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Palestine wins Lady Dogs Thanksgiving Classic

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By Larry Lamb
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Crockett's Tacorra Johnson (32) swats the ball away from a  Livingston shooter during the Lady Dogs Thanksgiving Classic Saturday in The Hop. (LARRY LAMB   HCC)Crockett's Tacorra Johnson (32) swats the ball away from a Livingston shooter during the Lady Dogs Thanksgiving Classic Saturday in The Hop. (LARRY LAMB HCCROCKETT -- The Crockett Lady Bulldogs hosted their 7th annual Thanksgiving Basketball Classic last Thursday, Friday and Saturday with 13 teams ranging from class 2A through 5A competing for this year's title.

Three class 4A squads dominated the tournament. The Palestine Lady Wildcats went undefeated to take home the championship trophy while Mexia's Lady Blackcats picked up second and Navasota's Lady Rattlers took third.

Each team played five games over three days in both The Hop and the CHS gym. The tournament tipped off at 8 a.m. Thursday and wrapped up Saturday with the final matchup at 2:30 p.m.

Crockett only notched one tournament win, but coach TaNesiah Johnson knows the experience is going to pay off when her team starts district in less than two weeks.

"We aren't scared to play any of those teams. In order to be successful and improve, you must play various talent levels. It was really good basketball over the past three days," said Johnson.

The Lady Dogs opened the tourney with a 59-26 loss to Normangee on Thursday. Junior forward Tacorra Johnson led the scoring with 12 points.

Later that evening, the Lady Dogs took on former district rival Coldspring and prevailed 56-50 in a nail-biter. Johnson and freshman Tania Davis each pumped in 17 to lead the way.

Back in action Friday, the Lady Dogs faced off with Pineywoods Academy, a team they had beaten 50-44 in their season opener. The Lady Wolves didn't back down and took the win 51-45 despite a 20-point effort by Johnson.

Crockett's other two losses were against a pair of 4A squads.

In their next game Friday, 4A Madisonville edged the Lady Dogs 42-32. Senior Keaton Crabtree led Crockett with 10 points.

Rounding out tourney action Saturday, 4A Livingston held all of Crockett's scorers to single digits to beat the tournament hosts 51-22.

"I sound like a broken record, but we must have at least two to three players in double figures. We are bigger than other teams we face, but we must also play big. Although we defend tremendously on our big girl, still others must step up and play their role as well. We must find a way and find a way soon," said Johnson, whose team plays its district opener Dec. 7 at Teague.

"I feel strongly that we have a chance to finish in the top four in our district but we must show that on the court," stressed Johnson.

Before starting the Thanksgiving break, the Lady Bulldogs hosted Pollok Central on Monday and travelled to Douglass on Tuesday. "We'll practice Wednesday and use the remainder of the week to rest and recover," said Johnson.

The Lady Dogs return to action Tuesday, Nov. 30 with a home game against New Waverly. They wrap up their non-district slate at Mexia on Dec. 3.

See Page 2B for a recap of the Lady Bulldogs' first four games of the season.

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Lovelady rolls in playoff opener

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The Lovelady Lions savor the moment after winning the bi-district championship over Hull-Daisetta Friday night in Woodville.The Lovelady Lions savor the moment after winning the bi-district championship over Hull-Daisetta Friday night in Woodville.

By Lawanna Monk

WOODVILLE -- The Lovelady Lions cleared their first obstacle on the playoff road with ease.

The Lions jumped out to  24-0 lead and went on to steamroll the Hull Daisetta Bobcats, 52-18, Friday night.

Hull-Daisetta received the opening kickoff but was forced to punt. Keivon Skinner returned the ball to the 30 yard line and the Lions scored four plays later on a 35-yard run  by Connor Martinez, who started the drive with a 21-yard gain. Easterling, who set up the score with runs of 9 and 5 yards, ran the conversion for an 8-0 lead with 7:47 on the clock.

 Lovelady's Erik castillo (54) sacks the quarterback in last week's bi-district win over Hull-Daisetta, Lovelady's Erik castillo (54) sacks the quarterback in last week's bi-district win over Hull-Daisetta,After forcing another Bobcat punt, the Lions need ed just three plays to travel 70 yards.

On the second play, K.  Skinner carried 30 yards across midfield to the 40 yard line. Quarterback Slade Murray took it to the house on the next play and then ran the conversion for a 16-0 lead with 3:12 left.

On HD's next series, the Lions mounted a defensive stand to stop the Bobcats at the 32 yard line. After Skylar Pipkin broke up a pass on fourth-and-three, the Lions took over and marched 68 yards on just three plays.

After a penalty moved the Lions back 9 yards, Murray connected with K. Skinner on a long TD pass and Easterling ran the conversion to make it 24-0 with 10:43 left in the half.

The Bobcats returned the Lions' kickoff to the 27 and scored on a 73-yard double-reverse to close the gap to 24-6 with 10:10 left in the half. A 2-point play was unsuccessful.

The Bobcats attempted an onside kick which Blake Patrick foiled by scooping up the ball on the Lion 45.

Easterling carried for 8 and after an incomplete pass Easterling spun out of the backfield and made it to the Bobcat 31. After several penalties on both teams, Dayvian Skinner scored on a  30-yard run.

K. Skinner's kickoff was returned to the HD 24, where Landen LeBlanc shut down a 4-yard return.

A pride of Lions shut down the first play for a loss, but the Bobcats scored on a long tipped pass when the receiver came down with the ball and stepped into the end zone for a TD. A conversion pass failed, leaving the Lions with a 30-6 lead with 6:19 left in the half.

Lovelady added two more touchdowns before halftime to take a 44-12 lead.

Patrick foiled another onside attempt by the Bobcats when he recovered  the ball near midfield.

Murray carried to the Bobcat 15 and Easterling took it to the 5, where K. Skinner scored on the next play to make it 38-12 with 4:12 left in the half.

The Lions only had to travel 20 yards for their next score after Brandon Fry recovered a bad snap deep in Bobcat territory.

Easterling carried to the 10 and Murray threw to Pipkin at the 4 yard line.

D. Skinner bolted up the middle for the touchdown before a defender was able to get a hand on him.

A conversion pass failed, leaving the Lions up 44-12 with 2:57 left in the half.

After a Bobcat punt, the Lions added to their lead with a four-play, 51-yard drive.

The Lions drove down the field on two runs by D. Skinner for 5 and 4 yards. A pass interference call on Hull-Daisetta as time expired in the quarter gave the Lions another shot and that's all it took. This time, Murray hit Pipkin on a TD pass and D. Skinner fought his way in for the conversion, bring the score to 52-12 heading into the fourth.

With the clock running continuosly in the fourth quarter and the Lion JV seeing most of the action, Hull-Daisetta scored with :12 left in the game. 

After the Lions turned the ball over on downs at the HD 25, the Bobcats put together a 13 play scoring drive. The Bobcats scored on a 7-yard run.

Martinez recorded seceral TFLs and Btandon Fry shut down a play for a loss. Erik Castillo also had a quarterback sack in the first quartere and Peyton Harrison kept heavy pressure on the Bobcats all night.

Lovelady's Connor Martinez (13) puts the Lions on the scoreboard early against Hull-Daisetta in their bi-district win Friday. Lovelady's Connor Martinez (13) puts the Lions on the scoreboard early against Hull-Daisetta in their bi-district win Friday.

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Lovelady honors its Lady Lions

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Lady Lions 051821The Lovelady Lady Lions are poised for domination in their division. PHOTO COURTESY OF LOVELADY ISD

By Chris Edwards

LOVELADY – The whole town of Lovelady is proud of the Lady Lions’ impressive run during this softball season, to say the least. The governing body of the town made it official last week with a resolution naming a day in honor of the team.

“Lovelady Lions Day” was made official last Thursday, May 13, by Mayor Byron Shoemaker and the city council members. It honors the team, whose “undefeated district season…will forever be etched into the history of Lovelady,” as the text of the resolution states.

The Lady Lions continue their journey to the state championship in the UIL Division 2A rankings with a sound defeat of the Joaquin Lady Rams in the Regional Quarterfinal round last weekend.

The resolution names and celebrates the team members, along with the coaching staff, team manager and the Lovelady ISD Board of Trustees and administration.

This season saw the first undefeated district season for the Lady Lions in the history of Lovelady ISD, which the resolution notes.

Along with the faculty, staff and others who work with the team, the resolution notes that the “strong support of the multitudes of parents and fans who comprise the ‘Pride of the Mighty Lovelady Lions’” is a key factor in the team’s success.

The Lady Lions are scheduled to play the Como-Pickton Lady Eagles in the semi-final round beginning Thursday at 7 p.m. in Whitehouse. A second game is scheduled for Friday at 5 p.m. and a third, if necessary, will follow at 7 p.m. Tickets are only available online at https://www.whitehousewildcats.com/HTtickets .

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Centerville boys win 20-2A title, Groveton takes second

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IMG 2695Larry Lamb | HCC Lovelady’s Shaun Easterling took district titles in the 100 and 300 meter hurdles during the District 20-2A Track and Field Meet at Centerville recently.

By Larry Lamb

The Centerville Tigers hosted the District 20-2A track meet and claimed the varsity boys championship during competition that required an extra day to complete due to inclement weather.

The Tigers racked up 181 points to claim the title by a comfortable margin over Groveton, which tallied 135.5 points. The Lovelady Lions were hot on the Indians’ heels with 134 points followed by Grapeland (66), Jewett Leon (46.5), Latexo (30) and Slocum (0.

Field events, running prelims and 3200-meter races took place Monday, April 5 at Tiger Stadium. Athletes returned Thursday for the running finals at 6 p.m. but just over an hour into the session threatening weather prompted meet officials to call a 30-minute lightning delay. Subsequent threatening weather in the area forced the delay to be extended and eventually the remaining six events were postponed until Friday morning.

The top four finishers in each event advanced to the area meet Thursday in Madisonville. The top four performers at area qualify for the Class 2A Region III meet April 23-24 at Palestine High School.

Results of the district meet are as follows:

District 20-2A Track Meet

Monday, April 5 - Thursday, April 8 - Friday, April 9

Varsity Boys

Team Standings- 1, Centerville 181. 2, Groveton, 135.5. 3, Lovelady, 134. 4, Grapeland 66. 5, Jewett Leon 46.5. 6, Latexo 30. 7. Slocum 0.

Running Events

100 dash – B. J. Lamb, Grapeland, 10.94. 2, Kaden Dunn, Centerville, 11.10. 3, T. Cornett, Leon, 11.32. 4, Ashton Hargrove, Latexo, 11.47. 5, Phoenix Bowman, Groveton, 11.57. 6, D. Watson, Leon, 11.57.

200 dash – 1, T. Cornett, Leon, 22.30. 2, Cadarian Wiley, Grapeland, 22.82. 3, Ashton Hargrove, Latexo, 22.83. 4, Andrew Newman, Centerville, 23.12. 5, D. Watson, Leon, 23.41. 6, Angel Villareal, Centerville, 23.50.

400 dash - 1, Donivan Moehr, Centerville, 50.97. 2, Dillon Denman, Centerville, 54.68. 3, Haden Lee, Groveton, 54.78. 4, Jackson Jefferies, Lovelady, 54.90. 5, James Williams, Groveton, 56.68.6, Halston French, Centerville, 56.75.

800 run – 1, Kasen Jeitz, Centerville, 1:59.18. 2, Joel Pomeroy, Lovelady, 2:11.61. 3, Haden Lee, Groveton, 2:13.62.4, Luke Carter, Centerville, 2:17.11. 5, Blake Patrick, Lovelady, 2:18.00. 6, Cyris Gray, Centerville, 2:18.02.

1600 run – Logan Ray, Latexo, 5:16.11. 2, Jarrett Loftin, Groveton, 5:21.59. 3, Luke Carter, Centerville, 5:22.02. 4, Enrique Cruz, Centerville, 5:23.21. 5, Cyrus Gray, Centerville, 5:23.34. 6, Caden Alexander, Groveton, 5:26.56.

3200 run – 1. Logan Ray, Latexo, 11:44. 2, Jarrett Loftin, Groveton, 11:52. 3, Cyris Gray, Centerville, 11:53. 4, Luke Carter, Centerville, 11:54. 5, Caden Alexander, Groveton, 12:07. 6, Enrique Cruz, Centerville, 12:12

110 hurdles – 1, Shaun Easterling, Lovelady, 15.34. 2, Brett Wagnon, Centerville, 16.84. 3, Bradi Minter, Centerville, 18.15. 4, King Jones, Groveton, 18.56. 5, Ian Utz, Groveton, 19.18. 6, Tyler Stanford, Centerville, 19.46.

300 hurdles – 1, Shaun Easterling, Lovelady, 42.28. 2, Brett Wagnon, Centerville, 42.37. 3, Karter Kornegay, Centerville, 43.75. 4, King Jones, Groveton, 45.37. 5, Tuff Reynolds, Groveton, 46.34. 6, Brandon Fry, Lovelady, 52.05.

4x100 relay – Grapeland (Riley Murchison, Cadarian Wiley, Lekarian Smith, B.J. Lamb), 44.60. 2, Centerville (French, Newman, Kornegay, Moehr), 44.61. 3, Groveton (Phoenix Bowman, Byron Thomas, David Ayala, Malachi Stewart), 45.31. 4, Lovelady (Conner Martinez, Cole Harris, Slade Murray, Keivon Skinner), 45.85.

4x200 relay – Leon (Leggett, Noey, Watson, Cornett), 1:34.99. 2, Groveton (Navid Pat, Bryon Thomas, David Ayala, Malachi Stewart), 1:36.88. 3, Centerville (Roberts, Newman, Villareal, White), 1:36.88. 4, Lovelady (Conner Martinez, Cole Harris, Slade Murray, Keivon Skinner), 1:37.12.

4x400 relay – 1, Centerville (Jeitz, Denman, White, Moehr), 3:32.62. 2, Lovelady (Joel Pomeroy, Keivon Skinner, Shaun Easterling, Cole Harris), 3:36.84. 3, Groveton (David Ayala, Navid Pat, Chase Blair, Haden Lee), 3:47.52.

Field Events

Long Jump- 1, B.J. Lamb, Grapeland, 20-10 ¾. 2, Keivon Skinner, Lovelady, 19-6 ½. 3, T, Cornett, Leon, 19-5. 4, Halston French, Centerville, 18-5 ¼. 5, Andrew Newman, Centerville, 18-4 ¾. 6, James Williams, Groveton, 17-9 ¾.

Shot put – 1, Tyler Allen, Groveton, 40-2. 2, Jabez Fills, Centerville, 38-2. 3, Levodrick Phillips, Centerville, 36-6. 4, Jason DeCluette, Grapeland, 35-10 ½. 5, B.J. Kelly, Centerville, 35-4. 6, Dayvian Skinner, Lovelady, 35-2 ½.

Discus – 1, Eric Castillo, Lovelady, 112-4. 2, Shaun Easterling, Lovelady, 110-10 ½. 3, Tyler Allen, Groveton, 99-10 ½. 4, Jason DeCluette, Grapeland, 99-0. 5, Dayvian Skinner, Lovelady, 91-2 ½. 6, Holley Zantayl, Centerville, 90-2.

Triple jump – 1, Riley Murchison, Grapeland, 39-0. 2, Slade Murray, Lovelady, 38-7. 3, Chase Blair, Groveton, 37-2 ½. 4, Navid Pat, Groveton, 37-1. 5, James Williams, Groveton, 36-11 ½. 6, T. Kirschner, Leon, 36-8.

High jump – 1, Shaun Easterling, Lovelady, 5-10. 2, Keivon Skinner, Lovelady, 5’10. 3, Dillon Denman, Centerville, 5-8. 4, Malachi Stewart, Groveton, 5-8. 5, Chase Vycital, Groveton, 5-6.

Pole vault – 1, Cole Harris. Lovelady, 11-6. 2, Dalton Chandler, Groveton, 10-0. 3, Haden Lee, Groveton, 9-0. 4, James Webb, Centerville, 8-6. 5, Jackson Jefferies, Lovelady, 8-6. 6, Brett Wagnon, Centerville, 8-6.

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Groveton girls nip Lovelady for district track crown

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IMG 2689LARRY LAMB | HCC Groveton’s Ingrid Rojo took first in the 100 hurdles and second in the 300 hurdles at the District 20-2A Track Meet.

By Larry Lamb

A first place finish in the 1600-meter run and a third place showing in the 1600 relay lifted Groveton to the District 20-2A varsity girls track championship in the finals Friday, April 9 at Centerville High School’s Tiger Stadium.

That strong finish by the Lady Indians in the last two events gave them a total of 167 points, putting them two points ahead of Lovelady (165) in the district team standings. Jewett Leon (137.5) finished a distant third, followed by Centerville (94.5), Latexo (20), Slocum (5) and Grapeland (0).

The meet was scheduled to take two days, but inclement weather stretched competition into a third day.

Field events, running prelims and 3200-meter races took place Monday. Athletes returned Thursday for the running finals at 6 p.m. and the meet was running on schedule until shortly after 7 o’clock when a 30-minute lightning delay was called. Subsequent threatening weather in the area forced the delay to be extended and eventually the remaining six events were postponed until Friday morning.

The top four finishers in each event advanced to the area meet Thursday in Madisonville where they competed for a regional berth April 23-24 at Palestine Wildcats Stadium.

Results of the district meet are as follows:

District 20-2A Track Meet

Monday, April 5 - Thursday, April 8 - Friday, April 9

Varsity Girls

Team Standings- 1, Groveton 167. 2, Lovelady 165. 3, Jewett Leon 137.5. 4, Centerville 94.5. 5, Latexo 20. 6, Slocum 5. 7, Grapeland 0.

Running events

100 dash – 1, Jacy Stubblefield, Lovelady, 12.78. 2, Anaya Bloodworth, Groveton, 13.28. 3, Charlee Biano, Latexo, 13.49. 4, Kortney Bynum, Lovelady, 13.55. 5, Kaitlyn Kirschner, Leon, 13.90. 5, Kameron Denman, Centerville, 13.90.

200 dash – 1, Lauren Salley, Leon, 27.56. 2, Jacy Stubblefield, Lovelady, 27.87. 3, Keyonna Holley, Centerville, 27.93. 4, Maya Calvin, Leon, 28.84. 5, Emma Alexander, Groveton, 28.85. 6, Anaya Bloodworth, Groveton, 29.93.

400 dash – 1, Lauren Salley, Leon, 1:03.11. 2, Madison Johnson, Leon, 1:04.90. 3, Kinsley Kornegay, Centerville, 1:07.49. 4, Tanaysha Cole, Groveton, 1:07.68. 5, Shyanne Pipkin, Lovelady, 1:07.75. 6, Josselyn Cruz, Groveton, 1:09.65.

800 run – Madison Johnson, Leon, 2:36.46. 2, Rylie Croston, Centerville, 2:36.72. 3, Kaitlyn Bailey, Centerville, 2:36.96. 4, Kinsey Hardee, Centerville, 2:38.81. 5, Claire Stevens, Leon, 2:40.72. 6, Josselyn Cruz, Groveton, 2:43.86.

1600 run – 1, Caitlyn Antley, Groveton, 6:06.61. 2, Claire Stevens, Leon, 6:08.36. 3, Isavel Bautista, Groveton, 6:18.34. 4, Abby Sarraf, Slocum, 6:19.68. 5, Skyler Shaw, Groveton, 6:22.27. 6, Shyanne Pipkin, Lovelady, 6:33.84.

3200 run – 1. Claire Stevens, Leon, 13:14. 2, Caitlyn Antley, Groveton, 13:17. 3, Rylie Croston, Centerville, 13:19. 4. Kaitlyn Bailey, Centerville, 13:25. 5, Isavel Bautista, Groveton, 13:31. 6, Abby Sarraf, Slocum, 14:28.

100 hurdles – 1, Ingrid Rojo, Groveton, 18.99. 2, Emma Carmicheal, Lovelady, 19.90. 3, Daisia Leonard, Groveton, 20.65. 4, Hanna Huffstuttler, Lovelady, 20.90. 5, Olivia Ice, Lovelady, 21.00.

300 hurdles – 1, Scout Lovell, Lovelady, 51.34. 2, Ingrid Rojo, Groveton, 55.94. 3, Olivia Ice, Lovelady, 57.15. 3, Samantha Hobbs, Centerville, 57.15.

5, Emma Carmicheal, Lovelady, 57.72. 6, Daisia Leonard, Groveton, 1:05.31

4x100 – 1, Leon (Ramirez, Sitton, Oviedo, Calvin), 51.65. 2, Groveton (Kaylee McRory, Maicey Smith, Emma Alexander, Breanna McQueen), 52.00.

  1. Centerville (Keeton, Denman, Rivenbark, Holley), 52.97. 4, Lovelady (MaKenna Pierce, Bailee Albinus, Kortney Bynum, Aaliyah Jones), 53.88. 5, Latexo (Charlee Biano, Emily Bird, Shelby Eberts, Taylor Dise), 56.31.

4x200 relay – 1, Leon (Ramirez, Sitton, Oviedo, Calvin), 1:50.18. 2, Groveton. (Breanna McQueen, Emma Alexander, Kaylee McRory, Maicey Smith), 1:51.56. 3, Lovelady (MaKenna Pierce, Bailee Albinus, Scout Lovell, Jacy Stubblefield), 1:53.49. 4, Latexo (Charlee Biano, Emily Bird, Shelby Eberts, Taylor Dise), 2:01.87.

4x400 – 1, Leon (Salley, Johnson, Sitton, Oviedo), 4:18.12. 2, Centerville (Holley, Hardee, Kornegay, Kapchinsky), 4:24.25. 3, Groveton (Breanna McQueen, Caitlyn Antley, Kaylee McRory, Maicey Smith), 4:26.18.

Field Events

Long jump – 1, Jacy Stubblefield, Lovelady, 16-1 ¼. 2, Ciera Keeton, Centerville, 15-4. 3, Breanna McQueen, Groveton, 15-1 ¾. 4, Aaliyah Jones, Lovelady, 14-2 ¾. 5, Emily Bird, Latexo, 14-0. 6, Alexis Easterling, Groveton, 13’10.

Shot put – 1, Jenny Kapchinski, Centerville, 32-2. 2, Canaan Dillard, Groveton, 31-6. 3, Stacy Rojo, Groveton, 27-10. 4, Magali Castillo, Lovelady, 27-8. 5. Hollie Seidel, Lovelady, 25-8. 6, Hannah Spurgeon, Groveton, 24-7.

Discus – 1, Kylie Pugh, Lovelady, 88-1. 2, Magali Castillo, Lovelady, 86-8. 3, Stacey Rojo, Groveton, 86-7 ½. 4, Canann Dillard, Groveton, 84-7 ½. 5, Hannah Spurgeon, Groveton, 78-2 ½. 6, Danielle Glasgow, Lovelady, 74-9.

Triple jump – 1, Makenna Pierce, Lovelady, 31-6 ½. 2, Maya Calvin, Leon, 31-5. 3, Kortney Bynum, Lovelady, 30-11. 4, Kaylee McRory, Groveton, 29-0 1/2. 5, Emma Alexander, Groveton, 28-7. 6, Daisia Leonard, Groveton, 27-9.

High jump – 1, Shyanne Pipkin, Lovelady, 5-2. 2, Kieyn Smith, Groveton, 4-8. 3, Emily Sitton, Leon, 4-6.

Pole Vault - Jacy Stubblefield, Lovelady, 9-6. 2, Kameron Negrete, Lovelady, 9-0. 3, Scout Lovell, Lovelady, 8-6. 4, Ingrid Rojo, Groveton, 6-6. 5, Kaitlyn Bailey, Centerville, 6-0.

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