Category: Boys basketball

FEATURE: Snyder boys finding their stride after challenging nondistrict stretch

Photos courtesy of Lee Scott

The Snyder boys basketball season, seemingly stuck in free-fall mode as recently as a month ago, now has the Tiger faithful thinking this could be a team that makes some noise in the playoffs.

Following a 10-point loss to Shallowater on Jan. 6, Coach Lee Scott’s squad had wrapped up the pre-district portion of the season with a 5-15 record. With District 5-4A play looming on the horizon, not even a good number of “moral victories” mixed among the defeats foretold what would happen next.

Snyder took down Big Spring by 11 points and Sweetwater by two. District favorite Lubbock Estacado slowed the momentum by beating the Tigers 51-42, but Snyder rebounded, both literally and figuratively, by winning its next two district games, 44-36 over San Angelo Lake View and 49-43 over Levelland.

A second win over Big Spring on Thursday (47-34) has the 5-1 Tigers in second place behind Estacado, and Scott has his team thinking that even the powerful Matadors aren’t invincible.

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GAME STORY: Lubbock Coronado too much for Abilene High in doubleheader sweep

Playing Lubbock Coronado in a game delayed two days by inclement weather, the Abilene High boys basketball team saw a sluggish start doom its hopes of a District 4-5A upset Thursday in a 68-54 loss at Eagle Gym.

The Eagles trailed 9-2 less than three minutes into the game and never fully recovered in falling to 11-15 overall and 3-6 in league play.

After the Mustangs’ lead reached a game-high 21 points (37-16) late in the second quarter, AHS rallied to pull within 10 in the third. But that was as close as coach Justin Reese’s squad would get as Coronado pushed its lead back to 20 points by the 1:27 mark of the third and was never threatened again.

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FEATURE: Gordon’s “Kiddie Corps” one of the Big Country’s top surprises for 2023

Photos by Lily Cormack 

GORDON — A year ago, the Gordon boys basketball team was in the midst of a mediocre campaign that finished with an 11-12 record and a 3-9 mark in district. 

So when graduation clobbered the Longhorns over the offseason, it was logical for most to assume that Gordon was about to endure a period of rebuilding. And only heaven would know how long such a project would take. 

In actuality, it took less than a year. 

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FEATURE: Senior glue guy Falade an unsung hero for Cooper boys basketball team

Sharing the court with one of the area’s best forwards in Jaelyn Rivera and a pair of talented guards in Kam Gray and Jordan Willis, Cooper senior Maxwell Falade knows he’s a role player. 

But in watching the Cougars play, you realize pretty quickly just how important that role is.

While Falade’s name may not jump off the stat sheet the way some of his teammates’ do, his energy and effort on both ends of the court are critical to his team’s success. And if you ask coach Bryan Conover what makes him such a special person and valuable player, you had better be ready for a lengthy response.

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BCP PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Benjamin’s Rigdon on an unbelievable scoring pace

He entered last week as the leading scorer in the entire Big Country, putting up more than 37 points per game. So few will be surprised to hear that Benamin’s Grayson Ridgon has put up yet another performance worthy of our Big Country Preps Player of the Week Award. 

Yet last week’s numbers were big, even by his standards. 

Helping the Mustangs to consecutive routs of Harrold (100-36) and Crowell (93-53), the sophomore guard poured in 50 and 51 points respectively and even found time to snag a head-turning 20 rebounds in the Crowell win. 

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THIS WEEK IN BOYS BASKETBALL: Area playoff, title races continue to take shape with loaded slate on deck

The winter weather expected to hit the Big Country this week can’t cool off the area boys basketball playoff races, which continue to heat up as we approach the final three weeks of the regular season. 

Here’s a look at some of the biggest matchups in store for this week as well as a look back at some of last week’s most important games:

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GAME STORY: Coleman boys ride big third quarter to key road win over Colorado City

COLORADO CITY — Leading Colorado City just 22-20 at halftime Friday, the Coleman boys basketball team opened the third quarter with a 6-0 run and protected that cushion the rest of the way for a 49-41 win to close the first half of District 8-2A play with a perfect 5-0 record.

That surge out of halftime was part of a 15-6 third-quarter run for the Bluecats that turned a tie game in the final minute of the second quarter into an 11-point lead by the start of the fourth.

The Wolves never got closer than seven points in the the final eight minutes, seeing their district record fall to 3-2 with the loss.

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GAME STORY: Wylie boys lose thriller as Lubbock Monterey sweeps doubleheader

Martin Marshall had the look that Wylie wanted as the clock was ticking down.

The junior guard caught a pass from Hunter Hood with two seconds left and unleashed a 3-pointer from the wing in an attempt to send the Bulldogs’ District 4-5A showdown with Lubbock Monterey into overtime.

But Marshall’s shot bounced off the rim and out, allowing the Plainsmen to escape Bulldog Gym with a 56-53 win in which neither team was ever able to take complete control.

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FEATURE: Young Wylie Bulldogs riding wave of momentum into second round of district play

With an 11-15 overall record and a 3-4 mark in District 4-5A play, the Wylie boys basketball team has faced its share of adversity this season.

In fact, due to an extended playoff run by the school’s football team that delayed the arrival of several key players and a handful of instances where others missed time to illness or injury, few teams have played more lineups or experienced more roster upheaval. 

But after a tumultuous start that saw the Bulldogs drop six of their first seven games and 11 of their first 14, coach Gregg Ruffin’s young squad seems to finally be rounding into form.

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FEATURE: Abilene basketball officials work hard to ensure games go smoothly

From coaches and players to clock operators and official scorekeepers, it takes a lot of people to ensure that basketball games are run smoothly across the United States.

But none of the games could happen if not for two or three others on the court that hope you don’t notice them — the referees.

For Tuesday’s Southtown Showdown between Cooper and Wylie, the Abilene Basketball Chapter of the Texas High School Basketball Officials Association gave BigCountryPreps.com an all-access, behind-the-scenes look at what all goes into a game for them.

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Big Country Boys Basketball Statistical Leaders (through Jan. 26): Scoring, rebounding, assists, steals, FT Pct., pass deflections and blocks

Below are the current season statistical leaders for Big Country boys basketball through Jan. 26.

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

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GAME STORY: Lubbock Monterey cruises past Abilene High for doubleheader sweep

A slow start doomed the Abilene High boys basketball team Wednesday against District 4-5A leader Lubbock Monterey, which scored the first 12 points and 18 of the first 20 in a 64-39 win at Eagle Gym.

The Eagles, who fell to 10-14 overall and 2-5 in league play with the loss, didn’t get on the board until the final seconds of the first quarter, when Sawyer Moss’ layup cut the Plainsmen’s lead to 12-2. But that was as close as AHS would get the rest of the way as Monterey opened the second quarter on an 8-2 run and pushed its lead to 35-11 by the opening minute of the second half.

The lopsided affair closed a forgettable doubleheader for Abilene High, which saw its girls defeated 79-25 by the top-ranked Lady Plainsmen in the evening’s early game.

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GAME STORY: Wylie boys win wild one at Cooper; fast start fuels Lady Cougars past Lady Bulldogs

About a second passed between the time Kam Gray’s game-tying 3-point attempt first banged off the rim and when it finally came back down to the basket. But it felt like much longer for those in attendance — and especially those on each bench. 

With his team trailing crosstown rival Wylie by three points and just over seven seconds remaining, the Cooper guard raced down the court and launched a shot from just in front of the CHS coaching staff. The high-arcing heave, which was on target but a little long, bounced high off the rim and came down over the cylinder, but after clanging off both sides of the rim it fell harmlessly to the floor, preserving a 62-59 win for the visiting Bulldogs.

The closing sequence was fitting end for a wild game that almost saw Cooper erase an eight-point deficit in the final 48.6 seconds.

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GAME STORY: Merkel, Clyde split varsity doubleheader with back-to-back convincing wins

CLYDE — With an icy rain falling outside, the Merkel and Clyde varsity basketball teams met for an early doubleheader on Tuesday in an effort to stay ahead of the weather and stay and ahead of each other in the District 6-3A standings. 

The twin bill produced a split result, with the Merkel girls opening the afternoon with a 51-36 win over their host to remain in contention for a high playoff seed. The Clyde boys returned the favor in Game 2, handing the Badgers a 63-26 loss to cripple MHS’ playoff chances. 

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BIG COUNTRY PREPS PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Cisco’s Landenberger catches fire, takes this week’s award

 If you haven’t heard of Cisco’s Gavin Landenberger yet, that’s understandable. He and his talented brother, Aiden, were move-ins from Mississippi late last year and weren’t eligible to play varsity ball at CHS. 

Now freely able to play, the siblings are making up for lost time and Gavin is currently making enough noise to draw attention from the entire area. 

Named as our Big Country Preps Player of the Week, the senior guard absolutely went off last week, beginning with a 28-point night in a win over Albany. He followed that three days later with 32 points in a come-from-behind win at Stamford.  The latter saw him hit four straight-3-pointers in an 18-point third quarter. 

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GAME STORY: Cooper boys stay hot with win at Abilene High; Lady Eagles rally for first district victory

Riding a three-game winning streak into its first matchup with rival Abilene High, the Cooper boys basketball team stayed hot Friday night, closing out the first half of District 4-5A play with a 50-41 win in front of a packed house at Eagle Gym.

The victory, which improved the Cougars to 14-8 overall and 5-1 in league play, kept CHS just a game back of district leader Lubbock Monterey (18-8, 6-0) and completed an exciting night of basketball that saw Abilene High edge the Lady Coogs 51-50 in the first game of Friday’s doubleheader.

Leading just 32-31 at the end of three quarters, coach Bryan Conover’s squad pulled away in the fourth, outscoring the Eagles 18-10 over the final eight minutes to close out the win and set up a big home matchup with Wylie on Tuesday.

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GAME STORY: Stamford girls force first-place tie with win over Cisco, Landenberger shoots the lights out for CHS in the nightcap

STAMFORD — A pair of area rivals clashed twice on Friday as the Cisco girls and boys basketball teams paid a visit to Stamford for an important varsity doubleheader in District 10-2A. 

The Stamford girls rallied to take the opener, 33-29 to force a first-place tie in the league race. The Cisco boys returned the favor, rallying from a 25-18 halftime deficit behind a brilliant performance from Gavin Landenberger to beat the Bulldogs 59-51 and remain in the district title hunt. 

The Loboes remained within a game of first place behind league-leading Hawley with the win.

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Big Country Boys Basketball Statistical Leaders (through Jan. 19): Scoring, rebounding, assists, steals, FT Pct., pass deflections and blocks

Below are the current season statistical leaders for Big Country boys basketball through Jan. 19.

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

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GAME STORY: Wylie records sweep of Abilene High in crosstown hoops

The Wylie boys basketball team knew that it needed the student body to be rowdy in Tuesday’s District 4-5A showdown against crosstown rival Abilene High.

After a relatively quiet first quarter, the students got loud and then made a world of difference in the second half as the Bulldogs took a 54-45 win at Bulldog Gym to close out their first half of district play.

Wylie coach Gregg Ruffin was effusive in his praise of the student body and the difference it made in the game.

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BIG COUNTRY PREPS PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Cisco’s Landenberger captures this week’s award

A limited number of minutes, if the numbers compute correctly, can figure strongly in our selection of Player of the Week. 

That is the case with this week’s winner, Gavin Landenberger of Cisco, who opened the week with 29 points, five boards, three assists, and five steals in a win over Haskell last Tuesday.

However, what sealed the deal for the senior guard, was a 20-point, four-rebound, five-assist and five-steal game he charted in a win over Hamlin — numbers he posted in only 18 minutes of playing time.

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THIS WEEK IN BOYS BASKETBALL: Rivalry matchups headline Tuesday, Friday slate

As we continue to roll toward February, we’re learning more each week about our area’s teams and district races. That trend should certainly continue this week, which features a number of rivalry games among its key matchups.

Here’s what we have on the Big Country boys basketball slate for Tuesday on Friday. 

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FEATURE: Steady Abilene High senior Breckenridge a calming force for young Eagles

With a game that’s more substance than style, and a quiet, calm demeanor, Abilene High senior Jake Breckenridge has a way of fading into the background at times. 

If you’re not paying attention, it can be easy to miss the many contributions he makes to Eagles basketball on a daily basis.

But if you ask coach Justin Reese, few (if any) players are more important to AHS’ success than Breckenridge, whose steady leadership and production have helped a young team grow up quickly this season.

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GAME STORY: Cooper boys outlast Lubbock Coronado for big district victory

Last week, while hosting Lubbock Monterey in a big District 4-5A matchup, the Cooper boys basketball team couldn’t execute well enough down the stretch to escape a tough home loss. Facing similar circumstances seven days later against Lubbock Coronado, the Cougars found a way.

Coach Bryan Conover’s squad rallied from a 42-39 fourth-quarter deficit Friday at Cougar Gym, going on a 4-0 run over the final 43 seconds to hand the Mustangs a 49-46 loss. 

The thrilling victory pulled Cooper even with Coronado in the district standings at 3-1 — a half-game behind district leader Monterey, which was idle Friday.

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GAME STORY: Anson girls, Albany boys take key District 10-2A wins

ANSON — Locked in a tight battle after the first quarter, the Anson girls exploded in the second and rode the momentum all the way to a 55-35 win over Albany as the two squads closed out the first half of District 10-2A play on Friday night.

Meagan McWhirter had a big night for the Lady Tigers, scoring a game-high 18 points, as Anson improved to 15-8 overall but, more importantly, 3-3 in league play.

Anson is tied for third place in the district after the first round of games, which is critical with the Lady Tigers having just three more home games the rest of the year.

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GAME STORY: Cisco routs youthful Hamlin twice to sweep varsity doubleheader and remain in district title contention

CISCO — With very young, inexperienced Hamlin basketball teams coming to town on Friday, the Cisco girls and boys took advantage of the opportunity to strengthen their positions in District 10-2A with a pair of lopsided wins. 

The Lady Loboes opened the evening with a 67-20 win over HHS, after which the Cisco boys handed the young Pied Pipers a 90-25 blowout in Game 2 of a varsity doubleheader. 

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Big Country Boys Basketball Statistical Leaders (through Jan. 12): Scoring, rebounding, assists, steals, FT Pct., pass deflections and blocks

Below are the current season statistical leaders for Big Country boys basketball through Jan. 12.

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

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GAME STORY: Abilene High boys rally for key district win over Lubbock Cooper

Needing a home win over Lubbock Cooper to get back into the thick of the District 4-5A playoff race, the Abilene High boys basketball team didn’t get off the start it wanted to Tuesday at Eagle Gym.

But after going to halftime down 23-13, the Eagles used a 27-point third quarter to wrestle momentum away from the visiting Pirates and held Cooper off from there for a 55-50 victory.

The win pulled AHS (10-11 overall) back to .500 in league play at 2-2, moving coach Justin Reese’s team into the fourth spot in the district standings — a half-game back of crosstown rival Abilene Cooper for third. 

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