Big Country Girls 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 girls 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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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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SIGNING DAY: Abilene High volleyball standouts Hernandez, Dolton make college choices official

After helping lead the Abilene High volleyball team to its first playoff berth since 2015 and first region tournament appearance since 2007, two of the Lady Eagles’ top players are set to take their talents to the collegiate level.

Middle blocker Jadyn Hernandez and setter Alexis Dolton both made their college choices official during a signing day ceremony Wednesday at the AHS gym, with Hernandez committing to compete locally for Hardin-Simmons and Dolton pledging to play at Vernon College.

Those announcements, which came on the heels of a transformative season for the AHS volleyball team, mark well-earned opportunities for a pair of players who were instrumental in putting the Lady Eagles back on the map, coach Caroline Cleveland said.

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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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GAME STORY: Jim Ned sweeps important varsity doubleheader at Merkel

MERKEL —With first place in the balance on both sides of Tuesday’s varsity doubleheader in Merkel, the Jim Ned girls and boys basketball teams walked into one of the toughest places to play in the Big Country and walked out with a convincing two-game sweep. 

The Jim Ned girls (23-1, 6-0 District 6-3A) took the opener in dominating fashion, beating Merkel 52-21. Shortly thereafter, the Jim Ned boys took the nightcap with a 52-38 win to improve to 15-10 and 4-0. 

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GAME STORY: Eula Lady Pirates hammer Cross Plains in District 13-1A showdown

EULA — Mary Mosley Gymnasium has earned a reputation of being a tough place to play, much like The Teepee was at Haskell until Haskell ISD opened a new gym recently.

With the Eula boys basketball team playing a nondistrict road game on Tuesday night, the Lady Pirates saw a smaller than usual crowd for their District 13-1A game against fifth-ranked Cross Plains.

But while it lacked in size, the crowd was loud and rambunctious, helping pave the way for a 46-27 win.

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BCP PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Cross Plains’ Taylor takes the first award of 2023

While many of us were enjoying our holiday break, Cross Plains’ Torri Taylor was busy filling up stat sheets. Put more accurately, the junior forward was producing the numbers on the floor, to help the Lady Buffs to a 3-0 mark while school was out. 

Aside from pouring in an average of 19.6 points per game, she snagged an average tally of 12 rebounds per night while dishing out 3.6 assists to go with 4.0 steals. 

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EVAN REN: This week in Big Country girls basketball (Jan. 8-14)

With area basketball settling into district play, we begin our annual Sunday evening reports on boy and girls action, listing the top upcoming matchups of the current week and the top results from the week before.

Big Country Preps will also be posting area standings, stat leaders, game coverage and features in the coming weeks so by all means, stay tuned. 

Let’s dive in: 

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DANIEL YOUNGBLOOD: This week in Big Country boys basketball (Jan. 8-14)

It’s the second week of January, and basketball district races are heating up throughout the Big Country. The few area boys basketball teams that haven’t started league play will be doing so this week.

With so many important games being played, it’s time to begin our weekly look at what’s going on on the Big Country boys basketball scene. In highlighting the top matchups of the coming week and the top results of the previous one, we’ll let you know the games and teams we’re keeping an eye on — and some you might want to as well.

We hope you enjoy our first installment of This Week in Boys Basketball.

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GAME STORY: Anson, Haskell split varsity doubleheader at AHS

ANSON — Two of the Big Country’s oldest rivals clashed on Friday when Haskell paid a visit to Anson, resulting in a split of a District 10-2A girls-boys varsity doubleheader. 

The Haskell girls took the opener with a come-from-behind 50-41 win, after which the Anson boys earned a measure of payback, dropping Haskell 36-26 in the nightcap.

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GAME STORY: Monterey scores final six points to outlast Cooper boys in defensive struggle

On a night when buckets were hard to come by for both teams, the Lubbock Monterey Plainsmen finished with one more than their Cooper counterparts Friday, scoring the final six points in a hard-fought 40-37 win at Cougar Gym.

Cooper, which needed almost four minutes to score to its first points of the game, held a 22-18 lead at halftime and rallied from a third-quarter deficit to go up 37-34 on a Jordan Willis layup with 3:47 to play. But those would be the Cougars’ final points of the night, allowing the visiting Plainsmen to close the night on a run and escape with a three-point victory.

After a turnover spoiled CHS’ penultimate possession, the Coogs had one final chance when Monterey missed the front end of a one-and-one up 40-37 with just over four seconds remaining in the game. But Jaelyn Rivera’s halfcourt shot at the buzzer banged off the rim and out, eliciting an gasp from those in attendance. 

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GAME STORY: Mustangs use big third quarter to hold off feisty Jaybirds

SWEETWATER — The Jayton boys basketball team entered Friday’s game at Sweetwater ranked No. 2 in the state in Class 1A and sporting one of only a couple of undefeated records in the state.

After the Mustangs used a big third quarter fueled by the hot shooting hand of Stason Hernandez to get a 51-38 win at Mustang Gym, Jayton coach Ryan Bleiker felt a sense of relief.

The relief didn’t come from losing, but rather that his squad didn’t have to carry the burden of being undefeated anymore.

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GAME STORY: Abilene High boys rout Lubbock High, AHS girls can’t rally from early hole

When you’re a young team, basketball can be intimidating if shots aren’t falling for you.

If they are falling? Then it’s contagious and can lead to an avalanche of scoring for a squad.

In a District 4-5A game on Tuesday night at Eagle Gym, the Abilene High boys team had shots falling like crazy, and it led to a 69-29 win over Lubbock High in which nine players scored for coach Justin Reese’s squad, led by Chris Motl’s game-high 14 points.

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TEXAS BANK HOLIDAY CLASSIC: Wylie, Goldthwaite boys claim tournament titles; Albany edges Coleman for third place

BROWNWOOD — The Wylie and Goldthwaite boys basketball teams both left the Texas Bank Holiday Classic with championship trophies, completing 4-0 runs through the tournament Friday to claim the large and small school titles, respectively.

After opening the Classic with lopsided pool play victories over Brady (94-31) and Early (56-36), Wylie picked up competitive wins over Gatesville (67-54) and Little River Academy (54-45) on Friday at Brownwood Coliseum to earn its championship.

The Goldthwaite boys, meanwhile, followed blowout victories over Sidney (67-38) and Santo (61-34) with thrilling final-day wins over Coleman (52-50) and Wellington (64-56) to clinch their title.

That capped a three-day tournament that also saw Albany top Coleman 56-50 for third place in the small school boys division and Fort Worth Nolan Catholic defeat Fort Worth Lake Country Christian (65-61) and Goldthwaite (55-33) to earn the girls crown.

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EULA HOLIDAY CLASSIC: Stamford girls rally to take tournament championship, Ballinger and Eula girls, Breck boys win on Day 3

EULA — The Eula Holiday Classic concluded on Friday, with some familiar faces winning the event’s top trophy. 

The Stamford girls, who finished as the Class 2A DI state runners-up last season, swept through the Eula tourney with a 4-0 mark and capped it with a come-from-behind 35-32 win over Whiteface in the title game. 

Laylonna Applin scored 16 points and Lainee Lefevre added 10 more to lift Stamford (18-4), which overcame a 27-21 deficit at the outset of the fourth quarter to get the win. 

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EULA HOLIDAY CLASSIC: Stamford girls rout Hermleigh to get back to tournament title game

EULA — One of three Big Country teams to reach the semifinal round of the Eula Holiday Classic, the Stamford girls basketball team was the lone area squad to advance to Friday’s title game, defeating Hermleigh 60-29 on Thursday to earn the opportunity to defend its 2021 tournament title.

The Lady Bulldogs, who edged Holliday for the Classic championship last year, will try go for the repeat Friday when they take on Whiteface, which downed Eula 46-31 in Thursday’s other semifinal.

That matchup is set for 2:40 p.m. Friday, while Hermleigh and Eula will play for third place at 10:40 a.m.

No area team reached the semifinals on the boys side of the tournament, which will feature a championship matchup between Holliday and Tolar at 4 p.m. Friday and a third-place game between New Deal and Bells at noon.

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TEXAS BANK HOLIDAY CLASSIC: Brownwood fights off multiple rallies to top their next door neighbors

BROWNWOOD — Squaring off with their Class 4A neighbors from Brownwood, the 3A Early Longhorns were expected by many to fall handily in Friday’s meeting in the Texas Bank Holiday Classic.

Someone, however, forgot to remind Early that they were big underdogs, as BHS held on for a difficult 66-57 win at the Brownwood Coliseum.

Luke Gray poured in 22 points and Tristan Salinas added 15 more to lead Brownwood (10-8) which had to fight off multiple Early rallies to earn the win in second-place pool play.

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EULA HOLIDAY CLASSIC: Hermleigh, Stamford and Eula girls punch ticket to semis on tournament’s first day

EULA — Big Country girls basketball programs made a strong showing on the opening day of the Eula Holiday Classic, placing three teams in Thursday’s championship bracket semifinals, while preserving the chance of an all-area championship picture. 

Hermleigh, Stamford and Eula all won a pair of games Wednesday to advance to the tournament’s penultimate round, while Breckenridge won its only game of the day to earn a Thursday morning matchup with Whiteface for the final spot in the semifinals.

Hermleigh and Stamford will play at 4 p.m. Thursday for a spot in Friday’s championship game, while Eula will take on the Breckenridge-Whiteface winner at 6:40 p.m. to decide the other title game participant.

On the boys side, meanwhile, Colorado City, Clyde and Jim Ned all remain alive with a chance to advance to the semifinals Thursday — each winning its only game Wednesday to remain in position to advance in the championship bracket.

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ANSON HOLIDAY TOURNAMENT: Wall girls, Sweetwater boys take respective titles

ANSON — If there is such a thing as a moral victory, the Anson girls’ basketball team may have earned one on Wednesday in the championship game of the Anson Holiday Tournament. 

Facing perennial 3A power Wall, the Lady Tigers (12-6) kept things close for more than three quarters before eventually falling 45-31. 

Kamryn Williams scored 13 points and Brylyn Watts added nine more to lead 13th-ranked Wall (18-3), which used 19 combined free throws to put Anson away.  The game was quickly followed by the boys’ title game, which saw Sweetwater top the Wylie JV 54-43.

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2022 BIG COUNTRY PREPS MAX EFFORT TEAM: The hardest-working players in area volleyball!

While BCP is proud to honor the top volleyball players in the area with our All-Big Country Preps team each year, our “Max Effort” team honors something that doesn’t show up in a box score. 

This is a unique honor which has nothing to do with physical talent.

Here, we recognize character, grit and work ethic — the elements that coaches wish every player had. Put another way, BCP’s Max Effort Team is where we honor the best teammates and best citizens that area volleyball has to offer.

It is for that reason that this team is selected by area coaches and described in their own words.

Big Country Preps is now honored to present these individuals to you.

Ladies and gentlemen: Our 2022 Big Country Preps Max Effort Team. 

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GAME STORY: Cooper boys outlast Wylie to earn 44-39 win in defensive slugfest

It wasn’t the prettiest game the Cooper boys basketball team will play all year, but the result was just what the Cougars were looking for in their District 4-5A opener against crosstown rival Wylie.

After taking a 13-11 lead into halftime and going into the fourth quarter tied at 25, CHS outscored the Bulldogs 19-14 over the final eight minutes Tuesday to escape Bulldog Gym with a 44-39 victory in a game that even coach Bryan Conover as a “rock fight.”

But the win sends the Coogs into the holiday break at 8-6 overall and 1-0 in district play, which made the ugly win seem a little prettier after the fact.

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GAME STORY: Speights’ big fourth quarter fuels Cooper past rival Wylie

Trailing crosstown rival Wylie 33-32 heading into the final quarter, the Cooper girls basketball team needed a spark to get to the finish line with a win Tuesday at Bulldog Gym.

Enter standout senior Kyla Speights.

After being limited to just six points through the first three quarters, the talented point guard exploded for 13 points in the fourth — including two big 3-pointers and a three-point play in rapid succession — to fuel the Lady Cougars to 52-41 victory.

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