Tag: Jayton Jaybirds

GAME STORY: Slidell tops Jayton to capture Class 1A state championship

 

SAN ANTONIO — A fast start and strong finish propelled Slidell to a 49-36 win over Jayton in the Class 1A state championship game Saturday, ending the Jaybirds’ best season ever one win shy of the ultimate prize.

Making their first state tournament appearance since 1955, the Greyhounds (33-8) used a 13-5 first quarter and an 18-9 fourth period to hold off a scrappy Jaybird squad.

Hunter Horner scored 12 points and Ben McCasland added 11 more to lead Slidell offensively. But it was tournament MVP Slayton Pruett who did most of the damage, hauling in 21 rebounds and blocking five Jayton shots to go with 10 points. 

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EVAN REN: Three keys for Brock and Jayton to win their semifinals

You won’t find cupcakes at a butcher shop. 

You won’t find them at the state basketball tournament either. In fact, the expiration date for easy-to-beat pastries usually doesn’t extend beyond the area round of the playoffs, depending on what the pairings dictate.  

So when I say that Big Country representatives Brock (3A) and Jayton (1A) are in for a real challenge when they open play at the state tournament in San Antonio on Thursday, a shrug of the shoulders and a raise of the eyebrows is expected. 

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FEATURE: Young, guard-heavy Jayton heads to San Antonio

While it’s generally accepted that height and experience are advantages in basketball, the Jayton Jaybirds have managed to work around the fact that they have neither. 

All the way to San Antonio. 

Fielding a 14-man roster in the Region II-1A tournament over the weekend, no fewer than 12 Jaybirds who dressed at Abilene Christian University were listed as guards, and none of them stand taller than 6-foot-2. 

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REGIONAL SIDEBAR: Confidence, focus lift Jaybirds to state tournament (w/four videos)

After three close calls with the state tournament that had died on the regional vine, even Jayton coach Ryan Bleiker had begun to wonder if he would ever guide the Jaybirds to the final four. 

But somehow, someway, this weekend in Abilene, he saw it coming — a two-game regional sweep with consecutive wins over Eden (58-25) and Irion County (47-32) to send Jayton to its first-ever state tournament in boys basketball.

Something in the Jaybirds’ demeanor told Bleiker that his stretch of losing three regional semifinals in four years was over. 

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GAME STORY: Jayton knocks off Irion County for first state berth (w/ video)

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The Jayton Jaybirds boys basketball team is heading 332 miles south to the state tournament for the first time in school history.

Some of coach Ryan Bleiker’s final instructions to his squad in the locker room before the game were: “Never been done before. Never been done. There’s not many things in Jayton you can say has never been done before. This is one of them.”

The Jaybirds punched their ticket to San Antonio with a 47-32 win over Mertzon Irion County on Saturday afternoon at Abilene Christian University’s Moody Coliseum.

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Daniel Youngblood: Region tourneys offer challenges for area’s three survivors

After nearly four months of basketball, just three Big Country boys teams remain.

Brock, Jayton and Eula stand alone as the area’s last remaining survivors, and each now finds itself two victories away from a trip to San Antonio for the state tournament.

The Eagles, ranked No. 1 in Class 3A, must survive the field at the Region I-3A tournament in Plainview, while the Class 1A No. 9 Jaybirds and 11th-ranked Pirates will compete in the Region II-1A and Region III-1A tournaments, respectively.

Which, if any, of those teams will still be playing after this weekend? Only time will tell. But let’s take a look at what each group is up against, and what it will need to do to reach high school’s equivalent of the Final Four.

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FEATURE: Jaybird tandem has ties to Jayton hoops that go waaaaaay back

JAYTON — The last time Jayton guards Pecos Smith and Tye Scogin weren’t regulars on the Jaybird bench during basketball games was so long ago, one may have to examine a photo archive to accurately lock it down. 

In the case of both, it’s roughly eight years, though the details are a bit sketchy. 

No, Smith and Scogin are not in violation of UIL rules. Nor are they at the tail end of the world’s longest high school term. 

Both players are former team managers, who assisted the Jaybirds while still in elementary school until they themselves became players as freshmen.

If that sounds unusual, it is.

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GAME STORY: Jayton, Paducah split consecutive thrillers

JAYTON — With Jayton’s gym packed to near capacity, Friday’s doubleheader between Paducah and JHS was expected by many to produce two games with playoff intensity.

It delivered, with the Jayton girls taking Game 1, 34-32 and the Paducah boys edging JHS in the nightcap, 45-43 in a pair of late-season nail-biters.  

Both games decided playoff seeding in District 15-1A, the latter of which iced the league title for Paducah, which holds a two-game lead and a tiebreaker over Jayton with two games to play.

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