Here are the standings for all boys basketball districts involving Big Country schools through Jan. 18 (with last week’s results, Tuesday’s schedule):
The Cisco Loboes may have only played one game last week (beating Hamlin 76-41). But senior guard Layne Edgar made the most of it.
Scoring 39 points with a 5-of-9 tally from 3-point range, he narrowly missed a monstrous triple-double, finishing with nine rebounds and eight assists.
In his spare time, he collected six steals in a truly dominating performance worthy of our Big Country Preps Player of the Week award for the Week ending Jan. 16.
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.
Photos may be purchased for $7 each by clicking on the small shopping cart emblem below the lower right corner of the gallery. The “BigCountryPreps.com” watermark will be removed from all purchased photos.
EASTLAND —Seeing their final action before the holiday break, the Brock boys and girls varsity basketball teams will enter Christmas on a high note, having completed a doubleheader sweep of Eastland on Tuesday at Marshall Gym.
The girls opened the afternoon twin bill with 48-28 victory, after which the Brock boys capped the day with a 72-22 win in the district 8-3A opener for both teams.
Claire Lewis scored 14 points and Abbi Mathis added 11 more to pace the Lady Eagles (5-6, 2-1), who blew the game open with an 11-0 run to start the second half.
VIDEO PODCAST NO. 11: Abilene coach Mike Fullen joins the show. Evan Ren and Dan Youngblood give the most complete look at the Big Country Playoff picture available from any media source in the Big Country.
Top games of this week discussed: May vs. Sterling City, Jim Ned vs. Mt. Vernon
Top games of last week discussed: Jim Ned vs. Pilot Point, Eastland vs. Gunter, Cisco vs. Post, Strawn vs. Richland Springs, May vs. Blum.
ARLINGTON — A magical season for the Eastland Mavericks came to an end on Thursday night with a Region II-3A Division II final loss to second-ranked and defending state champion Gunter 61-28 at Globe Life Park in Arlington.
The Mavericks were unable to contain Gunter’s option attack as the Tigers ran for 452 yards while racking up several big plays through the air for touchdowns as they toyed with Eastland all night.
Gunter quarterback Hudson Graham accounted for nearly 400 total yards and had a hand in seven touchdowns, four rushing and three passing.
Three games into this season, the Eastland Mavericks found themselves at a crossroads.
Sitting at 0-3 after some disciplinary and COVID issues had derailed the start of a promising campaign, coach James Morton’s squad could either give into the adversity it was facing and resign itself to a disappointing year or it could embrace its situation, grow from its struggles and turn things around.
Ten games and 10 wins later, it’s clear now the choice the Mavericks made.
With a 10-3 record entering its Region I-3A Division II title game against defending state champion Gunter (12-1) on Thursday, Eastland is just two wins away from its second state championship game appearance in school history. And with an intimate knowledge of all his team has gone through to get to this point, Morton is as pleased as can be with the position his Mavs find themselves in.
LAST WEEK: 7-3, .700
SEASON TOTAL: 429-91, .825
We enter December with five Big Country survivors.
Jim Ned, Eastland, Cisco, May and Strawn have all retained a pulse beyond Thanksgiving Day, the latter two of which are in their respective six-man state semifinals and need only one more win to reach Arlington.
Our 11-man clubs are currently at the regional championship round and would need an additional win beyond this week to suit up at Jerry World.
As one would expect, the overall level of difficulty is virtually pegged at this point. So it’s doubtful that we’ll see all five of our clubs continue on.
Let’s have a look at their chances:
We always have our eye out for a possible six-man football player to take our Capital Farm Credit/BCP Player of the Week award. But he must have one of “those games” — one that even makes the six-man community sit up and take notice, by virtue of its importance, or volume of numbers.
Last week’s effort by May running back-defensive back Kaden Halk in a 72-38 win over Leakey qualifies on both fronts.
Only a junior, Halk tallied 356 yards rushing and seven touchdowns on just 16 carries and added a 42-yard TD reception to help push the Tigers (12-1) to the Class 1A DI semifinals where they will face Blum (9-3) at 6 p.m. on Saturday in Dublin.
GRAHAM — Behren Morton threw for 286 yards and ran for 112 more as the Eastland football team rallied for a 28-24 win over No. 8 Holliday in a Region II-3A Division II semifinal at Newton Field on Friday night.
Morton, a Texas Tech commit, accounted for all four touchdowns as he connected with three different receivers for scores and then used his legs for the game-winning touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Eastland (9-3) advances to face Gunter at 7 p.m. Thursday at Globe Life Park in Arlington.
LAST WEEK: 23-2, .920
SEASON TOTAL: 422-88, .827
Turkey Day has arrived and we’ve still got 10 Big Country football teams showing a pulse.
Of those, there are at least six that I believe have a shot at getting to Arlington and of those, perhaps four that have a good shot at bringing home a state title.
So let’s dive in and take a look at this week’s matchups, shall we?
Be safe going to your games! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
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.
Cisco quarterback Hunter Long is only a sophomore. And he made his share of sophomore mistakes against an early-season schedule that featured 3A DI powerhouses from Wall and Jim Ned.
Maturity, however, is beginning to catch up with the CHS signal caller, who has gradually developed into one of the top Class 2A weapons in the Big Country.
His latest effort typified his development — passing for 210 yards and rushing for 101 in a 46-15 area round rout of Olton.
Along the way, Long accounted for five Cisco touchdowns, rushing for three and passing for two more to help push the Loboes into the regional semifinals.
It also earned him our Capital Farm Credit/BCP Player of the Week award for the week ending Nov. 21.
“Hunter played a great game,” Cisco coach Kevin Stennett said. “He is getting better every week and his execution of our offense has been outstanding during the playoffs. He made very few mistakes, if any, against Olton and has really emerged as the leader of our offense.”
REGION I-3A DIV. I
Jim Ned 31, Dalhart 14 — Xavier Wishert had a game-high 131 yards rushing and two scores on 25 carries to lead lead Jim Ned to its first regional semifinal in 16 years.
The Indians built a 24-0 halftime lead before holding on for the win. Tate Yardley led Jim Ned through the air with 200 yards on 13-of-16 passing.
After highlighting the Big Country’s top guards and forwards the past two nights, we now take a look at the area’s best big men.
For the final installment in our three-part boys basketball position rankings series, we rank the Big Country’s top 10 post players.
We hope you’ve enjoyed reading through our rankings, and make sure to check back for all our boys and girls basketball coverage this season.
With boys basketball season upon us, it’s time to shine a spotlight on some of the players we’ll be writing and you’ll be reading about throughout the 2020-21 season.
For the first installment in a three-part series that will cover all positions on the area boys basketball scene, 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 fall.
We hope you enjoy reading through our list.
One dominating performance deserves another.
Having already helped Albany reach the Region I-2A finals with a 17-kill performance in a win over Plains (22-25, 25-10, 25-22, 25-16) last week, Sarah Beth Cotter wasn’t finished.
With AHS facing perennial power Wink in the regional finals Saturday in Big Spring, she helped the Lady Lions reach the state semis with 16 kills, two blocks, four digs and an ace in a stunning 25-14, 25-19, 25-20 sweep of the Lady Cats.
REGION I-3A DIV. I
Jim Ned 21, Paradise 18 — Trailing 10-7 after three quarters, the Indians outscored the Panthers 14-8 over the final period to rally for the victory Friday.
A Xavier Wishert rushing touchdown early in the fourth quarter was followed a Tate Yardley touchdown pass to give Jim Ned (9-1) a 21-10 lead and the Indians held on from there to escape with the win.
Wishert rushed for 177 yards and two scores in the victory, while Yardley passed for 116 yards a the one TD to Austin Martin. Zach Henderson led the Indians in receiving with three catches for 48 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?
Here are the updated Big Country football playoff pairings, results: