Category: Cooper Cougars

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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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. 

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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. 

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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. 

GAME STORY: Cooper boys secure big win over WFHS, girls rout Lady Coyotes

After letting a late lead slip away in a 53-52 loss at Wichita Falls High in their district opener on Jan. 17, the Cooper Cougars had little choice but to beat the Coyotes in Tuesday’s return trip if they hoped to secure a playoff spot out of District 4-5A.

Tipping off 2½ hours earlier than scheduled to beat the arrival of a forecasted winter storm, coach Bryan Conover’s squad did just that.

Leading by just six points at halftime after a rocky second quarter, the Coogs outscored the Coyotes 23-7 in the third to run away with a 69-51 home win and pull even with Aledo for the third spot in the 4-5A standings.

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UIL sends Abilene High back west, Cooper east, keeps Wylie in holding pattern

Abilene High will be making its return to the Little Southwest Conference, Cooper will be heading east for the first time ever and Wylie will be staying put after an eventful realignment day for Abilene’s three public high schools.

The trio learned their new district situations for the 2020-21 and 2021-22 school years on Monday morning during the University Interscholastic League’s biennial reclassification and realignment, and each will be facing a different scenario in their new district home.

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DANIEL YOUNGBLOOD: This week in Big Country boys basketball (Feb. 3-9)

It’s hard to believe, but we’re rapidly approaching the home stretch of the high school boys basketball season.

District races are starting to take shape, making every game important for the teams still in district title/playoff contention.

With that said, let’s take our weekly look at the top matchups this week and biggest results from last week’s games.   

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If you’re not subscribed at Big Country Preps yet, here’s what you missed last month …

If you’re not subscribed at BigCountryPreps.com yet, this is what you’ve missed over the past month:
— 16 player features,
— On-site coverage of 18 of the area’s top games
— Boys and girls stat leaders (updated weekly)
— Area standings (updated twice weekly)
— Columns
— Our All-Big Country Preps football teams
— Evan Ren’s Big Country True Grit Football Team
— Four BCP Players of the Week
— Breaking sports stories. 
For as little as $3 per month you can gain access to the most comprehensive coverage of high school football, basketball, baseball, softball and track in the Big Country. 
We have three low subscription options for you to choose from — monthly, semiannual and annual — with prices that always stay the same. No sign-up gimmicks here.  
Here’s a look at the entirety of our January coverage (plus links):

Continue reading “If you’re not subscribed at Big Country Preps yet, here’s what you missed last month …”

GAME STORY: Seniors Brooks, Blair lead Wylie boys past Cooper

Cooper’s Josh Henry went for a game-high 26 points Friday, but it wasn’t enough to fuel the Cougars to a win over crosstown rival Wylie in an important District 4-5A matchup.

Paced by Payton Brooks, who had 18 points of his own, the Bulldogs outscored the Coogs in every quarter but the third, using a 17-14 fourth period to close out a 50-44 win in front of a packed crowd at Bulldog Gym.

The game was tight throughout, with neither team leading by more than seven points, but Wylie made the plays it needed throughout to complete a doubleheader sweep.

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GAME STORY: Wylie girls reverse script in big win over crosstown rival Cooper

When the Wylie girls basketball team played Cooper the first time this season, the Lady Bulldogs trailed 41-20 by halftime in a game that was decided by the midway point of the second quarter.

Friday night’s rematch at Bulldog Gym was a different story entirely.

Jumping out to a 10-2 lead after one quarter of play, Wylie controlled the first half before withstanding a strong Cooper run in the third to earn a 38-33 win and claim a share of the District 4-5A lead.

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BIG COUNTRY BOYS STATISTICAL LEADERS (Scoring, rebounds, assists and steals through Jan. 30)

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. 

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BIG COUNTRY GIRLS STATISTICAL LEADERS (Scoring, rebounds, assists and steals through Jan. 30)

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. 

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BCP Podcast No. 79: Geter talks Cooper girls hoops turnaround with Evan, Daniel

Sitting at 22-8 overall and 4-1 in District 4-5A play, the Cooper girls basketball team is in the midst of its best season in more than a decade under the leadership of first-year coach Arsenio Geter.

Earlier this week, Geter took a few minutes to chat with Big Country Preps’ Evan Ren and Daniel Youngblood about the Lady Cougars’ turnaround, the goals for the remainder of the season and the future of the program for this week’s Capital Farm Credit Wednesday Night Podcast.

Also in this episode, Evan and Daniel discuss some of the Big Country’s biggest surprises of the boys and girls basketball season.

GAME STORY: Freshman Speights fuels Cooper girls past Aledo, into sole possession of 4-5A lead

Trailing Aledo 4-2 after a defensive first quarter, the Cooper girls basketball team needed a spark Tuesday at Cougar Gym. 

They got it from freshman Kyla Speights.

The speedy 5-foot-2 point guard scored 12 of her game-high 16 points in the second quarter, including eight during a 12-0 run to start the period, to give the the Lady Cougars a lead they’d never relinquish in 37-30 win.

The victory avenged Cooper’s only district loss — a 50-45 defeat on Jan. 10 at Aledo — and, as it would turn out, was enough to put coach Arsenio Geter’s team alone atop the District 4-5A standings thanks to Wylie’s 50-46 at Wichita Falls Rider on Tuesday.

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DANIEL YOUNGBLOOD: This week in Big Country boys basketball (Jan. 27-Feb. 2)

We’re closing in on February and the Big Country’s boys basketball district races are heating up. 

With most of our leagues at or approaching the midpoint of their schedules, we’ve seen championship favorites established in some districts while other races remain wide open. And in most cases, playoff opportunities still remain for those who have fallen out of district title contention. 

With so much left to be decided, let’s take a quick look at the biggest storylines on the local and area boys basketball scene this week.

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BIG COUNTRY BOYS STATISTICAL LEADERS (Scoring, rebounds, assists and steals through Jan. 23)

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.

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