Category: Abilene High Eagles

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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LOCAL HOOPS ROUNDUP: Cooper, Wylie boys open District 4-5A play with victories

LUBBOCK — Led by forward Jaelyn Rivera, who dropped a career-high 28 points on Tuesday, the Cooper boys basketball team opened District 4-5A play with a 63-51 over Lubbock High, improving to 14-7 with the victory.

Rivera accounted for 12 of the Cougars’ 25 field goals and went 4 of 5 from the free-throw line to lead a list of three Cooper players in double figures. Jalen Cherry hit four 3-pointers on his way to 16 points while Colin Reed finished with 10.

Continue reading “LOCAL HOOPS ROUNDUP: Cooper, Wylie boys open District 4-5A play with victories”

GAME STORY: Hot-shooting Eagles, sharp-dressed coaches pick up much-needed win over MHS

With his team coming off back-to-back losses to open District 2-6A play, Abilene High boys basketball coach Justin Reese felt he needed to shake things up heading into Tuesday’s home matchup against Midland High.

So naturally, as a superstitious former athlete, he chose to focus on the area most likely to impact the Eagles’ play in a positive manner — coaching staff wardrobe.

Trading in their khakis and polo shirts for suits, Reese and his assistants got just the results they were looking for as Abilene High knocked down 15 3-pointers in a 65-40 wire-to-wire win over the Bulldogs.

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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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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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GAME STORY: Fast start lifts Cooper past AHS in boys hoops

For the second time in a week, the Cooper boys basketball team got off to a red-hot start in a game against crosstown rival Abilene High.

Unlike last week’s matchup in the Catclaw Classic, this time the Cougars were able to withstand multiple comeback attempts by the Eagles as Cooper knocked off AHS 56-46 on Friday night at Cougar Gym.

Jalen Cherry had a game-high 21 points for Cooper as the Cougars raced out to a 13-0 lead, never letting the Eagles get closer than six points the rest of the way. Cooper moved to 8-5 on the season with the win and avenged a tough one-point loss from last weekend.

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GAME STORY: Williams, fast start fuel Abilene High boys to 46-38 win over Wylie

A near-perfect first half was enough for the Abilene High boys basketball team to overcome a rocky final two quarters in a 46-38 nondistrict win over Wylie on Tuesday at Eagle Gym.

The Eagles were outscored by 15 points over the final two quarters, but a 32-9 halftime lead kept coach Justin Reese’s squad from ever being threatened after the break.

The win, AHS’ fifth in its last seven games, improved the Eagles to 6-8 heading into Friday’s rematch with crosstown rival Cooper.

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GAME STORY: Abilene High girls can’t find rhythm in district-opening loss to Permian

The Abilene High girls basketball team put forth a strong defensive effort in its District 2-6A opener against Odessa Permian on Tuesday, but struggles on the other end kept the Lady Eagles from capitalizing in a 40-32 loss at Eagle Gym.

Bothered by the Lady Panthers’ ball pressure, AHS had trouble with turnovers all game. And when the Lady Eagles were able to get into their offense, they had a hard time getting open shots, finishing with just eight made field goals as a team.

Those offensive woes allowed Permian to stretch an 18-15 halftime lead to double digits by the midway point of the fourth quarter, supplying the Lady Panthers with the cushion they’d need to hold for the road victory.

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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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TOURNAMENT CENTRAL: Wylie set to host six-team field for round-robin Catclaw Classic

A week after playing in Abilene ISD’s Raising Cane’s Key City Classic, Wylie will host five schools — including Abilene High and Cooper — for its annual boys basketball tournament, the Catclaw Classic.

In addition to the Abilene’s three local schools, Canutillo, Fort Worth Chisholm Trail and Midland Christian will be in action at the Classic, which will have a round-robin format this year.

Here is the schedule for the tournament. Check back throughout the weekend for scores, game recaps and photos from the event.

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TOURNAMENT CENTRAL: North Crowley tops Eaton for Cane’s Key City Classic title, Wylie drops finale

The North Crowley Panthers completed a perfect run through the Cane’s Key City Classic on Saturday, topping Northwest Eaton 49-41 in the title game to add a championship to the third-place finish they earned in the tournament’s first year back in 2019.

That matchup closed the books on the local tournament, which also saw Lewisville the Colony top McKinney Boyd 46-41 in the third-place game, Round Rock defeat defending Classic champion Fort Worth Wyatt 72-55 in the fifth-place game and San Antonio Harlan take the consolation championship with a 64-49 win over Peaster.

Wylie, the only local team in action on the Classic’s final day, fell to Justin Northwest 50-41 in a consolation game to close out the event at 2-2. Abilene High and Cooper were slated on the bracket to meet in the championship bracket seventh-place game, but the coaches chose not to play that game since the teams have two matchups forthcoming.

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TOURNAMENT CENTRAL: Abilene High, Cooper go winless on Day 2 of Cane’s Key City Classic

The second day of the Raising Cane’s Key City Classic was a rough one for the two host schools, as Abilene High and Cooper both went 0-2 on Friday after winning on Thursday to earn a spot in the championship bracket.

Abilene High dropped its quarterfinal game to Lewisville The Colony 54-29 before falling in the fifth-place semifinals to Fort Worth Wyatt 82-41, while Cooper lost in those same rounds to McKinney Boyd (63-41) and Round Rock (55-52), respectively. The Eagles and Cougars were slated to play in the seventh-place game Saturday, but the coaches elected not to play that game since the two teams are already scheduled to play each other twice in the coming weeks.

Wylie, which dropped a play-in game to Fort Worth Nolan Catholic on Thursday to fall out of bracket play, rebounded with a pair of wins on the Classic’s second day, routing Abilene High’s JV 75-34 before topping Borger 56-46.

In action not involving Abilene teams, Northwest Eaton advanced to Saturday’s title game with a 47-44 win over The Colony. They’ll take on North Crowley, which defeated Boyd 38-37 in its semifinal to advance to the tournament championship.

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TOURNAMENT CENTRAL: AHS, Cooper earn spots in championship bracket at Cane’s Key City Classic

The Abilene High and Cooper boys basketball teams both opened the Raising Cane’s Key City Classic with victories on Thursday to earn spots in the tournament’s championship bracket, while Wylie dropped its opener and will be playing consolations games for the remainder of the three-day event.

Abilene High bounced back from a slow start to top Borger 58-45, and Cooper used a late bucket to escape its first-round matchup against Keller Timber Creek with a 52-51 win to ensure that both of the Classic’s host schools will be playing in the winner’s bracket quarterfinals when play resumes on Friday.

The Eagles (1-4) and Cougars (5-0) will be joined in the championship bracket by McKinney Boyd, Round Rock, North Crowley, Northwest Eaton, Fort Worth Wyatt and Lewisville The Colony, which also earned wins on Thursday. Plainview, Borger, San Antonio Harlan, Fort Worth Nolan Catholic, Justin Northwest, Timber Creek, Midland Christian and Peaster will make up the consolation bracket field.

Wylie, which fell 41-38 to Nolan in a hard-fought play-in game, was eliminated from title contention in both brackets but will close out the tournament with games against other teams eliminated from consolation title consideration.

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TOURNAMENT CENTRAL: Local boys basketball teams gear up for Cane’s Key City Classic

The Abilene High, Cooper and Wylie boys basketball teams will all be in action this week at the Raising Cane’s Key City Classic, scheduled for Thursday through Saturday on the campuses of AHS and CHS.

This will be the second playing of the local tournament since it was resurrected in 2019. All pre-district tournaments were canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19.

Here is the bracket for the 2021 Key City Classic. Check back throughout the weekend for scores, game recaps and photos from each of the tournament’s three days.

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GAME STORY: Cooper girls pull away from crosstown rival Abilene High for 53-39 victory

The Cooper girls basketball team overcame an early challenge from a hot-shooting Abilene High squad Tuesday to earn a 53-39 win over its crosstown rival at Cougar Gym.

The Lady Cougars trailed on three occasions in the first quarter as the Lady Eagles knocked down three of their eight 3-pointers in the opening period. But coach Arsenio Geter’s squad closed the first half on a 15-7 run to go to halftime with a seven-point lead and held off one last push by AHS in the third quarter before finally putting the Lady Eagles away in the fourth.

Guards Karrigan Parrott and Kyla Speights fueled the effort for the Lady Coogs, scoring 16 and 13 points, respectively, to put their team back above .500 at 5-4.

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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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TOURNAMENT RECAP: Jim Ned girls blaze through Pug Parris Classic to remain unbeaten

The Jim Ned girls basketball team topped El Paso Mountain View 58-42 on Saturday at McMurry University’s Kimbrel Arena to complete a perfect run through the inaugural Pug Parris Classic and claim the tournament championship.

The No. 13 Lady Indians, who earned their spot in the title game with impressive wins over El Paso Ysleta (70-26), Lubbock Trinity Christian (69-32) and Wylie (47-36), raced out to a 17-8 first-quarter lead on Mountain View and were never threatened after in improving to 7-0 on the season.

Jim Ned’s run to the title completed a successful first run for the Pug Parris Classic, which was started by McMurry this year when the Hardin-Simmons University-hosted Polk-Key City Classic — believed to be the longest-running girls basketball tournament in the state — was not resumed.

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GAME STORY: Mistakes, missed opportunities cost Abilene High in bi-district loss to Eastwood

Missed opportunities and bad bounces were the story of the night for Abilene High on Friday at Shotwell Stadium, where the Eagles saw a promising season come to an end earlier than expected with an upset loss to El Paso Eastwood.

Despite two empty red zone trips and a pair of costly fumbles, AHS rallied from a 14-point halftime deficit to take its first lead of the game with 2:44 to play. But at the end of the night, it was the Troopers celebrating a 31-27 victory on the Eagles’ home field, thanks to a clutch 75-yard touchdown drive, a late interception near midfield and an intentional safety that drained the final 12 seconds of game time. 

Eastwood’s win avenged a 42-35 loss to the Eagles in the bi-district round last year in a game that helped propel coach Mike Fullen’s team to a run to the regional quarterfinals. AHS was hoping a win Friday would help kickstart a similar run, but a slow start and a fair number of uncharacteristic mistakes left the Eagles on the wrong side of a playoff thriller. 

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CAPITAL FARM CREDIT/BCP PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Roscoe’s Watts claims this week’s award

Nobody ever truly obtains perfection on the football field. And even if you believe you’ve achieved it, any competent coach can quickly scan the game film and point out when and where you could have been better along the way. 

Roscoe sophomore Jax Watts, however, came about as close as one can come to that lofty goal in Friday’s 61-0 win over Hamlin. 

To begin with, our Capital Farm Credit/Big Country Preps Player of the Week hit 17 of 18 passes for 436 yards and six touchdowns as the Plowboys (9-1) closed the season with a nine-game winning streak and district title. 

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GAME STORY: Abilene High offense fires on all cylinders in rout of Central

With the regular season coming to a close for the Abilene High football team on Thursday night at Shotwell Stadium, Eagles running back Da’King Thomas only had one thing on his mind — erasing the memory of AHS’ last two matchups with San Angelo Central.

“I knew coming into the game that I wanted vengeance,” the standout senior said. “Sophomore year we lost, junior year we lost and I could not go out (my) senior year losing to them again. We came in on a mission, a real big mission, and we accomplished it.”

That mission for the Eagles was to secure their first win over the Bobcats since October 2015, and a big first half helped AHS do just that with a 49-14 victory to close out District 2-6A play.

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