Wildcats wow on senior night with 61-44 victory

Jan. 29—The Palestine Wildcats varsity boys basketball team had one of their most impressive showings of the year Friday night, using the strength of a dominating first quarter to cruise to an easy win over the visiting Madisonville Mustangs, 61-44, on senior night.

Palestine began their wire-to-wire victory scoring at will, connecting on 11 of 14 first quarter shots to build a 23-7 advantage in the first 10 minutes of play.

The Mustangs struggled against the intense Wildcats defense all night, turning the ball over more than 25 times in the contest. While they continued to fight, the Mustangs would not come within 10 points of Palestine at any point in the final three quarters.

Palestine's five senior players, Jordan Walker, Perry Cole, Gerlle Abrams, L'Kaysin Martin and K'Mari Gipson, put on a show in front of a packed house, combining to score 59 of the Wildcats 61 points in the win. Abrams led the way for the Wildcats, posting a team high in points and rebounds with a 20 point, 14 rebound double-double.

The win against the Mustangs marked the completion of the first round of district play for the Wildcats, going 4-1 over the five game stretch. Palestine's lone district loss in the early district schedule came at the hands of Hudson in a thrilling 44-42 barnburner on Jan 19. The Wildcats 4-1 district record, 18-7 overall, currently has them firmly planted in second place within the district 18-4A standings with five games remaining on the schedule.

The Wildcats will begin the back stretch of their district schedule on the road Tuesday, Jan. 30, as they travel to Rusk for a date with the 3-23 Eagles, before traveling to Jacksonville this Friday, Feb. 2, for a showdown with rival Jacksonville, who currently hold an 8-14 overall record.

The Palestine LadyCats, 8-21 overall, will also look to strengthen their playoff resume in Rusk tonight, taking on the Lady Eagles in the early game. The LadyCats currently hold the last playoff spot within district 18-4A with a record of 2-5. The LadyCats will finish out their season with trips to Jacksonville this Friday before heading to Hudson next Tuesday to take on the Lady Hornets in what could prove to be a win-and-in situation for both squads, as Hudson sits just one game back of Palestine in the standings.

The LadyCats will tip at 6:15 p.m. Tuesday, with the Wildcats following at 7:30 p.m. Both contests will be played in the main gym at Rusk high school.