Category: Cooper Cougars

Evan Ren’s 2020 Gym Rat Team: The hardest workers in the Big Country

Scoring and rebounding is only part of the story when it comes to basketball. Behind the scenes and beyond the view of the public, is where character is often measured. And it is with our Big Country Preps Gym Rat Team that we salute the individuals who exude the most of it. 

This team isn’t about who the best players are, though some of the area’s top players are on this list. 

The Gym Rat team is about effort, discipline, toughness, coachability and selflessness — traits that coaches love above all else and that championship foundations are built upon.

It is for that reason that our Gym Rat team is selected entirely by area coaches, described in their own words. And Big Country Preps is absolutely honored to present these individuals to you — the best “team players” (boys and girls) that the area had to offer during the 2019-20 season.

Players are listed in no particular order. 

Enjoy.

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

All-Big Country Preps Boys Basketball Superlatives: Brewer, Medina, Lenard head of 2020 class

Here are our superlative award winners for the 2020 All-Big Country Preps boys basketball team. For the rest of this year’s selections, click the links below.

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

2020 All-Big Country Preps Boys Basketball Team: First-Team Roster

Here are our first-team selections for the 2020 All-Big Country Preps boys basketball team. For the rest of this year’s boys and girls basketball selections, click the links below.

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

2020 All-Big Country Preps Boys Basketball Team: Second-Team Roster

Here are our second-team selections for the 2020 All-Big Country Preps boys basketball team. For the rest of this year’s boys and girls basketball selections, click the links below.

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

2020 All-Big Country Preps Boys Basketball Team: Third-Team Roster (w/ honorable mention)

Here are our third-team selections for the 2020 All-Big Country Preps boys basketball team. For the rest of this year’s boys and girls basketball selections, click the links below.

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

All Big Country Preps Girls Basketball Superlatives: Galvin sisters, Gonzales take top spots

Here are our superlative award winners for the 2020 All-Big Country Preps girls basketball team. For the rest of this year’s selections, click the links below.

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

2020 All-Big Country Preps Girls Basketball Team: First-Team Roster

Here are our third-team selections for the 2020 All-Big Country Preps girls basketball team. For the rest of this year’s boys and girls basketball selections, click the links below.

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

2020 All Big Country Preps Girls Basketball Team: Second team starters and reserves

Here are our third-team selections for the 2020 All-Big Country Preps girls basketball team. For the rest of this year’s boys and girls basketball selections, click the links below.

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

2020 All-Big Country Preps Girls Basketball Team: Third-Team Roster (w/ honorable mention)

Here are our third-team selections for the 2020 All-Big Country Preps girls basketball team. For the rest of this year’s boys and girls basketball selections, click the links below.

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

FEATURE: Senior-led AHS, Wylie softball teams still hoping to finish what they’ve started

In a way, the COVID-19 (coronavirus) crisis has put everyone on equal footing. Life has effectively been put on hold for adults and students alike, and the only certainty for either group is uncertainty.

This reality has hit close to home for veteran coaches Heather Collier and Jim Reese, whose Wylie Lady Bulldogs and Abilene High Lady Eagles have, in less than two weeks, gone from district title hopefuls to just hoping for a chance to take the field again in 2010.

Like all softball teams in the state of Texas, Wylie and Abilene High are in a holding pattern, adhering to the University Interscholastic League’s suspension of all sanctioned sports, which was extended from March 29 to May 4 on Thursday. But with senior-led teams that were off to outstanding starts, the waiting game’s a little extra painful for Collier and Reese.

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

LOCAL BASEBALL ROUNDUP: Wylie, Cooper fall to open league play

ALEDO — The Wylie baseball team opened District 4-5A play with a tough 3-2 road loss to Aledo, seeing 2-0 lead evaporate over the final four innings.

The Bulldogs scored single runs in the first and third innings to go up early, but the Bearcats trimmed the lead to one run in the fourth before completing the rally with a two-run sixth.

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

LOCAL SOFTBALL ROUNDUP: Cooper routs Wichita Falls to open district, AHS wins again

WICHITA FALLS — The Cooper softball team opened District 4-5A play in dominant fashion Tuesday, routing Wichita Falls High 12-2 in five innings to improve to 8-4 on the season.

With the game tied at 2 after one inning, the Lady Cougars exploded for four runs in the second inning and five in the third before putting the run-rule into effect with one in the top of the fifth.

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

BIG COUNTRY PREPS PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Multi-talented AHS star Roberson takes top spot

Abilene High junior Trakenya (KK) Roberson is probably best known for her work on the basketball court, where she’s been weaving through defenses for one layup after another since she was a freshman. 

But this speedy standout’s skills aren’t confined to the hardwood. She’s also an excellent softball player where she serves as a starting outfielder and leadoff hitter for the 15-4 Lady Eagles.

Last week, she put her many talents on display in leading AHS to four wins in six games, earning Big Country Preps Player of the Week honors in the process. 

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

BIG COUNTRY PREPS PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Clyde’s Turner takes top spot with two perfectos

In a week that saw a ton of noteworthy performances, Clyde’s Kaitlyn Turner earned the top on our list. 

Aside from a sterling effort at the plate that saw the senior pitcher finish 9 of 15 with three home runs, nine RBIs and nine runs scored, she saved her top efforts for the circle.

There, she charted two perfect games, the first of which occurred in a 14-0 win over Lubbock High on Feb. 28. A day later, she delivered another in a 10-0 win over Brownwood. 

She struck out 23 batters in just 10 innings of work during the no-nos, both of which ended in the run rule. 

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

BCP Baseball Position Rankings: Outfielders

For Day 4 of our five-part baseball position rankings series, we focus our binoculars on the outfield grass.

After highlighting the Big Country’s top pitchers, catchers and infielders earlier this week, we now do the same with the area’s best outfielders, ranking our top 10 with others to watch in 2020.

We hope you enjoy our list.

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

BCP Baseball Position Rankings: Infielders

After ranking  the top pitchers and catchers on the Big Country baseball scene the past two nights, we now turn our attention to the infield.

For the third installment in our five-part position rankings series, we list our top-10 infielders in the area with a list of others to watch in 2020.

We hope you enjoy reading through our rankings.

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

LOCAL HOOPS ROUNDUP: Cooper, Wylie boys close season with bi-district losses

SLATON — The Cooper boys basketball team played right with Amarillo Palo Duro for three quarters Tuesday, but the Dons pulled away in the fourth to win the Region I-5A bi-district playoff 65-50.

Leading by just four points at the end of the third quarter, Palo Duro outscored Cooper 17-6 over the final eight minutes to end the Cougars’ season at 12-20.

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

BCP Baseball Position Rankings: Catchers

After opening our baseball position rankings series with the pitchers on Monday, it’s time to shift our attention to their battery mates.

For the second installment in our five-part series, we celebrate the Big Country’s top catchers, ranking our top 10 with a list of others to watch in 2020.

We hope you enjoy our list.

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

FEATURE: Marc Case — A Basketball Love Story … Former McMurry player, Cooper coach has Clyde in playoffs

Marc Case is at it again, taking over a high school basketball team in urgent need of a coach and turning it into a winner.

This time it’s at Clyde — the second season of his second stint as the Bulldogs’ head coach. The passionate, fiery, old-school fundamentals coach who began his career in the 1970s has guided the Bulldogs back into the playoffs with a 19-14 record. Clyde will face Early (also 19-14) in a Class 3A boys’ bidistrict game at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in Brownwood Coliseum.

“I always loved playing in the Coliseum,” the seemingly ageless 68-year-old Case said the other day. “I know it’s only five miles for Early to travel and 70 miles for us, but it’s a great place to play with a great atmosphere.”

Some might suggest Tuesday’s game will bring Case’s basketball career full circle, considering he played multiple times in Brownwood Coliseum from 1969-1973 as a McMurry guard going against the Howard Payne Yellow Jackets when both colleges were Lone Star Conference members.

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

BCP Baseball Position Rankings: Pitchers

After kicking off the spring sports season with our softball position rankings last week, it’s time to turn our attention to the the baseball field and the names we’ll be hearing and reading about throughout the 2020 campaign.

For the first installment in a five-part series that will cover all position groups on the area baseball scene, we’ll be taking a look at the Big Country’s top pitchers, ranking our top 10 with a list of others to watch this fall.

We hope you enjoy reading through our list.

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

BIG COUNTRY PREPS PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Cisco’s Hearne has huge night in home finale

What better way to say goodbye to the home folks than with a career night? 

Cisco senior Gibson Hearne, who has been one of the area’s top players for the better part of two years, did exactly that last week in a 112-49 win over Comanche is the Loboes’ home finale. 

Get this: 35 points, 17 rebounds, seven assists and five steals.  

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

GAME STORY: Cooper boys claim 4-5A’s third seed with another win over Wylie

It might have been Abilene High’s Eagle Gym, but on Friday night, Noah Garcia took ownership for Cooper.

The junior had a game-high 27 points — 20 in the first half — as the Cougars knocked off Wylie for the third time this season with a 62-50 win, claiming the third seed from District 4-5A.

“We are going to go best-of-seven,” Cooper coach Bryan Conover said, jokingly. “It just worked out that way (to play) four times in a year. They’re really good and we didn’t have to spend much time scouting. We knew what we were getting into, and the kids came out and played well.”

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

BCP Softball Position Rankings: Infielders

After highlighting the top pitchers and catchers on the Big Country softball scene the past two nights, it’s time to turn our attention to the field.

For the third installment in our five-part position rankings series, we list our top-10 infielders in the area for the 2020 season.

We hope you enjoy reading through our rankings.

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

BCP Podcast No. 82: Evan, Daniel talk girls and boys playoff basketball

With the area girls heading into the area round of the playoffs and the boys settling their final tiebreakers to determine seeding, it’s time for Evan and Daniel to take a good look around the area. 

All the top favorites, all the top surprises and what they’re up against will be this week’s topic of conversation. 

GAME RECAP: No. 14 Monterey ends Cooper girls’ season in bi-district round

BIG SPRING — The Cooper girls basketball team saw its best season in more than a decade come to an end in the bi-district round of the Region I-5A playoffs Tuesday, falling 77-38 to No. 14 Lubbock Monterey at Howard College’s Dorothy Garrett Coliseum.

Cooper, which topped the 20-win mark and earned a share of its first district title since 2007, closed its first season under coach Arsenio Geter at 24-12.

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

GAME STORY: Cooper boys clinch playoff berth with win over Wylie

Needing a win to avoid a playoff with Wichita Falls High for District 4-5A’s fourth and final playoff spot, the Cooper boys basketball team came through in the clutch against crosstown rival Wylie on Tuesday.

Leading 14-10 after a quarter, the Cougars used a 15-6 run through the second period to take a 13-point lead into halftime and kept the injury-ravaged Bulldogs at arm’s length the rest of the way in securing a 66-54 at Cougar Gym.

The victory pulled Cooper into a third-place tie with Wylie at 3-5 in the district play, setting up a rematch between these teams at 7 p.m. Friday at Abilene High to decide the third and fourth seeds in 4-5A.

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

BCP Softball Position Rankings: Pitchers

With softball season kicking off this week, it’s time to learn the names of or be reintroduced to the players you’ll be reading about throughout the 2020 campaign.

For the first installment in a five-part series that will cover all position groups on the area softball scene, we’ll be taking a look at the Big Country’s top pitchers, ranking our top 10 with a list of others to watch this fall.

We hope you enjoy reading through our list.

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

BIG COUNTRY PREPS PLAYER OF THE WEEK Brownwood’s McCarty earns this week’s top spot

He might be better known as a football player. 

But Baylor-bound defensive back Adonis McCarty Jr. is more than capable of lighting things up on the hardcourt as well. Just ask Glen Rose and Mineral Wells, both of which were torched by the BHS senior last week. 

Averaging 25.5 points and 7.5 rebounds through two games, McCarty helped Brownwood clinch the district title with a 33-point, eight-rebound, five-assist performance in a 71-67 win over Glen Rose. 

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

DANIEL YOUNGBLOOD: This week in Big Country boys basketball (Feb. 17-23)

It’s hard to believe, but we have reached the final scheduled date of the boys basketball regular season. After Tuesday, all that will separate us from the playoffs are a handful of seeding games and coin flips.

But while most Big Country districts have already crowned their champions, plenty of intrigue remains heading into this final night of district games.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at this week’s top matchups and outcomes last week’s key results.

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

FEATURE: Expectations sky high for Cooper freshman Speights

First-year Cooper girls basketball coach Arsenio Geter isn’t shy in his praise of point guard Kyla Speights. Nor is he particularly worried about overloading the freshman’s plate.

In fact, he’s already calling her the future of his program.

But Geter only puts those expectations — and the accompanying pressure — on Speights because he firmly believes she can handle it. And because he wants to make sure she understands the types of things she’s capable of and the enormous potential she has.

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

LOCAL HOOPS ROUNDUP: Fourth-quarter woes doom AHS boys in loss to Trinity

EULESS — Playing Euless Trinity on Friday with a chance to clinch at least a share of the District 3-6A championship, the Abilene High boys basketball team suffered a disappointing setback in its final game of the regular season.

Leading 31-28 at halftime and 42-40 after three quarters, the Eagles were outscored 22-9 over the final eight minutes to fall 62-51 for just their second district loss of the season.

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

GAME STORY: Cooper girls stifle Wylie down stretch to take District 4-5A’s No. 3 seed

Leading Wylie 40-37 with 4½ minutes remaining Friday at Abilene High’s Eagle Gym, the Cooper girls basketball team kept the Lady Bulldogs off the board for the next four minutes to secure a 46-42 win and lock up the No. 3 seed out of District 4-5A.

The Lady Cougars, who shared the district title with Wylie, Aledo and Wichita Falls Rider, bounced back from a 32-24 loss to Aledo on the first day of a four-team seeding tournament Thursday to beat their crosstown rival a day later and avoid a first-round playoff matchup with top-ranked and defending state champion Amarillo High.

That burden will instead fall to the Lady Bulldogs, who dropped a 48-32 decision to Rider on Thursday.

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

GAME STORY: Wylie, Cooper girls fall to open District 4-5A seeding tournament

GRAHAM — It was a rough night for local teams on Day 1 of the District 4-5A girls basketball seeding tournament, and both Cooper and Wylie will have a Day 2 as a result.

Hoping to win their semifinal game to earn one of the district’s top-two playoff seeds and avoid having to play on Friday, the Lady Bulldogs dropped a 48-32 decision to Wichita Falls Rider in Thursday’s first game before the Lady Cougars fell 32-24 to Aledo in the nightcap.

Cooper and Wylie, which earned a four-way share of the district title with Rider and Aledo, will now meet at 5:30 p.m. Friday at Abilene High to decide who takes 4-5A’s No. 3 seed and avoids top-ranked Amarillo High in next week’s bi-district playoff. 

Aledo and Rider flipped for the No. 1 seed, with the former taking that distinction.

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

BCP Podcast No. 81: Evan, Daniel talk Ballinger boys hoops with coach Jamal Anene

In his four years as Ballinger’s boys basketball coach, Jamal Anene has built the Bearcats into a consistent playoff team. The same is true this year of BHS, which enters a big game Friday against San Angelo TLCA at 23-8 overall and 8-2 in District 4-3A.

Earlier this week, Anene took a few minutes to chat with Big Country Preps’ Evan Ren and Daniel Youngblood about this season, his goals for the program and his unique background for the Capital Farm Credit Wednesday Night Podcast.

Also in this episode, Evan and Daniel discuss the end of the girls basketball regular season and some of the biggest storylines in the final week of boys district games.

DANIEL YOUNGBLOOD: This week in Big Country boys basketball (Feb. 10-16)

It seems like basketball just started a few weeks ago, but — believe it or not — we’re down to the final two weeks of the boys hoops regular season.

And with just three more dates remaining before the playoffs begin, the urgency has never been higher for area teams. Whether they’re fighting for a district title, jockeying to improve playoff seeding or just trying to find a way into the postseason bracket, Big Country squads will have plenty to play for in jam-packed Tuesday and Friday slates this week.

Without wasting any more time, let’s take a look at what the schedule has in store.

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

LOCAL HOOPS ROUNDUP: McGee’s buzzer beater lifts AHS boys over Haltom

HALTOM CITY — Jalen McGee hit a long pull-up jumper just before the buzzer on Friday to lift the Abilene High boys basketball team to a 46-44 win over Haltom City Haltom in a key District 3-6A road game.

With the game tied at 44-all, the junior point guard dribbled the ball past midcourt and hesitated for a moment before driving just inside the 3-point line and pulling up just beyond the right elbow. A Haltom post player contested the shot, but McGee’s jumper found nothing but net to help the Eagles improve to 22-9 overall and 9-1 in league play.

Those points, McGee’s 18th and 19th of the game, completed a come-from-behind win for the Eagles, who trailed 17-5 after a rough first quarter.

https://twitter.com/ahseaglehoops/status/1225984878291963904

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

SIGNING DAY: Eight Cooper Cougars announce college destinations

After helping the Cooper football team to an 11-win season in the fall, eight members of the Cougar senior class will be taking their talents to the next level after announcing their college decisions during a signing day ceremony Friday at Cougar Gym.

The ceremony, which was delayed two days by the snowstorm that hit Abilene early Wednesday morning, saw all-state cornerback Dylon Davis sign to play for Division II Midwestern State, linebacker Aeneas Favors accept a preferred walk-on opportunity with Division I Oklahoma State and six others commit to stay in town and play for Division III power Hardin-Simmons.

Comprising the list of future HSU Cowboys were the offensive line trio of Devon Cosby, Gage McVey and Justin Smith, the defensive line duo of Colton Grimes and Jorrian Moses, and safety LaDainian Diaz, who recovered from an ACL injury that cost him his junior season to put up big numbers as a senior.

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

BIG COUNTRY GIRLS STATISTICAL LEADERS (Scoring, rebounds, assists and steals through Feb. 7)

Big Country Preps publishes area boys and girls basketball statistical leaders each Thursday at 7 p.m.

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. 

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

BIG COUNTRY BOYS STATISTICAL LEADERS (Scoring, rebounds, assists and steals through Feb. 7)

Big Country Preps publishes area boys and girls basketball statistical leaders each Thursday at 7 p.m.

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. 

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

BCP Podcast No. 80: Dublin’s Parker talks ‘Flyin’ Lions’ basketball with Evan, Daniel

During his time at Dublin, boys basketball coach Will Parker has introduced an up-tempo, run-and-gun playing style that has not only increased enthusiasm around his program,but has helped the “Flyin’ Lions” win games. That’s a true again this season, which has seen the DHS boys produce a 20-9 record to date.

Earlier this week, Parker took some time to chat with Big Country Preps’ Evan Ren and Daniel Youngblood about this year’s team, his philosophy on tempo and the success he’s enjoyed for the Capital Farm Credit Wednesday Night Podcast.

Also in this week’s episode, Evan and Daniel discuss the top upcoming matchups on the Big Country hoops scene and give their thoughts on Wylie’s decision to promote longtime defensive coordinator Clay Martin to head football coach.