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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.
Most of us know a football player who lives in the weight room, who’s always dependable and who always does what his coaches ask him. He always puts the team first. He’s early to arrive and late to leave. And he seldom needs direction because he always pays attention.
You know the type. But you seldom hear about them, since there is no specific category to put them in and the media doesn’t recognize these qualities.
This is the guy who always sets a good example. He doesn’t complain and above all else, is tough mentally and physically. He’s not necessarily the best player on his team (though some are). But he’s definitely the guy who gets the most out of whatever talent he was born with.
Welcome to the 2020 “True Grit” team — the one place in the Big Country where guys who fall into this category are recognized for it.
Here are our superlative award winners for the 2020 All-Big Country Preps football team. For the rest of this year’s selections, click the links below.
Here are our first-team selections for the 2020 All-Big Country Preps football team. For the rest of this year’s selections, click the links below.
Here are our second-team selections for the 2020 All-Big Country Preps football team. For the rest of this year’s selections, click the links below.
Here are our third-team selections for the 2020 All-Big Country Preps football team. For the rest of this year’s selections, click the links below.
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.
VIDEO PODCAST NO. 11: Cisco coach Kevin Stennett joins the show and to talk about his experience at CHS and this week’s regional semifinal clash with Hawley. Evan Ren and Daniel Youngblood examine this week’s regional semifinal pairings.
Top games of this week discussed: All playoff pairings involving Big Country teams from Class 1A-4A this week are mentioned.
Top games of last week discussed: Sweetwater vs. Celina, Hawley vs. Sundown, Albany vs. Ralls, Wall vs. Bushland, Brock vs. Denver City, Jim Ned vs. Dalhart, San Saba vs. Panhandle.
REGION I-4A DIV. I
Springtown 56, Big Spring 0 — The Porcupines were too much for the Steers on Friday, using a 483-237 yardage gap and 6-1 advantage in the turnover margin to score a shutout victory.
Big Spring quarterback Gabriel Baeza passed for 182 yards and rushed for a team-high 46 yards, but he was hurt by four interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown.
Springtown, which led 35-0 by halftime, was paced by quarterback Camden Chesney, who threw four touchdown passes, and Dakota Strahan, who rushed for two scores and added a pick-six on defense.
REGION I-4A DIV. I
Big Spring 32, El Paso Riverside 26 (3OT) — Quarterback Gabriel Baeza rushed for 201 yards and three touchdowns Friday to overcome a pair of interceptions and lead the Steers to a thrilling triple overtime win over the Rangers.
The junior, who threw for 156 yards and one touchdown on 21-of-35 passing, sealed the victory through the air with a scoring pass to Pablito Dehoyos, who caught six passes for 47 yards for the game. Kaegen Mitchell also had a nice game receiving, catching nine passes for 88 yards.
LAST WEEK: 26-4, .866
SEASON TOTAL: 377-81, .823
Week 12 of the football season is here. And you know what that means.
The horses are at the starting gate with a finish line set up in Arlington for the state championship games.
More than 97 percent of the teams won’t make it. And by the time Thanksgiving arrives, 75 percent of them will already be finished. Such is the magnitude of our postseason.
In the meantime, hundreds of teams from Class 1A through 4A have their dreams of reaching Jerry World still intact. Classes 5A and 6A will start their postseason journeys in mid December, after having their seasons delayed by COVID-19.
That said, it’s time to choose which of our Big Country entries have the best shot of conquering their regions. Who are the favorites? Who are the dark horses? An perhaps most importantly, where are the elephants in the room — the teams from outside of our area with the most potential to spoil the Big Country’s chances?
Let’s get started, shall we?
After kicking off our girls basketball position rankings series with the guards on Monday, we now turn our attention to the forwards.
For the second installment in our three-part series, we rank the area’s top 10 players at that position to watch out for in 2020.
We hope you enjoy our list.
With the girls basketball season underway, it’s time to take a look at the players who will be making the biggest impact during the 2020-21 season.
For the first installment in a three-part series that will cover all positions, we’ll be taking a look at the Big Country’s top guards, ranking our top 10 with a list of others to watch this season.
As with any such list, these rankings are subjective. We hope you enjoy reading through our selections.
Here are the updated Big Country football playoff pairings, results:
Big Spring (idle) — Like all teams in this league, the Steers had Week 11 off to prepare for the playoffs.
Big Spring (4-3, 1-2) will be District 2’s No. 3 playoff seed and take on District 1 runner-up El Paso Riverside (4-1, 3-1) in the bi-district round of the Class 4A DI playoffs.
Over his time at Cooper, big numbers have become the norm for standout back Noah Garcia. The senior is, after all the Cougars’ all-time leading rusher with more 4,500 yards and 55 touchdowns to his credit.
But Friday’s performance in a 48-0 road win over Fort Worth Arlington Heights was noteworthy even by his standards.
In rushing for 172 yards and four touchdowns and adding a 48-yard touchdown reception in just over three quarters of action, Garcia accounted for 30 of his team’s 48 points.
Big Spring 35, San Angelo Lake View 21 — The Steers wrapped up the No. 3 seed in this district, building a 35-14 second-half lead before settling for the two-score victory.
Big Spring (4-3, 1-2) piled up 448 yards of offense in the win, getting a big game from Gabriel Baeza who passed for 242 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 102 yards and two more scores to overcome three interceptions.
Orlando Sanchez also had a productive night running the ball, tallying 93 yards on 12 carries, while Jose Cantu (8-82, 3 TDs), Pablito Dehoyos (5-76) and Maverick Yanez (2-63) had strong games receiving.
Fort Stockton 28, Big Spring 7 — Trailing the Steers 7-0 after three quarters, the Panthers exploded for four touchdowns in the fourth to rally for a big district win.
Fort Stockton, now 3-5 overall and 2-0 in league play, rushed for more than 300 yards on its way to 415 total yards. The Panthers got nice rushing games from quarterback Dominic Aguilar (16-118), Jaydrien Ramirez (6-76) and Pedro Vasquez (9-75) and a pick-six from Isaiah Garcia in the victory.
Big Spring, which fell to 3-3 overall and 0-2 in district, was led by quarterback Gabriel Baeza, who passed for 222 yards and rushed for 54. Receiver Pablito Dehoyos was Baeza’s favorite target, catching nine passes for 138 yards and the Steers’ lone touchdown in the first quarter.
Andrews 56, Big Spring 35 — The Steers rallied from a 35-7 halftime deficit to pull within a touchdown in the final quarter, but the Mustangs closed the game with 14 unanswered points to squelch a Big Spring comeback.
Andrews (6-2, 1-0) outgained the Steers 593-411, passing for 369 yards and rushing for 224, but a 5-3 deficit in the turnover battle allowed Big Spring to fight its way back into the game in the second half.