Author: Brandon McAuliffe

GAME STORY: Jim Ned sweeps Ballinger as boys rally for OT win

TUSCOLA — The Jim Ned boys basketball team didn’t take a lead on Ballinger until early in the fourth quarter on Friday night at Bill Thornton Arena, and then was forced into overtime, but came away with a key 51-47 win in District 6-3A action.

Kaden Davis led a trio of Indians in double-digits with 15 points, while Xavier Wishert and Ben Eshelman added 14 and 13, respectively.

Jonathan Delgado had a game-high 29 points for the Bearcats, who went 0-for-4 from the free-throw line in the game.

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GAME STORY: Sweetwater girls rally in fourth for win over Big Spring

SWEETWATER — Both the Sweetwater and Big Spring girls basketball teams went into Tuesday night’s game tied for fourth place in District 3-4A and looking to get a leg up on the other one to close out the first half of district play.

Jazzy Villa made a pair of free throws coming off a technical foul between the third and fourth quarters to put the Lady Mustangs ahead and Sweetwater used a dominant defensive effort in the closing minutes to pick up a 51-47 win at Mustang Gym.

Sisters Kenzi and Kya Mitchell had 13 and 12 points, respectively, while Villa added 10 as the Lady Mustangs improved to 9-12 this year and 2-3 in District 3-4A action.

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GAME STORY: Odessa Permian starts fast, shuts down Abilene High

Cold shooting nights have been rare for the Abilene High boys basketball team during Justin Reese’s three years leading his alma mater, but the Eagles had one Friday night.

AHS was held to just 22 points through the first three quarters as the Panthers rolled to a 64-48 District 2-6A win at Eagle Gym.

The poor shooting night resulted in Reese doing something that he had only done one other time in his career as a head coach — calling for intentional fouls in the third quarter to send Permian to the free-throw line to try and get his team back in the game.

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GAME STORY: Anson sweeps Hawley in District 10-2A action

ANSON — Anson’s Gavin Williams led a trio of players in double figures with 19 points as the Tigers picked up a 56-42 win over Hawley in District 10-2A play Tuesday night at Tiger Gym .

Dylyn Pyle had 16 points, while Lane Dollar added 13 as Anson moved to 3-1 in district action with the victory.

Williams and Pyle combined for 16 points in the third quarter as the Tigers turned a two-point halftime lead into a 45-28 advantage.

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GAME STORY: Shorthanded Eagles fall to Denton Guyer in regional semis

ARLINGTON — Playing after Christmas for the first time in school history, the Abilene High football team saw its season come to an end with a 38-21 loss to Denton Guyer in a Region I-6A Division II semifinal Saturday afternoon at Globe Life Park.

The Eagles were without starting quarterback Abel Ramirez, who was sidelined due to a concussion suffered last week, and turned to receiver Jeshari Houston to direct the offense.

AHS saw its deepest playoff run since 2016 come to an end with the loss and finishes the delayed season at 6-5.

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FEATURE: Abilene officials work hard for state championship games

ARLINGTON — The crowning achievement for anyone involved in high school athletics is competing for, and winning, a state championship.

Last week saw May fall in its quest for the second state championship in school history, while the Jim Ned Indians claimed their first title.

As much of an accomplishment as it was for those two communities to make it to the final game of the year, there was another group from the Big Country that made an appearance at AT&T Stadium on Wednesday night.

Led by referee Edgar Reed, a seven-man crew of officials from Abilene called the thrilling Mart-Windthorst Class 2A Division II state championship.

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EXCLUSIVE: UIL Executive Director Breithaupt sits down with Big Country Preps (Part 2)

Editor’s note: This is the second half of a two-part Q&A with Dr. Charles Breithaupt, the Executive Director of the University Interscholastic League.

ARLINGTON — As the state championships were unfolding this past week, Big Country Preps had the chance to sit down with Dr. Charles Breithaupt and discuss different aspects of what this year has been like for the UIL as well as the 100th anniversary celebrations being held.

Part 1 of this two-part Q&A series focused on the celebrations of this year, the founding of the UIL and what all the League does for its member institutions. Dr. Breithaupt also addressed if he had any regrets from how this year has unfolded.

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EXCLUSIVE: UIL Executive Director Breithaupt sits down with Big Country Preps (Part 1)

Editor’s note: This is the first half of a two-part Q&A with Dr. Charles Breithaupt, the Executive Director of the University Interscholastic League. Part 2 will be published Sunday.

ARLINGTON — The past nine months have seen everyone’s world turned upside down from what we all thought was a normal way of life. We have adapted to wearing masks, applying social distancing norms and learning that what we might ordinarily pass off as a cold or sinus infection might be much worse than that.

We’ve also seen the University Interscholastic League adapt to the ever-changing conditions of day-to-day life with COVID as well under the leadership of Executive Director Dr. Charles Breithaupt.

Breithaupt, who has had the unprecedented challenge of leading the UIL through a global pandemic, took some time during the Class 1A-4A state championship week to sit down with BigCountryPreps.com for an exclusive interview to talk about what the UIL has done from the time the pandemic first hit to now and how it’s affected plans for them to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the state’s high school governing body.

Continue reading “EXCLUSIVE: UIL Executive Director Breithaupt sits down with Big Country Preps (Part 1)”

GAME STORY: Eagles get second win over Cooper in past week

Playing for the second time in a week, Friday night’s crosstown showdown between Abilene High and Cooper figured to be a white-knuckled affair.

The Cougars were playing their second game with several members of the football team while AHS was coming off a season sweep of Wylie.

A red-hot first quarter set the tone for AHS which picked up it’s third straight win against local competition with a 65-50 win at Eagle Gym to improve to 9-2 on the season.

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GAME STORY: Top-ranked Sterling City dispatches May for first state title

ARLINGTON — For one play on Wednesday, everything was good for May in the Class 1A Division I state championship game against top-ranked Sterling City at AT&T Stadium.

Kaden Halk had a 67-yard touchdown run on the first play of the game to stake the Tigers to a quick 8-0 lead, but after that, it was all Eagles as Sterling City took a 68-22 win in a game was stopped just 23 seconds into the second half because of the 45-point rule.

May, now 1-5 all-time in state championship games, finished the season at 13-2 with both losses coming to Sterling City.

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GAME STORY: Ramirez, Dotson and Seballos lead AHS to bi-district win

FORT STOCKTON — Abel Ramirez threw for a career-high 326 yards and three touchdowns and Phonzo Dotson ran for 176 yards and three scores as the Abilene High football team notched its first playoff win since 2016 with a 42-35 victory over El Paso Eastwood in a Region I-6A Division II bi-district matchup Saturday at Panther Stadium .

It was a tale of two halves for both players as Ramirez had 299 passing yards at halftime, surpassing his previous career-high of 296, while Dotson accounted for 152 of his yards in the second half.

The win was the fourth in a row and fifth in six games for AHS (5-4), which advances to face North Crowley on Friday at Tarleton State University.

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