Category: Wylie Bulldogs

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.  

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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 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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GAME RECAP: Wylie girls see season end at hands of No. 1 Amarillo High

The Wylie girls basketball team saw its season come to an end Monday with a 72-39 loss to top-ranked Amarillo High in a Region I-5A bi-district matchup at Lubbock Christian University’s Rip Griffin Center.

The Lady Sandies raced out to a 20-12 lead after a quarter and buckled down defensively over the middle two periods to increase their advantage to 39 points (63-24) by the start of the fourth quarter.

The win improved Amarillo High’s record to 33-2, while Wylie closed its campaign at 18-17.

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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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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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GAME STORY: Wylie boys push District 4-5A champ Rider before falling 44-38

Coming off a disappointing 44-41 loss to Wichita Falls High, the Wylie boys basketball team gave District 4-5A champion Wichita Falls Rider all it could handle Friday before falling 44-38 at Bulldog Gym.

The Bulldogs took a 27-24 lead into halftime and were still within three points in the final minute, before the Raiders finally closed out the come-from-behind win at the free-throw line.

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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.

LOCAL HOOPS ROUNDUP: Wylie girls rout Wichita Falls High, Bulldogs drop close one

The Wylie girls basketball team wrapped up the regular season with a dominant performance Tuesday at Bulldog Gym, blasting Wichita Falls High 57-27 to improve to 18-14 overall and 5-3 in District 4-5A play.

The victory, combined with Aledo’s 41-36 win over Wichita Falls Rider on Tuesday, put the Lady Bulldogs in a four-way tie for first in the 4-5A standings with Aledo, Rider and Cooper. Those four teams will play a seeding tournament later this week at site to be determined.

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BIG COUNTRY PREPS PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Priddy’s Evans takes award after leading Lady Pirates to district title

While the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches does not have the Priddy girls basketball team ranked at the moment, the Lady Pirates (20-7, 11-0 District 17-1A) are making enough noise to get noticed. 

And with last week’s sweep of Lometa (51-29) and Cherokee (59-52), it’s beginning to look as though PHS is capable of doing some postseason damage. 

Our Player of the Week, senior Linda Evans, led that charge with a combined 60 points through two games, including a 36-point effort with four assists in a district-title clinching win over Cherokee. 

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SIGNING DAY: Trio of Wylie athletes make college decisions official

Wylie seniors Cason Hanna (football) and Austin Green (track) will be continuing their athletic careers in town at Hardin-Simmons while Dayton Barnes will be traveling a little farther after signing to play football at Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa.

The trio made those college decisions official Friday during a signing day ceremony in the Wylie High School cafeteria.

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FEATURE: Wylie guards’ growth spurring Lady Bulldogs’ development

In 19 years of coaching girls basketball, Wylie’s Amy Powell has never experienced a season quite like this one. 

After inheriting a roster with eight seniors in her first year as the Lady Bulldogs’ coach and losing four potential returners in addition to the heavy (but expected) graduation hit, Powell entered the 2019-20 campaign with just two varsity lettermen — both frontcourt players.

That left the Wylie girls and their coach with a brand new set of guards — and some massive shoes to fill in the absence of graduated standouts Mary Lovelace, Abbey Henson, Skylar Williams and Madi Latham.

Through a couple of unfortunate injuries and the natural inconsistency that comes with inexperience, that group has performed admirably for the 17-14 Lady Bulldogs. In fact, heading into its regular-season finale on Tuesday just one game behind District 4-5A co-leaders Cooper and Wichita Falls Rider in the loss column, Wylie can thank its guards and their progress for much of the success it has experienced this year.

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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. 

LOCAL HOOPS ROUNDUP: Wylie boys get big win at Aledo, girls have win streak snapped

ALEDO — The Wylie boys basketball team scored a big District 4-5A win Tuesday, moving into second place in the league standings with a 49-41 victory over Aledo.

The Bulldogs rallied from a 21-19 halftime deficit to take a 36-30 lead into the fourth quarter, and they held on from there to improve to 15-13 overall and 3-2 in district play.

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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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