hosting Hot Springs Lakeside Rams for conference play at Jones Field House Gymnasium.

Veteran head coach Samuel Bradford with assistant coach Jonathan Turner believe the Cats competed hard and competitive against some of the top and best schools on the Texas side during their tournament experience in Paris, Texas over the break. With the new year arriving, the Bradford with Turner knows how tough the second half season schedule produces but the teams tourney play helps prepare them for league competition going into Conference tournament action as the Bobcats are the defending 5A South Conference Tournament champs.



GAME ONE: The Bobcats had a tough match-up falling to Lufkin Hudson 62-19. The Cats fell behind 16-5 to LH to end first quarter play. In the second, the Cats got outscored 16-2 and at the break, LH led Hope 32-7. In the second half, the Cats totaled 12 points scored with LH posting 28 to pull away for victory. TEAM STATS: The Cats totaled for 21 rebounds, had 14 points in the paint, dished out four assists, four deflections and seven steals. Jay Conway led scoring with seven points and Nate Carter posted four points.


GAME TWO: Despite having troubles scoring in the beginning of tournament play for their first game, the Cats bounced back productively in second game action but went down in defeat to Commerce 45-28. The Bobcats trailed in first quarter play 18-6, but stepped up defensively to hold Commerce under double-digits in the second period. At halftime, Hope trailed Commerce 27-12. In the second half, the Bobcats poured 16 points in the basket with Commerce outscoring Hope posting 18 points. TEAM STATS: Hope shot 12-for-18 at the free-throw line for 67 percent, scored 14 points in the paint, totaled 32 rebounds (13 offensive, 19 defensive), nine deflections, had six steals one block and caused Commerce 10 turnovers. For the game, Zakee Lawson and Conway led scoring with five points apiece, Mykel Horton, Cavontae Young and Antwone Casteel each chipped in four points apiece.

GAME THREE: The Bobcats wrapped up pool play action falling to a seasoned Mt. Pleasant team 80-39. The Cats trailed early with a 25-8 first quarter deficit going into the second period. The Cats stepped up their scoring ability to post in double-digits with 14 points and Mt. Pleasant only outscoring Hope by two points with 16 points. At the break, Mt. Pleasant led Hope 41-22. In the second half, the Cats scored 18 points with Mt. Pleasant posting 39 for victory. TEAM STATS: The Bobcats shot 13-for-20 at the free throw line for 65 percent, scored 26 points in the paint, totaled for 33 rebounds, had eight steals, one block and caused Mt. Pleasant double-digit turnovers with 13. For the game, Lawson led scoring with 12 points, Conway had 10 points for double-digits, Casteel had six points, Jaloni Davis and Carter each added four points apiece.

GAME FOUR: The Bobcats entered into tournament competition facing North Lamar. The Cats would go scoreless for the first time this season in the first quarter with NL held under double-digits with eight points to lead Hope 8-0. In the second the Cats returned the flavor and held NL scoreless in the second period with Hope allowed two baskets. At halftime, Hope trailed NL 8-4. With low scoring in first half play by both squads, the Cats would only post eight points scored combine for third and fourth quarter action. NL posted in double-digits with 13 points in the third, and 10 in the fourth for 23 points in the second half. NL went onto defeat Hope, 31-12. TEAM STATS: Hope shot 4-for-14 at the free-throw line for 29 percent, scored eight points in the paint, five second chance points, totaled for 25 rebounds, five deflections, had three steals, one block and forced NL seven turnovers. For the game, Davis led Hope in scoring with five points, Conway added four points and Carter contributed two points.


GAME FIVE: The Cats would finally save the best performances of tournament play on the final day of competition to edge Willis 58-56 in a triller down to the wire. The contest was very competitive for an back and forth battle on the hardwood. Willis would outscore Hope in first period play 10-9. In the second, the Cats and Willis equaled their scoring battle both posting 14 points apiece. At the break, Willis led Hope by one point, 24-23 at halftime. In the second half, Willis outscored the Cats 17-13 in the third quarter, but the Cats exploded for 22 points in the fourth to hold their opponent (Willis) with 15 points. As a result, the Cats were victorious for their first win of the tournament. TEAM STATS: Hope shot 45 percent from the field, 58 percent from the free-throw line hitting 18-for-31 shots, scored eight points in the paint, totaled for 25 rebounds, had five deflections, three steals one block and forced Willis three turnovers. For the game, Conway led scoring with a big 19 points, Carter followed with a strong 17 points and Lawson finished with 11 points for a trio of double-figure scoring. Christian Moore contributed seven key points and Davis added four points in victory.


GAME SIX: For the finale game and performance of the tournament, the Cats reunited back with New Boston once again and the Bobcats topped NB Lions 51-27 for another dominating victory this season. The Bobcats stormed to an productive first quarter finish to lead New Boston 17-5. In the second, the Cats produced another double-digit scoring period with 12 points and held the Lions under 10 points with nine in the second. At halftime, Hope led New Boston 29-10 with a convincing lead at the break. In the second half, the Cats put the battle away dropping 22 points in the basket and the Lions allowed 17 points combine as the hometown Bobcats pulled away victorious for the 24 point win leaving Texas to return home to Hope.

TEAM STATS: Hope shot 43 percent from the field, 57 percent from the free-throw line hitting 13-for-23 shots, scored tourney team-high 34 points in the paint, 25 points off turnovers, totaled 37 rebounds (18 offensive rebs., 19 defensive rebs.), dished out 10 assists, 14 deflections, 19 steals, two blocks and forced New Boston 23 turnovers. For the game, Conway led scoring with a huge game-high 27 points for double-figures. Davis followed with eight points, Carter had five points, Casteel contributed four points, Lawson chipped in three points, Young and Keyontai Harris each added two points apiece.