Dogs Knock Off New Waverly In 10 Innings

Crockett plated three runs in the top of the 10th and then shut down New Waverly in its final at-bat to secure a 4-1 district road win Tuesday night.

Tied 1-1 with bases loaded and two outs, Ty Dowell hit a hard line-drive to third base to bring home Colby Davenport for the go-ahead run.

With bases still full of Bulldogs, Larren Reeves drilled a shot to left field bringing in Drew Corry and Case Robinson for a 4-1 lead. New Waverly cut down Dowell for the third out, but that was all the runs Crockett would need.

In the bottom of the 10th, New Waverly hit a pop-up in foul territory that was caught by first baseman Dowell for the first out. After a walk issued by Davenport, who relieved starter Robinson the last three innings, the next batter flew out.
With New Waverly down to its final out, starting pitcher Michael Reyes sent a fly ball into shallow leftfield. Crockett shortstop Larren Reeves dropped back and snagged the ball on a running catch to ice the victory.

Crockett took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second. After a leadoff walk by Larren Reeves and a single by Willie Revels, Reeves scored on a RBI by designated hitter Huntrael Watson.

The Bulldogs loaded the bases in the sixth with a leadoff walk by Drew Corry, a one-out walk by Dowell and a single to leftfield Larren Reeves. New Waverly turned a double-play to end the threat and hold the Bulldogs to a 1-0 lead.

New Waverly tied the game in the seventh. After the leadoff batter struck out, Ben Roberts hit a single and advanced to second on a throwing error to first. Following another strikeout by Robinson for the second out, Roberts scored on a RBI single by Sam Postel. A ground-out by the next batter ended the threat and sent the game into extra innings.

After Robinson was relieved on the mound by Davenport in the eighth, New Waverly went down in order on a ground-out and a pair of flyouts.

In the top of the ninth, the Bulldogs had a runner in scoring position after a leadoff single by Larren Reeves, who stole second. After the next two batters struck out, Reeves was thrown out attempting to steal third.

Davenport struck out the side in the bottom of the ninth, extending the game into the 10th inning.

New Waverly starting moundsman Michael Reyes was relieved by Kevin Carlson to face Crockett in the top of the 10th, but he was unable to shut down the Bulldogs.

Larren Reeves led Crockett's hitting with a 4-for-4 performance that included a double, a walk, and 3 RBI. Robinson batted 3-for-4 with a sacrifice.

After hosting Westwood on Friday, the Bulldogs travel to Trinity on Tuesday and go to Elkhart on Thursday, March 24 for a showdown with the No. 6-ranked Elks, who are 2-0 in district and 12-1 on the year.

Buffalo was 2-0, while New Waverly, Trinity, Leon and Crockett were all 1-1. Westwood and Onalaska round out the standings.

Slocum Unable To Handle Lions’ Potent Firepower

Lion senior Mason Lowery pitched the first two innings of the abbreviated district matchup against Slocum.Lion senior Mason Lowery pitched the first two innings of the abbreviated district matchup against Slocum.

With Lovelady already firmly in control 21-0, Tuesday night's District 21-2A contest with the Slocum Mustangs was called after just 2 1/2 innings of play.

The Lions collected 13 hits on 19 at-bats, 13 RBI and 9 walks while striking out just twice.

Jacob Jeffus (2-for-2) logged 4 runs, 5 RBI and 2 walks, while Lee Holsey (2-for-2) booked 3 runs, 2 RBI and 1 walk.
Nick Dodson, 2-for-3, scored twice and had 2 RBI. Mason Lowery batted 2-for-4 collecting 2 runs and 2 RBI.

Going 1-for-1 were Brett Huester (2 runs, 2 RBI, 1 walk); Taylor Womack (2 runs, 2 walks), and Alex McKnight (2 runs, 2 walks).

Blake Johnson batted 1-for-2, scored 3 runs and walked once. Hunter Murray, 0-for-3, scored a run.

Lowery, the winning pitcher, gave up one hit while recording two strikeouts and one walk in two innings. Reliever Holsey secured the shutout by giving up no hits, striking out two and issuing no walks.

The Lions (2-0) resume their district schedule this week with back-to-back home games. Latexo comes to town on Tuesday and Grapeland visits on Thursday.

Latexo Outlasts Grapeland In 11 Innings, 3-2

A highly anticipated district softball match-up between the Latexo Lady Tigers and Grapeland Sandiettes on Friday night lived up to everyone's expectations.

With the score tied after 10 innings, the Lady Tigers plated a go-ahead run in the top of the 11th and then went to work on defense in the bottom of the inning to seal a 3-2 victory on the road.

That's right, this great spectator game took 11 full innings to decide.

Latexo sophomore pitcher Gracie Zalesky worked the entire game in the circle, picking up 14 strikeouts.

Lady Tiger sophomore Makayla Gunnels made several outs connecting with shortstop Kelsey Kilian, Brooke Ashley at second and Ashlyn Brazzil at first.

The entire Lady Tiger defense made great plays each inning while making very few errors. Several Latexo players were in different positions, but performed well.

Grapeland had a chance to score in the bottom of the 11th, but once again the Tiger defense shut them down. When the last out was made, the Latexo fans loudly voiced their support for the Lady Tigers.

Latexo's offense was led by Gracie Zalesky with two doubles, one single and 1 RBI; Makayla Gunnels with three doubles and two RBI; and Chaice Short with two singles. Brooke Ashley drew three walks but was left on base each time.
Every Latexo batter reach based with a hit or walk. Lady Tigers courtesy runners were Katrina Stephen, Alexa Knight and Hannah Goynes.

Grapeland's Taylar Mullen pitched the complete game, giving up three runs on eight hits and striking out eight batters in 11 innings.

Mullen batted 2-for-5 with a triple. Arielle Lane was 1-for-4 with a double and one RBI; Hailee Sheridan 1-for-4 with one RBI and a walk; and Haylee Reed, 1-for-4, scored the Sandiettes' two runs.

Diamond Maines-Dunn was 1-for-2 with a stolen base and Megan Holbrook went 1-for-5.

Sandiettes Madison Holbrook and Stevie Reynolds both got on base once with a walk.

Latexo, 2-1 in district, hosted Kennard on Tuesday and travels to Neches on Friday.

Grapeland, 2-1, hosted Slocum on Tuesday and has a bye on Friday.

Latexo Falls to Centerville
The Lady Tigers suffered their first district loss at the hands of Centerville, 7-2, on Monday, March 7 at Madisonville.
It seemed as though the "Big E" was with the Lady Tigers in this game.

Makayla Gunnels smashed her first homerun of the year, a shot over left centerfield fence. Latexo's other run came when Shala Creswell crossed home on a passed ball.

Coaches Announce 20-2A Boys Hoops All-District Awards

Sandies, Lions, Tigers Claim Superlatives

Houston County was well represented on the District 20-2A Boys All-District Basketball Team released this week.

Three of the four Superlatives awarded by the district's coaches went to players from Grapeland, Lovelady and Latexo.

Grapeland senior Jaques Faulk was voted MVP, Lovelady junior Hunter Murray was the Offensive MVP, and Latexo freshman Evan Ivy was Co-Newcomer of the Year.

Grapeland dominated the First Team selections with five Sandies landing spots. Senior Jason Walker was joined on the first team by four juniors-- Tink McQuirter, Riley Chipman, Parker Wilson and Rodney Davis.

Lovelady senior Courtell McQuirter and Latexo junior Keshawn Smotherman were also First Team honorees.

Second Team selections included Lovelady senior Mason Lowery and Latexo freshman Sonny Townsend.

Lions Kade White and Petey Little received Honorable Mention along with Tigers David Taylor and Jack Woodford.

District 20-2A
2015-16 All District Team
MVP: Jaques Faulk, senior, Grapeland
Offensive MVP: Hunter Murray, junior, Lovelady
Defensive MVP: Keet Cockerham, junior, Slocum
Newcomer of the Year: Hunter Free, sophomore, Centerville; Evan Ivy, freshman, Latexo
First Team
Alex Fletcher, junior, Centerville; Tink McQuirter, junior, Grapeland; Riley Chipman, junior, Grapeland; Parker Wilson, junior, Grapeland; Rodney Davis, junior, Grapeland; Jason Walker, senior, Grapeland; Keshawn Smotherman, junior, Latexo; Courtell McQuirter, senior, Lovelady; Jace Rains-Love, senior, Slocum; Taylor Hunt, sophomore, Slocum.
Second Team
Wyatt Stutzman, senior, Centerville; Trevor Stutzman, senior, Centerville; Dawson Chumley, junior, Groveton; Sonny Townsend, freshman, Latexo; Mason Lowery, senior, Lovelady; Alex Maldonado, senior, Slocum; Jacob Lane, sophomore, Slocum.
Honorable Mention
Lovelady- Kade White, Petey Little
Latexo- David Taylor, Jack Woodford

Chireno Ousts Kennard

Kennard’s Keith Griffin goes to the hole against Chireno. (Karen Lederman Photo)Kennard’s Keith Griffin goes to the hole against Chireno. (Karen Lederman Photo)Kennard Tigers ran into a buzzsaw in the first round of the Class A state playoffs, falling to the No. 12-ranked Chireno Owls 91-59 Tuesday night at Lufkin.

Chireno led 23-11 after a quarter, 44-27 at the break and 74-44 after three quarters.

Keith Griffin led the Tigers with 14 points, along with 6 rebounds and 3 assists.

Chris Dias finished with 12 poinrs, 4 rebounds and 5 assists. Austin Griffin rounded out double figures with 10 points, in addition to 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 block and 1 steal.

Matt Moore booked 8 points, 8 rebounds and 1 assist. Nick Dodson had 8 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal. Shaun Griffin logged 7 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 block and 2 steals. Myrick Pope grabbed 2 rebounds.

Chireno, now 23-8 on the season, advanced to the area round against Lometa.

Kennard finished third in District 27-A behind chanpion Calvert and runnerup Oakwood, which defeated Douglass 70-57 in bi-district. Calvert had a first round bye.

Cross Roads Outduels Lovelady 101-97

Hunter Murray (10) led all scorers with 35 points against Cross Roads. (Lawanna Monk Photo)Hunter Murray (10) led all scorers with 35 points against Cross Roads. (Lawanna Monk Photo)After battling back from an early 17-point deficit to make it a one-possession game in the closing seconds, the Lovelady Lions saw their season end with a heart-breaking 101-97 loss to Cross Roads Tuesday night at Frankston.

In a foul-plagued game, the Lions and Bobcats shot a combined total of 99 free throws which accounted for 64 of the 198 total points.

Cross Roads went to the free throw line 60 times and cashed in on 40 attempts (67%). The Lions knocked down 24 of 39 (62%).

"Having your opponent score 40 points on free throws is hard to overcome, but our kids almost did. The guys played extremely hard but we had some possessions that we just didn't take advantage of right at the end," said Lions Head Coach Jon Lowery.

"Free throws can be misleading sometimes because a team will be behind and have to foul a bunch at the end. But 35 of Cross Roads' free throws were in the first half," pointed out Lowery.

Trailing 31-16 after the first quarter, the Lions caught fire in the second and outscored Cross Roads 33-21 to cut the lead to 52-49 at the break.

"Our kids turned in a 33-point second quarter to pull us right back into the game. We got down by 17 early, but our kids didn't lay down. They caught another gear and fought their way back into the game."

The Bobcats carried a two-point edge, 77-75, into the final period.

"It was a back-and-forth game in the third and fourth quarters," said Lowery. "I thought it was going to overtime and we were going to have an advantage even with the three or four kids that we had fouled out."

Cross Roads made it a 4-point game at the free thow line with less than 2 seconds left.

"Before that it was a one-possession game but we just couldn't get the look that we needed to take it into overtime," said Lowery. "It was one of those games where it's sad that either team has to lose, because it was a battle."

With all the free throw shooting, the game lasted well over two hours. "Other than the stoppage of play for free throws, it was quite a spectator game. It was a barnburner," added Lowery.

Lovelady's Hunter Murray led all scorers with 35 points (2 treys). Courtell McQuirter finished with 16 points despite playing only 2½ minutes of the first three quarters after getting in foul trouble very early.

McQuirter picked up two fouls just a minute-and-a-half into the game and was called for his third foul just 30 seconds into the second. He was whistled for his fourth foul 30 seconds into the final frame but managed to stay on the floor and score 12 points.

"Courtell is our best jumper, and in basketball that counts for a lot. Him being in foul trouble the first three quarters changed our entire game plan," said Lowery.

Mason Lowery rounded out double figures with 10, followed by Jay Robinson 8, Petey Little 5, Mason Phillips 5, Jacob Jeffus 4, Kade White 4, Alex McKnight 3, Colt Robinson 3, Hunter Patton 2 and Timothy Johnson 2.

The Lions will lose five seniors—McQuirter, Lowery, White, Jeffus and Cole Cimrhanzl "We'll miss the seniors, but we've got some really talented young players coming back and I'm looking for them to make a big splash the next couple of years."