Tag: Girls basketball

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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GAME STORY: Haskell overcomes 20-plus turnovers to eliminate Christoval, advance to regional

COLORADO CITY — When one pressure basketball team meets another, something chaotic can often emerge. And in the case of Haskell’s 60-46 win over Christoval, there was scarcely enough time for either side to think things through. 

So frenetic was Tuesday’s Region I-2A quarterfinal, that the Maidens survived more than 20 turnovers and a huge mid-game rally by Christoval to win by double-digits.

Landry Hanson scored 25 points, including a 12-of-17 effort from the free-throw line and Delaney Hanson added 10 more to lead eighth-ranked Haskell (31-3) which now advances to face 10th-ranked Panhandle (30-5) in the regional semifinals.

Christoval was led by Allison Vaughn with 16 points and Kallie Montalvo with 10. The Lady Cougars closed their campaign at 23-11 

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FEATURE: Brock’s Tyler a junior to be reckoned with

BROCK — She’s only 17. She’s only a 5-foot-7 junior. And she’s been tasked with leading one of the top girls basketball programs in the state through what other schools may have called a “rebuilding” year. 

Yet heading into Friday’s Region I-3A area-round game with Eastland, Brock’s Torrye Tyler has produced some of the best all-around numbers of any player in the Big Country Preps coverage area. 

A 19.9-point scoring average (ranked second by Big Country Preps), combined with 3.7 assists (seventh by BCP) and 3.1 steals (21st) bear witness to how impactful she has been in a 28-7 Brock campaign that has seen this perennial power continue to roll. 

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GAME STORY: Lady Mavericks use defense to eliminate C-City, advance to area round

CLYDE— The most painful loss of the year is often the last one. And in Monday’s Class 3A bi-district matchup between Eastland and Colorado City, it was the C-City locker room that had a somber tone in the game’s aftermath. 

Backed by intense half-court defensive pressure that limited C-City standout Mia Monroe to just four points, the Lady Mavericks advanced with a 45-33 win at Clyde High School. 

Makena Moreno score 11 points and Jordan Mayes added eight more to lead Eastland (23-12), which held the Lady Wolves to just nine points after halftime. The Lady Mavericks now advance to face the winner of Tuesday’s bi-district matchup between Brock (27-7) and Holliday (18-13) in the area round. 

Colorado City (23-9) was led by Kaci Hudson with 12 points and Kirsten Koch with eight. 

“We started off playing a little zone and then we started playing some man (to man),” Eastland coach Troy Doyle said. “In the second half, we ran a little half-court trap and that gave them some problems.” 

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FEATURE: Goldthwaite leans on seniors during another 20-win season

How are the Goldthwaite Lady Eagles putting up another 20-win basketball season without a scorer averaging in double figures? With experience, defense and rebounding.

Goldthwaite, ranked No. 16 in the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches Class 2A poll, was 23-5 overall and 4-1 in District 10-2A through last week’s games. The district loss was 37-30 to No. 15 Santo.

Despite the 23 wins, the Lady Eagles’ leading scorer is senior guard Callie Jernigan at a modest 9.3 points per game. Post Macy Seward is averaging 7.8 points, and forward Kylee Medina is averaging 7.2.

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EVAN REN: This week in Big Country girls basketball (Jan. 27-Feb. 2)

One more week of January hoops in the Big Country before we had down the February home stretch an into postseason play. 

Can you believe it? Blink and it will be here. 

Again, Big Country Preps will hit the road each Tuesday and Friday night to cover the top matchups in the area. 

Let’s have a quick look at last week’s highlights and what’s on tap over the next seven days. 

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FEATURE: Anson getting its money’s worth out of Dollar in dual hoops resurgence

ANSON — Between teaching class, doing the laundry, grading papers, meeting with parents, studying video, running tournaments and in some cases, driving the team bus, a basketball coach’s life is arduous to begin with.

Now try doubling it. 

While it may be common for a handful of individuals to accept the challenge of coaching a boys and girls program simultaneously, only a precious few succeed at both over the long haul. 

Anson’s Ryan Dollar, however, is currently making a strong argument that it can be done — leading a dual AHS hoops resurgence that has both the boys and girls programs challenging for playoff spots.   

Continue reading “FEATURE: Anson getting its money’s worth out of Dollar in dual hoops resurgence”

BIG COUNTRY GIRLS 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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EVAN REN: Big Country Preps Top 10 Stories for 2019

It’s never easy picking the top 10 stories of the year for the Big Country Preps coverage area. 

Stretching from Forsan in the west to Brock in the east and from San Saba in the south to Munday in the north, there are literally thousands of athletes producing countless stories to choose from. 

Pairing all of that down to just 10 examples forces one to leave out several notable options on a yearly basis. The upside of all this is that the area is never short on quality stories to reflect on. 

So as we say goodbye to the year 2019, we salute those local athletes and coaches who produced yet another memorable year for the entire area. 

Without further ado, let’s take a look at the top stories from last year, in descending order:

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BCP Podcast No. 74: Evan, Daniel talk state football semifinals and area hoops

In this episode, Daniel and partner Evan Ren discuss last week’s playoff football results, this week’s state semifinal matchups involving area squads and some Big Country hoops. 

Continue to check back at BigCountryPreps.com each Wednesday night at 7 p.m. when Evan and Dan discuss the current happenings in Big Country High School sports — often with an interesting sports figure from around the area.

You can also peruse our BCP Podcast archive, which features dozens of our previous shows with prominent coaches and Big Country media fixtures. 

Inquiries regarding these podcasts may be directed to Evan Ren at Evan.Ren@BigCountryPreps.com. 

If you have a suggested topic of conversation or a recommended guest, don’t hesitate to contact us! 

BCP PODCAST ARCHIVE 

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BIG COUNTRY PREPS TWITTER PAGE 

All-Big Country Preps Girls Basketball Team: Second-Team Roster

Here are our third-team selections for the inaugural 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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GAME STORY: Jim Ned girls advance to regional tourney with win over Cisco (box score, video & photo gallery w/31 images included)

A few short runs, coupled with a heavy dose of consistent defense lifted the Jim Ned Lady Indians to a 46-31 win over Cisco in a Region I-3A quarterfinal on Tuesday. 

With a large contingent of fans backing both clubs at Abilene Christian University’s Moody Coliseum, Jim Ned (29-5) earned a trip to the regional quarterfinals behind 13 points from Libby Tutt and eight each from Claire Graham and Jenna Moore. 

Clinging to a 15-13 lead late in the second quarter, the Lady Indians gained a permanent upper hand with a 7-0 run to close the first half.  They gradually stretched their lead to 34-22 by the end of the third period, never allowing Cisco to score more than single digits in any quarter. 

Cisco closed its season at 30-4, led by Katelyn Bird with 10 points and Leigh Anne Montell with 8. 

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EVAN REN: This week in Big Country girls basketball (Feb. 17-23)

With the regional semifinal round just one victory away, a dozen Big Country teams are still alive with hopes of reaching the Texas high school equivalent of the Sweet 16.  

This week’s regional quarterfinal round will be accompanied by two things: pure elation and pure devastation once the final horns blow. And not all of our area clubs will be among the survivors.  

Nonetheless, I’ll go out on a limb and say no fewer than six Big Country teams will retain a pulse after Tuesday night. 

That said, let’s have a look what’s on tap. 

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GAME STORY: Cisco holds off Jacksboro, earns region quarterfinal date with Jim Ned

MINERAL WELLS — With a big and talented frontcourt that featured three players at 5-foot-10 or taller, the Jacksboro Tigerettes were a dangerous matchup for a Cisco squad that starts just one player taller than 5-7.

But at the end of Friday’s Region I-3A area-round matchup at Ram Gym, it was the Lady Loboes celebrating a hard-fought 58-54 win to advance to the I-3A quarterfinals, where they’ll face off with perennial Big Country power Jim Ned.

Coach Brent Kilpatrick’s team executed its game plan well enough early to build a 10-point halftime lead and hit one big shot after another to hold off multiple Tigerette rallies in the second half.

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GAME STORY: Lady Badgers season comes to an end, but future is bright

GRAHAM — While it wasn’t how coach Laura Lange or her squad envisioned it ending, the Merkel girls basketball season came to a close with a 63-47 loss to Nocona on Friday night.

The loss marked the end of Mireya Salazar’s career at Merkel, but the future is bright for the Lady Badgers as the remaining nine players return for next year — a number that includes just two juniors.

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FEATURE: Size, skill make Westbrook’s Goswick a near unstoppable force

At 6-foot-1, Westbrook post Miranda Goswick stands taller than most of her peers.

But it’s the skilled and versatile game that comes with her height that makes the Hardin-Simmons-bound senior stand out.

A dominant force on both ends of the court for Westbrook, Goswick creates matchup problems that few Class 1A teams are equipped to contend with. And she relishes the go-to role she plays for the Lady Wildcats, who are set to take on Benjamin in the area round Friday after knocking off Hamlin 52-38 to open the playoffs.

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FEATURE: Goldthwaite Lady Eagles a model of balance

Basketball coaches love to take away the opposition’s best player when mapping out a game plan. 

If one or two players are clearly better than the rest, they make for easy targets while studying game film. And more often than not, the aforementioned players can count on getting plenty of defensive attention after the tipoff. 

When scouting the Goldthwaite Lady Eagles, however, one may have difficulty deciding exactly where to employ this age-old tactic. Better-stated, they may have to pick their proverbial poison.

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FEATURE: Defense, experience propel Forsan girls into second round

FORSAN — They’ve labored through streaks of inconsistent scoring output throughout the season. But the Forsan Lady Buffaloes have had one key advantage all along to act as compensation — experience. 

Heading into Friday’s Class 2A area round matchup with Plains, Forsan has been held under 40 points no fewer than 10 times. Yet through combination of solid defense and the ability to adjust on the fly, the Lady Buffs enter this week at 22-6 while allowing only 30.8 points per game. 

The Lady Buffs may not shoot the lights out. But chances are, neither will you. 

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GAME STORY: Nervous Goldthwaite settles down to dominate Electra (Video, box score and photo gallery w/22 images included)

MINERAL WELLS — It took them better part of two quarters to get over a case of the jitters. But after the 14th-ranked Goldthwaite Lady Eagles settled into a rhythm, a three-year postseason drought ended with a 56-36 win over Electra on Tuesday. 

Ally Hopper and Jordan Carr both scored eight points each to lead Goldthwaite, which had 11 different players score while improving to 27-6. 

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FEATURE: Albany, Stamford, set to clash in glimpse of the future

Missy Dutchover’s Stamford  girls team has posted a 20-9 with only one senior. The Lady Bulldogs and a burgeoning team in Albany are both on a rapid ascent with very young talent.

Many of those who follow girls basketball in the Big Country are acutely aware of the highly successful program in Haskell and of its dominance in District 8-2A. 

Haskell, however, may soon have some highly competitive company within the confines of its own league — perhaps as early as next year.

Burgeoning programs in Albany (17-8, 5-1 District 8-2A) and Stamford (20-9, 4-2) have not only taken significant steps forward this year, but have done so with sophomore-heavy rosters that, with typical progression, could improve dramatically over the next two seasons.  

The two teams will meet in the opening game of Friday’s girls-boys doubleheader in Albany, in what could be viewed as a glimpse into the future of Big Country Class 2A girls basketball. In the present, however, a No. 2 playoff seed is the prize both young teams are after.

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FEATURE: Wylie guard trio forces opponents to pick their poison

Having one go-to scorer you can lean on in crunch time is a blessing for a high school basketball coach.

Having three such players you can put on the floor at the same time is a luxury few coaches can boast.

But that’s the case for first-year Wylie coach Amy Powell, who inherited three of the area’s best guards in seniors Abbey Henson, Mary Lovelace and Skylar Williams — any one of whom can take over a game when she gets hot from the field.

Catch the Lady Bulldogs on a night where all three are clicking, and watch out.

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LOCAL HOOPS ROUNDUP: Lady Eagles top Trinity in 3-6A opener

The Abilene High girls basketball team opened District 3-6A play on a winning note Tuesday, outlasting Euless Trinity for a 40-38 win at Eagle Gym.

Trailing 13-8 after a quarter, the Lady Eagles rallied to tie the game at 20-all by halftime. And with the game still tied heading into the fourth period, AHS outscored the Lady Trojans 10-8 over the final eight minutes to escape with the two-point win.

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LOCAL HOOPS ROUNDUP: Montes shoots AHS girls past Odessa High in OT thriller

Georgia Montes hit eight 3-pointers Tuesday, and the Abilene High Lady Eagles needed every one of them to escape Eagle Gym with a 57-56 overtime win over Odessa High.

Montes finished with a game-high 24 points to pace AHS, which outscored the Lady Bronchos 8-7 over the extra period to improve to 8-8 on the season.

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LOCAL HOOPS ROUNDUP: Coogs top Estacado; AHS, Cooper girls fall to area foes

LUBBOCK — The Cooper boys basketball team continued its strong start to the season Tuesday, rallying from seven points down at halftime to knock off Lubbock Estacado 70-65.

The Cougars took the lead with a 27-17 third-quarter run and held off the Matadors in the fourth to improve to 4-1 on the year.

Deven Bailey once again led the Coogs, scoring a team-high 21 points for the second straight game, while Ben Thompson added 13, Josh Henry and Noah Garcia both scored nine, and Kaden Davis pitched in eight.

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No. 4 Haskell girls rally past Eula 35-29

HASKELL — Down 22-20 to start the fourth quarter, the fourth-ranked Haskell Maidens scored 15 points over the final eight minutes to knock off the upset-minded Eula Lady Pirates in a 35-29 victory at the legendary Tee Pee.

Leading the way for the Maidens (7-1) was freshmen Melody Martinez, whose five-point outburst late in the fourth quarter helped put away Eula for good. C’Era Taylor, meanwhile, had a team-high eight points and two rebounds for Haskell.

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Wylie girls weather early storm to earn win at Jim Ned

TUSCOLA — The Jim Ned girls basketball team couldn’t have asked for a better start to its nondistrict game against Wylie on Tuesday. But when momentum shifted in the Lady Bulldogs’ direction late in the first quarter, it never came back in a 54-47 loss for the home-standing Lady Indians.

Coach Hunter Cooley’s squad raced out to a 10-3 lead in the first 2½ minutes and stretched it to 19-8 by the 2:03 mark of the first quarter. But the Lady Bulldogs closed the period on an 11-0 run, getting a 3-pointer at the buzzer to tie the game at 19-all heading into the second.

Wylie (6-3) then outscored Jim Ned 30-19 over the next two quarters to take control and held off a late run in the fourth to return to Abilene with the fifth victory in its last six games.

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Clyde’s Nellie Parrish notches her first career victory

CLYDE — After 16 combined years of working as a varsity assistant and junior high coach, along with an 0-3 start this year, first-year Clyde girls basketball coach Nellie Parrish was more than ready to get her first career varsity win. 

It came Tuesday night in a 45-26 win over Comanche in a Class-3A nondistrict matchup at the Bulldog gym. 

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Hermleigh girls continue strong start with win over Roby

HERMLEIGH — After following last year’s state tournament appearance with a hot start to this season, the Hermleigh girls basketball team has caught the attention of many as the fourth-ranked team in Class 1A. After Monday’s win over No. 14 Roby, the Lady Cardinals solidified their place as the team to beat in this region.

Hermleigh (9-1), which connected on seven 3-pointers and had three players reach double figures, dominated the top-15 matchup, topping the Lady Lions 56-43.

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Wall holds off Wylie in early-season girls basketball thriller

The Wylie girls basketball team rallied from a 13-point third-quarter deficit to have a chance to pull even with Wall in the waning seconds Saturday, but some clutch plays by guard Sawyer Lloyd and some struggles at the free-throw line by the Lady Bulldogs allowed the Lady Hawks to get out of Abilene with a hard-fought 50-47 win.

Wylie (1-2) outscored Wall 20-10 in the fourth quarter, but an 11-of-20 effort from the line in the final period kept the the Lady Bulldogs from ever overtaking the visiting Lady Hawks.

Using an aggressive press that Wall struggled with down the stretch, Wylie had a chance to tie the game with about two seconds remaining, but Karis Christian’s first of two free throws rimmed out and the intentional miss that followed missed the rim, allowing Wall to seal the game on the other end.

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Eula girls roll Hamlin in season opener

In an early-season girls basketball matchup featuring a pair of top-25 teams on Tuesday, the Eula Lady Pirates proved why they are considered one of the best Class 1A teams in the Big Country.

Behind and 18-point, seven-rebound effort by post Abbey Matties and an 11-point night by Anna Masonheimer, the eighth-ranked Lady Pirates (1-0) shut down the 22nd-ranked Hamlin Lady Pipers in a 63-23 victory.

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Local girls basketball teams aim to compete despite transition in 2018-19

The 2018-19 high school basketball season will be one of great change for Abilene’s three girls teams.

Wylie will play for a new coach in a new classification this winter, while both Abilene High and Cooper must replace a number of key players off teams that took significant steps forward a year ago.

Amid all the transition for the Lady Bulldogs, Lady Eagles and Lady Cougars, however, expectations remain unchanged on Abilene’s three local campuses, where first-year Wylie coach Amy Powell, sixth-year Abilene High coach Terri Aston and third-year Cooper coach Lauren Ash all have high hopes for their squads.

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