Author: Daniel Youngblood

LOCAL HOOPS ROUNDUP: Wylie boys, girls sweep Lubbock High

The Wylie boys basketball team evened its District 4-5A record at 1-1 on Tuesday, blasting Lubbock High 50-27 at Bulldog Gym.

Trailing 12-11 after the first quarter, the Bulldogs outscored the Westerners 39-15 the rest of the way to improve to 5-8 overall.

Wylie took a 24-19 lead into halftime after outpacing Lubbock High 13-7 in the second quarter, before using a 15-2 run through the third quarter to take control for good.

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LOCAL HOOPS ROUNDUP: Cooper boys open district play with win over Lubbock High

LUBBOCK — The Cooper boys basketball team kicked off District 4-5A play with a victory Tuesday, outscoring Lubbock High in each of the first three quarters of a 44-31 road victory.

Leading 13-7 after a quarter, the Cougars (10-4 overall, 1-0 in district) used a 13-6 run through the second quarter to take a 26-13 advantage into halftime. The Coogs then outscored the Westerners 12-5 in the third quarter to all but put the game away.

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GAME STORY: McGee leads Abilene High boys past Central after being honored for milestone

On a night when he was honored for eclipsing the 1,000-point mark for his career, Abilene High’s Jalen McGee added a few more to that total in a 76-52 win over San Angelo Central on Tuesday at Eagle Gym.

The senior point guard, who hit that milestone Dec. 18 against Cooper, scored a game high-tying 17 points to fuel a wire-to-wire victory over the Bobcats in a key District 2-6A game.

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GAME STORY: Wylie girls come up just short in upset bid against No. 8 Lubbock Cooper

Leading No. 8 Lubbock Cooper 49-45 with 2:20 remaining Tuesday at Bulldog Gym, the Wylie girls basketball looked poised to score a big upset win and take sole possession of first place in the District 4-5A race.

Unfortunately for the Lady Bulldogs, they wouldn’t score again the rest of the way, allowing a Hannah Zientek 3-pointer with less than 10 seconds remaining to serve as the winning points in a 52-49 loss. 

After watching the Lady Pirates tie the score with about a minute and a half to play, Wylie had a couple of opportunities to regain the lead and put additional pressure on the visitors. But the Lady Bulldogs couldn’t turn those possessions into points, and a banked-in 3 by Zientek, a junior post player, with 8.7 seconds remaining left coach Amy Powell’s squad on the losing end of a game that was tightly contested throughout.

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LOCAL HOOPS ROUNDUP: McGee, Watts lead Eagles to blowout win at Midland High

MIDLAND — Jalen McGee scored 26 points and Nathan Watts added 20 to power the Abilene High boys basketball team to an 84-31 rout of  Midland High in a District 2-6A matchup Friday.

The Eagles (13-3 overall, 2-1 in district) led 33-21 at halftime, before outscoring the Bulldogs 27-10 in the third quarter and 24-0 in the fourth to pull way for the 53-point win.

Continue reading “LOCAL HOOPS ROUNDUP: McGee, Watts lead Eagles to blowout win at Midland High”

GAME STORY: Melton’s big night fuels Wylie girls to 50-36 win over Coronado

Emma Melton hit five 3-pointers and scored a game-high 21 points Tuesday to lead the Wylie girls basketball team to a 50-36 home win over Lubbock Coronado.

The senior guard had 13 points by halftime in helping the Lady Bulldogs to a 28-16 lead that they would increase to a game-high 22 points (43-21) by the 2½-minute mark the third quarter.

The victory improves coach Amy Powell’s squad to 8-9 overall and 2-0 in District 4-5A play heading into a big home game Tuesday against district co-leader Lubbock Cooper.

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LOCAL HOOPS ROUNDUP: Abilene High boys bounce back, rout OHS for first district win

The Abilene High boys basketball team bounced back from Friday’s loss to Wolfforth Frenship in its District 2-6A opener with a comfortable win over Odessa High on Tuesday, scoring at least 17 points in every quarter of an 81-67 victory at Eagle Gym.

The Eagles (12-3 overall, 1-1 in district) raced out to a 17-4 lead after one period and were never threatened after that, outscoring OHS 21-16 in the second quarter and 25-16 in the third to take a commanding 63-36 lead into the final quarter.

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GAME STORY: Haskell girls overwhelm Anson, take over top spot in 10-2A standings

ANSON — Entering their first meeting of the season separated by just one spot in the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches Class 2A rankings and tied in the loss column in the District 10-2A standings, the Haskell and Anson girls basketball teams both showed up at Tiger Gym on Tuesday hoping to get a leg up on the other.

But the No. 16 Maidens quickly spoiled what appeared on paper to be a marquee Big Country matchup, opening the game on a 15-2 run and never letting up from there to secure a dominant 44-21 victory over the 17th-ranked Lady Tigers.

Fueled by its signature pressure defense, Haskell (12-2 overall, 5-0 in league play) led 27-7 by halftime and stretched its advantage to 25 points in the third quarter (39-14) before coasting in the fourth to the lopsided victory.

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FEATURE: Jim Ned celebrates state title with parade, belated medal ceremony

More than two weeks after claiming the first state championship in their program’s history, the Jim Ned Indians finally got to have the medal ceremony that COVID robbed them of after their 29-28 overtime win over Hallettsville on Dec. 17.

Following a championship parade Monday afternoon, Jim Ned fans piled into Indian Stadium one final time to celebrate the 2020 Indians, whose 14-1 record and run to the Class 3A Division I state title made them the most successful team in school history.

The event, organized by Superintendent Dr. Glen Teal, gave the community the opportunity to properly recognize a special group of young men and the Jim Ned players and coaches a chance to relive a truly remarkable season.

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GAME RECAP: Slow start dooms AHS boys in district-opening loss to Frenship

WOLFFORTH — A slow start proved too much for the Abilene High boys basketball team to overcome Saturday in a 59-49 loss to Wolfforth Frenship to kick off District 2-6A play.

The Eagles fell behind 20-10 after the first quarter and struggled to fight their way back into the game after that in falling to 11-3 overall and 0-1 in league action.

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GAME STORY: Unbeaten Ballinger boys heat up in second half to cruise past Clyde

CLYDE — The Ballinger boys basketball team kept its perfect record intact Saturday, using a 20-8 run through the third quarter to a turn a six-point halftime lead into a comfortable road win over the Clyde Bulldogs.

Using intense pressure defense, the Bearcats (13-0 overall) turned Clyde over with regularity and converted those takeaways into points on the other end to rout the Bulldogs 53-34 and improve to 2-0 in District 6-3A play. 

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GAME STORY: Frenship ramps up pressure to pull away from Abilene High girls

The Abilene High girls basketball hung with District 2-6A leader Wolfforth Frenship for a half Saturday, but ultimately the Lady Tigers’ pressure defense was too much for the Lady Eagles in a 70-44 loss at Eagle Gym.

Leading just 28-21 at halftime, Frenship (13-4, 4-0) turned a bevy of AHS turnovers into easy buckets during 27-10 third quarter that turned a competitive game to that point into a runaway.

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DANIEL YOUNGBLOOD: Big Country Preps Top 10 Stories for 2020

The year 2020 is finally behind us — a fact I think we can all celebrate as a positive.

A wretched year in so many ways, 2020 presented unique challenges most of us never could have envisioned and brought levels of heartbreak and hardship we may never experience again in our lifetimes. 

But even out of bad years, good stories can arise. And as a website devoted to highlighting the positives in our narrow area of focus, we’re going to revisit some of the best today.

As has become a New Year’s Day custom here at Big Country Preps, it’s time once again to revisit the biggest Big Country sports stories of the past year. And while narrowing and compiling that list is never easy, and always leaves worthy stories unaccounted for, we hope you enjoy looking back at some of the highlights from a tough year.

As we say goodbye to 2020 (thankfully), we turn our attention to the local athletes and coaches who produced some positive memories for area sports fans. 

Without further ado, let’s take a look at the top 10 stories from last year:

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LOCAL HOOPS ROUNDUP: Abilene High girls rout Mineral Wells for second straight win

The Abilene High girls basketball team won its second game in as many days Wednesday, following Tuesday’s 54-33 win over Odessa Permian in its District 2-6A opener with a 73-23 nondistrict win over Mineral Wells.

The Lady Eagles, now 3-7 overall, held the Lady Rams to single digits in each of the first three quarters Wednesday, building a 24-5 first-quarter lead that they would stretch to 45-14 by halftime and 60-19 by the start of the final period.

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LOCAL HOOPS ROUNDUP: AHS boys finish strong in 22-point win over W.F. Rider

WICHITA FALLS — The Abilene High boys basketball team rallied from a first-quarter deficit to rout Wichita Falls Rider 64-42 on Monday, outscoring the Raiders 37-19 over the final two quarters to turn a four-point game at halftime into a rout.

The Eagles, who improved to 11-2 with the win, trailed 12-11 after a quarter before taking the lead for good with a 16-11 run through the second. Leading 27-23 at half, AHS took control quickly out of the break, outscoring Rider 18-8 in the third quarter before closing out the victory with another big period in the fourth.

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GAME STORY: Cooper boys use balanced effort to overwhelm Big Spring in 71-44 win

The Cooper boys basketball team rode fast starts to each half to a comfortable win over Big Spring on Monday, outscoring the Steers 18-7 in the first quarter and 25-12 in the third on its way to a 71-44 win at Cougar Gym.

Jalen Cherry scored a game-high 16 points to lead a group of four Cougars to reach double figures scoring, and CHS stifled Big Spring’s usually potent offense to improve to 7-4 on the year.

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GAME STORY: Wylie girls start fast, overcome third-quarter swoon to pull away from Plainview

A big first half for senior Makinlee Bacon staked the Wylie girls basketball team to a double-digit halftime lead, and the Lady Bulldogs withstood a big third quarter rally by Plainview to earn a 53-45 home win Monday in their first game out of the Christmas break.

Bacon hit five 3-pointers during a 15-point first half, fueling Wylie to a 28-12 halftime advantage. But Plainview scored the first 13 points of the third quarter to turn that 12-point deficit into a one-point lead just four minutes into the second half.

From there, though, coach Amy Powell’s squad was able to regroup, pulling back ahead by 10 (41-31) heading into the final quarter and cruising from there to the victory.

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