Author: Evan Ren

Big Country Boys Basketball Statistical Leaders (through Jan. 20)

Each Thursday night, Big Country Preps will publish area boys and girls basketball statistical leaders.

This database will be continually updated for our subscribers throughout the remainder of the season, using only those statistics submitted by area coaches.

Teams that do not submit their statistics in a given week will not be listed when our stats are posted, but will be added to the lists below as they are received in the coming days. 

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Big Country Girls Basketball Statistical Leaders (through Jan. 20)

Each Thursday night, Big Country Preps will publish area boys and girls basketball statistical leaders.

This database will be continually updated for our subscribers throughout the remainder of the season, using only those statistics submitted by area coaches.

Teams that do not submit their statistics in a given week will not be listed when our stats are posted, but will be added to the lists below as they are received in the coming days. 

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GAME STORY: Eagles top San Saba in overtime thriller

GOLDTHWAITE — Beating an archrival can have enough meaning on its own. But when its in overtime for sole possession of first place in the district standings, you’re talking about a special evening for the victor. 

The Goldthwaite boys got a taste of that on Tuesday, knocking off longtime rival San Saba 52-48 in overtime to remain unbeaten in District 29-2A with seven games left to play. 

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CAPITAL FARM CREDIT/BCP PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Cross Plains’ Shepard takes the top spot

 

In a week that featured several noteworthy performances, our selection of the Capital Farm Credit/BCP Player of the Week was a difficult one this time around. 

In the end, our pick was Cross Plains junior guard Abbigale Shepherd, who took the accolade for the week ending Jan. 15. But it wasn’t her scoring average of 22 points per game in wins over Rising Star (67-20) and Moran (76-17) that did it. 

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EVAN REN: This week in Big Country girls basketball (Jan. 17-23)

With all things pertaining to area football completely behind us, it is now time to focus a laser beam on Big Country hoops. And with district races heating up, there are plenty of things to keep an eye on. 

Each week until season’s end, this column will take a look at some of the top area matchups on the horizon, along with the top games from the previous week and its most surprising result.

That’s said, let’s dive in to our first installment of This Week in Girls Basketball. 

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FEATURE: Hurtado sisters may vary in terms of style and personality, but the results are the same

CISCO — One is strictly by the book. The other enjoys straying from the path from time to time just to keep things lively.  One is an inside-outside dual threat.  The other is strictly an inside power player. 

And yet, they’re sisters. 

At the end of the day, however, Cisco’s Sophia  and Brooklyn Hurtado are both good, they’re both tall (standing 6-2 and 6-3, respectively) and they’re smart enough to create a serious matchup problem for any team the Lady Loboes face.

“In 17 years of coaching, I’ve never had this sort of height to coach — especially two of them,” Cisco coach Brent Kilpatrick said. “It’s been challenging and fun. It’s been a good problem to have, but it’s also challenging — figuring out how to incorporate those two.” 

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CAPITAL FARM CREDIT/BCP PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Snyder senior takes first award of 2021

With our the Capital Farm Credit/BCP Player of the Week taking a two-week hiatus for the holidays, we extended our normal range of eligibility to include events that occurred over Christmas break. 

That left us with a lot of possibilities to sift through before Snyder’s Eber Murillo emerged as the area’s top performer between Dec. 20 and Jan. 8. 

You’d better get the calculator out. 

Through the holidays, the senior forward had 39 points and 12 boards in a win over Brownwood, 25 points and seven rebounds in a loss to Amarillo Caprock and 11 points and nine boards in a loss to Class 6A Abilene. To this, he added 38 combined points (rebounds unavailable) in wins over Fabens and Lubbock. 

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EVAN REN’S 2021 TRUE GRIT TEAM: The toughest, hardest-working players in the Big Country!

Most high school football teams have that one player acknowledged by the coaching staff as the prime example of what a teammate should be. 

He’s the guy who seldom misses any practice time and is a regular in the weight room. He’s early to arrive. He’s late to leave, takes pride in being coachable but seldom needs direction. 

He always sets the right example for younger players. He doesn’t gripe and, above all else, he’s tough enough to make all the aforementioned traits possible. 

Know someone like that? Here is where they are honored. 

Welcome to Big Country Preps’ “True Grit” team — a collection of area players nominated by their head coaches, who exemplify the character traits football mentors want throughout their roster. 

Not all of them are great players. In fact, many of them will never play a down of college football. But every single one of them is making the most of their high school football experience and has helped those around them do the same.

We are absolutely honored to present these young men to you — the toughest, hardest-working football players the Big Country had to offer in 2021. 

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BEST OF THE CAPITAL FARM CREDIT WEDNESDAY NIGHT PODCAST: Stephenville’s Sterling Doty

With Evan and Dan taking a brief holiday break from the Podcast, Big Country Preps will be rereleasing two of its more interesting shows from 2021 during their hiatus.  The Capital Farm Credit Wednesday Night Podcast will return with a new release on Jan. 12.
TONIGHT: Stephenville football coach Sterling Doty talks Yellow Jacket football with Evan and Dan.  ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: 11-24-21. 

GAME STORY: Down two coaches, Cisco sweeps Haskell in hoops doubleheader

CISCO — With girls coach Brent Kilpatrick and boys coach Kevin Hearne both out due to illness, it was up to a pair of understudies to guide the CHS varsity teams through a district doubleheader with Haskell on Tuesday. 

Jack Eison took the clipboard for the Cisco girls, who opened the evening with a 57-48 win, after which former Cisco football standout Colton Kent grabbed the reins for the boys in a 66-30 win in the nightcap. 

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PHOTO GALLERY: Anson Holiday tournament (222 images)

Digital photos, prints and keepsakes may be purchased by clicking on the “Buy on SmugMug” link below a selected photo. The “BigCountryPreps.com” watermark will be removed from all purchased photos.

Anson Holiday Tournament 222 images featuring:
Boys teams: Anson, Roscoe, Gunter and Sweetwater.
Girls teams: Roscoe, Seymour, Anson, Idalou

Continue reading “PHOTO GALLERY: Anson Holiday tournament (222 images)”

BEST OF CAPITAL FARM CREDIT WED. NIGHT PODCAST: Hoops official Jeff Groban joins the show

With Evan and Dan taking a brief holiday break from the Podcast, Big Country Preps will be rereleasing two of its more interesting shows from 2021 tonight and next Wednesday.  The Capital Farm Credit Wednesday Night Podcast will return with a new release on Jan. 12.
TONIGHT: Longtime area basketball official Jeff Groban visits the show and gives us some insight into the challenges one faces in his profession. ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: 3-3-21

 

TOURNAMENT CENTRAL: Sweetwater boys take Anson tourney title, AHS girls take second

ANSON — One brief second-half surge was just enough to give Sweetwater a permanent upper hand in the championship game of the Anson Holiday Tournament on Tuesday, boosting the Mustangs to a 59-47 win over Gunter.

Harrison Foster scored 19 points and collected tournament MVP honors to lead Sweetwater (12-4), which used an 8-0 run in the waning minutes of the third quarter to take control of the game. Malik Brown added nine points, as did Damarrius Walker to help Sweetwater (12-4), which never led by less than five points the rest of the way. 

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TOURNAMENT CENTRAL: Anson boys, girls win pools; Roscoe girls rebound in Holiday Tourney

ANSON — Pool play concluded in the annual Anson Holiday Tournament on Monday, and nobody is in better shape than the hosts. 

The Anson Tigers and Lady Tigers both swept through pool play with two straight wins — the boys beating Seymour 39-38 and Roscoe (69-29), while Anson’s girls dropped Roscoe 43-30 and Seymour 55-38. Both teams will play in their respective “Gold” brackets today with a chance to win the Tournament championship. 

The Anson girls will face Farwell, the winner of Pool C at 8:30 a.m today.  A victory would advance them to the tournament championship to face either Idalou or Iowa Park at 6 p.m.  The Anson boys will take on Gunter at 1:30 p.m. If they win, they will face either Sweetwater or Farwell for the tournament championship at 7:30 p.m.

The Roscoe girls, despite their 0-1 start, recovered with a 63-38 win in the evening to secure a spot in the silver bracket where they will take on Lorena. 

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CAPITAL FARM CREDIT/BCP PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Eakin takes our final award for 2021

NOTE: This will be our final Player of the Week award for 2021, but the column will return after the holidays on Monday, Jan. 10.

Our final Capital Farm Credit/BCP Player of the Week award for 2021 could not have been earned on a bigger stage. 

Stephenville receiver Coy Eakin claims the accolade, after earning Offensive MVP honors during the Yellow Jackets’ 38-21 win over Austin LBJ in the Class 4A Division I state championship game on Friday. 

It was genuinely Eakin’s night and for more reasons than one. 

Aside from hauling in nine catches for 187 yards and three scores (including a one-handed grab for a TD), Eakin rushed for another touchdown, forced a fumble, recovered an important onside kick and picked off a pass. 

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2021 BIG COUNTRY PREPS MAX EFFORT TEAM: The hardest-working players in area volleyball!

While our All-Big Country Preps Volleyball team is in place to honor those who achieved the most on-court success, our “Max Effort” team is something much more uncommon. 

This is a special accolade, which has nothing to do with talent or stats.

It is here where character, grit and work ethic — traits that coaches wish every player had — are recognized. It is here where we honor the best teammates and best citizens that area volleyball has to offer.

It is for that reason that this team is selected by area coaches and described in their own words.

Big Country Preps is now honored to present these individuals to you — the hardest-working, toughest volleyball players in the Big Country. Ladies and gentlemen: Our 2021 Big Country Preps Max Effort Team. 

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EVAN REN: Never underestimate the Jerry World factor

ARLINGTON — Who doesn’t like pageantry at the football state championship games? Who doesn’t like a big atmosphere? 

Of course, every real high school football fan loves it. That’s why we take part in the annual migration to AT&T Stadium each December to participate in Texas’ greatest high school spectacle. 

There is, however, at least one drawback and it showed itself in Stephenville’s 38-21 win over Austin LBJ in Friday’s Class 4A Division I state championship game. 

Sometimes, “Jerry World” (as it has become known in some circles) can simply overwhelm the event itself. 

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GAME STORY: Brock falls to Lorena 35-18 in Class 3A Division I state title game

ARLINGTON — Missed opportunities and inconsistency.

The stat sheet from Brock’s 35-18 loss to Lorena in Thursday’s Class 3A Division I state championship game largely masks both factors. Yet both were key reasons why the Eagles fell short at AT&T Stadium. 

Rhett Hanson rushed for 196 yards and three scores and Ryne Abel threw for 163 yards and another TD to lead Lorena (14-2), which earned its first state football title since 1987 and the 200th career win for coach Ray Biles. 

Brock finished its season at 15-1 — led by Tyler Moody with 170 yards passing and two scores and Kutter Wilson, who rushed for 171 yards and another TD. The Eagles were only outgained 370-359, but the game’s keys weren’t found on paper. 

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EVAN REN: Ables has earned a spot among the area’s top coaches

Ask a Big Country football fan to name the area’s most successful coaches over the past 20 years and the list will generally sound like this: Denney Faith, Brent West, Hugh Sandifer, Wayne Hutchinson, Patrick Corcoran, Gary Proffitt, Russell Lucas, Dewaine Lee, Mike Reed and a varying number of stragglers. 

You won’t hear the name Mitch Ables. Yet you should. 

In fact, a large number of area fans could not tell you for certain that he’s the Hawley coach. And many could not tell you that he has ushered in an era of success with the Bearcats that is absolutely unprecedented. 

Even I have been a bit slow at giving Ables credit for what he has become, and this extends well beyond Thursday’s 47-12 loss to Shiner in Hawley’s first-ever state championship game. 

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BCP WEEK 17 PLAYOFF FORECAST: Six area teams reach Arlington with state titles on the line

LAST WEEK: 3-1, .750
SEASON TOTAL: 509-107, .826

What a year for area football.

Six … count’em … six teams from the Big Country Preps coverage area still have a pulse in Week 17 and will compete for state titles at five different levels.

Strawn, May, Westbrook, Hawley, Brock and Stephenville will all make their way onto the turf at AT&T Stadium this week with a shot at the history books.

The Big Country Preps staff will be on hand at Jerry World, of course, soaking it all in and sharing it with you, our subscribers.

It’s difficult to believe, but its time to make my final round of picks for 2021. 

Here’s this week’s forecast: 

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CAPITAL FARM CREDIT/BCP PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Stamford’s Applin wins this week’s award

While scoring a lot of points is always an attention-getter, the Capital Farm Credit/BCP Player of the Week column puts a great deal of value in players who can contribute in a variety of ways. And today’s winner is a prime of example of that. 

Stamford junior guard Laylonna Applin takes our accolade after helping the Lady Bulldogs to a 5-0 record on the week, with wins over Burkburnett, Christoval, Class 4A No. 13 Sanger, the San Angelo Central JV and Veribest. The last for victories came in the Ballinger tournament, at which Applin was named MVP.

Yes, she did plenty of scoring, dropping in an eye-popping 134 points through five games. But Applin did a lot more than just put the ball in the hoop.

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GAME STORY: Stephenville edges Wichita Falls Hirschi in semifinal thriller

FRISCO — Through much of the 2021 season, the Stephenville Yellow Jackets have created a cushion for themselves — nearly eliminating pressure situations with an average victory margin of 41-13 through their first 14 games. 

Friday night at the Star, however, the Jackets were forced to answer the bell time and time again in a 38-35 win over Wichita Falls Hirschi in the Class 4A Division I state semifinals. 

Ryder Lambert threw for 220 yards and two scores and rushed for a third touchdown to lift Stephenville, which battled through six lead changes to reach the state championship game. There, the Jackets (15-0) will meet either Tyler Chapel Hill (11-3) or Austin LBJ (14-0) next week in Arlington. 

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GAME STORY: Brock uses rare center-eligible pass to beat Mt. Vernon

MCKINNEY — With the score tied a 28 in overtime, nobody was really surprised that the Brock Eagles went to standout tight end  Nathan Jones for what proved to be the game-winning touchdown against Mount Vernon. 

The way they did it, however, caught nearly everyone off-guard including every defender on the Mount Vernon defense.  

With Jones lining up t center, the Eagles shifted two linemen to the right, leaving Jones at the end of the line, still snapping the ball, but eligible for a pass.  After snapping the ball to Tyler Moody, Jones did a short out pattern into the end zone where Moody found him all alone for a 35-28 lead.

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BCP WEEK 16 PLAYOFF FORECAST: Seven Big Country Preps teams still alive

LAST WEEK: 7-0, 1.000
SEASON TOTAL: 506-106, .826

As Week 16 arrives, Big Country Preps still has an astonishing seven teams still active — Stephenville, Brock, Hawley, Albany, Westbrook, May and Strawn — the last three of which will be playing for the Class 1A Division I and Division II titles next week. 

In the meantime, we have four 11-man state semifinal games involving teams in our coverage area to discuss this week, including three Thursday dates. 

The column remains red hot at the moment, going 7-0 on picks last week and 19-1 over the last two weeks. 

Here’s this week’s playoff forecast: 

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GAME STORY: Eastland’s Doug Galyean secures career win No. 700 with victory over Stamford

EASTLAND — The last thing Eastland boys basketball coach Doug Galyean wanted on Tuesday night was to have a lot of people to making a fuss over him. 

Entering a non-district game with Stamford with 699 career wins accumulated since his career began in 1980, the 64-year-old did his best to keep the accomplishment under wraps.  In fact, Big Country Preps was one of the few area media outlets which was aware of the approaching milestone. 

Galyean secured win No. 700 with a 60-36 victory over Stamford. But the aftermath was anything but quiet — with an announcement being made to the crowd over the PA system, after which a slide presentation was given to commemorate the achievement. 

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CAPITAL FARM CREDIT/BCP PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Sweetwater’s Foster takes the top spot

He might be better known as one of the top receivers in the Big Country — hauling in 78 catches for more than 1,300 yards for Sweetwater’s football team in 2021. 

What some don’t realize is, Harrison Foster is also one of the area’s top basketballers, as evidenced by his taking our Capital Farm Credit-BCP Player of the Week award for the week ending Dec. 4. 

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GAME STORY: Hawley escapes trench war with Cisco, tops Loboes 17-14 in Big Country Classic

ABILENE — With their leading rusher out with an injury and perennial power Cisco blocking the path to their first-ever state semifinal, the Hawley Bearcats had to find a way to adapt Friday night at Shotwell Stadium. 

They responded with a gritty, come-from-behind 17-14 win that saw them erase deficits of 7-0 and 14-7, despite being shorthanded.

Diontay Ramon rushed for 120 yards and a score in a reserve role to lead Hawley (14-0), which took the lead for good with a 29-yard field goal by Kason O’Shields with 7:47 to play. 

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GAME STORY: Brock advances to state semis rout of Whitesboro

ARLINGTON — With Brock coming off an emotionally charged win over defending state champion Jim Ned last week, there was some concern in the Eagle camp about being mentally ready for Whiteboro in Thursday’s Region I-3A Division I title game. 

It took less than a quarter at Globe Life Field for Brock to end any doubts about their readiness in a lopsided 49-14 win. 

Tyler Moody threw for 222 yards and two touchdowns and Brett Tutter added 94 yards rushing and three scores in a reserve role to lead the Eagles (14-0), who advance to face either Mount Vernon (13-0) or West (13-0) in the state semifinals. 

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BCP Week 15 Playoff Forecast: Big Ev picks 92 percent over Thanksgiving. Can he keep it going?

LAST WEEK: 12-1, .923
SEASON TOTAL: 499-106, .825

Alright, we’re getting down to the nitty gritty — football in December with seven Big Country teams still fighting for a trip to Arlington. If I’m correct, we’ll have quite a few area survivors to congratulate by Sunday.

The column connected on 92 percent of its picks last week, so we’ll see if I can keep the hot streak going.

Here’s this week’s forecast: 

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FEATURE: With the flick of a switch, Brock’s Mathews can go from polite to flat-out scary

BROCK — By all accounts, Brock senior defensive end Kadyn Mathews is a quiet, humble sort — a well-behaved, solid student who is considerate, helpful, hard-working and everything else one might associate with a good kid. 

That is, until he puts the pads on. 

At that point, Mathews is transformed into something very unpleasant — a 6-foot-3, 230-pound wrecking ball that has been disrupting offenses throughout Brock’s 13-0 start. This, despite consistently drawing double teams and having offenses directing plays away from him.

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CAPITAL FARM CREDIT/BCP PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Stephenville linebacker Young takes award once again

It’s not easy for defensive players to wrestle the spotlight away from those on offense. It’s just the nature of things. 

But in the case of Stephenville linebacker Reese Young, he’s beginning to make a habit of it. 

Young, who charted 22 tackles (14 solos) in SHS’ 21-17 regional semifinal win over Argyle last week is our Capital Farm Credit/BCP Player of the Week for a second time this year. 

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Class 2A regional semifinal report: Albany, Cisco, Hawley advance; Santo sees season end

DIVISION II

Albany 34, Muenster 21 Cole Chapman threw for 176 yards and two scores and Jaheim Newton rushed for 162 yards and another TD to lift Albany (12-0) over previously unbeaten Muenster.

The Lions raced out to a 28-0 halftime lead and held off a late Muenster rally to get the win. 

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Class 4A region semifinal report: Celina ends Snyder’s surprising run; Stephenville escapes Argyle

DIVISION II

Celina 46, Snyder 6 The Bobcats outgained the Tigers 442-118, building a 39-0 lead by halftime on their way to a dominating victory.

Celina (11-1) hurt Snyder for 268 yards on the ground, getting 123 yards and one touchdown from Gabe Gayton and 96 yards and two scores from Troy Peterson. Noah Bentley, meanwhile, had an efficient day passing the ball, going 9 for 16 for 174 yards with TD passes to Collin Urich, Brady Cunningham and Jacob Vincent.

Snyder was limited to just 55 yards rushing on 30 carries, getting 25 yards from Bryce Ford and 24 from Dom Dominguez. Hunter Stewart threw for 63 yards on 7-of-21 passing but was intercepted three times.

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