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Lady Dogs advance to soccer playoffs

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Crockett High School girls soccer team wrapped up district play Friday with  5-2 win over New Waverly Friday evening in Driskell Stadium. Lady Bulldogs shown are (from left) Azul Medel, Marlen Cruz, Ebeely Mata and Ariana Gonzalez. Larry Lamb HCC PhotoCrockett High School girls soccer team wrapped up district play Friday with 5-2 win over New Waverly Friday evening in Driskell Stadium. Lady Bulldogs shown are (from left) Azul Medel, Marlen Cruz, Ebeely Mata and Ariana Gonzalez. Larry Lamb HCC Photo

Crockett Lady Bulldogs clinched fourth place in District 16-4A soccer and will take on District 15-4A winner Henderson in the first round of the state playoffs.

The bi-district match is scheduled for Thursday at 6 p.m.  in the Tomato Bowl Stadium in Jacksonville.

This will be the Lady Bulldogs' first playoff appearance since 2019, their first season of UIL competition.

The Lady Bulldogs ended their district season Friday in Driskell Stadium with a 5-2 Senior Night win over New Waverly.

Eight seniors were recognized after the final home match. The honorees were Marlen Cruz, Trinity Meadows, Atriana Guerrero, Naylea Guttierrez, Elizabeth Loredo, Azul Medel, Alessia Burigo and manager Yesinia Guzman.

Crockett boys celebrated Senior Night with a 2-0 district win over New Waverly, but did not qualify for post-season.

Senior Bulldogs recognized were Antonio Cruz, Carlos Sosa, Isaac Perez, Alexander Sanchez, Raul Garcia, Tristin Mancilla and manager Jose Quintero.

Palestine's boys and girls teams both captured the District 16-4A titles.

Palestine's Lady Wildcats, boasting a 21-0-0 record, have garnered a No. 1 state ranking by the Texas Girls Coaches Association. Palestine boys are ranked No. 4 in the state.

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Lovelady grand slam highlights shutout of Alto

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Lovelady's Mimi Sandoval smashed a home run against Groveton last Tuesday and uncorked a grand slam Thursday against Alto in back-to-back road wins.Lovelady's Mimi Sandoval smashed a home run against Groveton last Tuesday and uncorked a grand slam Thursday against Alto in back-to-back road wins.

ALTO -- A grand slam homer by Mimi Sandoval ignited a 12-run second inning for the Lovelady Lady Lions on the way to a 16-0 district win over Alto on Thursday.

With Lovelady up 2-0 and bases juiced, Sandoval swung at the second pitch and belted a fly ball to center field to bring home Rylee Biedrzycki, Morgan Womack and Scout Lovell for a 6-0 lead.

Besides the grand slam, Lovelady's second inning rampage included five singles, a  double and a walk. Two batters were hit by pitch and three reached on an error.

The Lady Lions carried a 14-0 lead into the third. Bailee Albinus hit a double to center field to score Biedrzycki and scored the final run on a wild pitch.

The game was called after three innings.

Lovelady scored two runs in the top of the first after getting two runners aboard on walks. Linda Martinez hit a line drive single to bring home Mihyia Davis and Sandoval scored on an error.

Alto's only hit  of the game came in the first inning on a leadoff single. The second batter was hit by pitch and a one-out error loaded the bases but two straight strikeouts snuffed out the threat.

The Lady Lions will host Kennard on Friday for a double-header and travel to Cushing on Tuesday.

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Lady Lions put on home run clinic

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Lovelady's Mihyia Davis is greeted by her teammates after hitting a leadoff homer against Groveton in a district contest last Tuesday. Lovelady's Mihyia Davis is greeted by her teammates after hitting a leadoff homer against Groveton in a district contest last Tuesday.

By Larry Lamb
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GROVETON -- Fans attending the District 21-2A softball showdown between No. 1 Lovelady and No. 16 Groveton last Tuesday got a bonus.

The Lady Lions won 10-6 in a battle that turned into a home run clinic featuring four dingers by Lovelady and a grand-slam by Groveton.

Mihyia Davis mashed the fourth pitch of the game for a leadoff homer on a pop fly to left field. Scout Lovell doubled and scored on a two-out double by Makenna Pierce to give Lovelady a 2-0 lead.

Davis gave an encore performance in the second when she stepped up to the plate with two outs and drilled a fly ball into centerfield.

In the third frame, Morgan Womack belted a two-run shot to drive in Linda Martinez, who reached on a fielder's choice.

After having just one baserunner in the first two innings, the Lady Indians erupted with a grand-slam homer by Megan Luce to make it a 5-4 ballgame.

After a scoreless fourth by both teams, Lovelady's Mimi Sandoval led off the fifth with a homer to left field that ignited a five-run flurry. Pierce drew a one-out walk, stole second, went to third on a line drive to left by Womack and came home on the throw.

Womack stole second and scored from third on single by Haven Prager.

After Rylee Biedrzycki walked, she and Prager stole second and third, respectively. Prager scored on an error by the catcher, which allowed Biedrzycki to advance to third. Biedrzycki  scored on an error by the pitcher for a  10-4 lead. A flyout and popout ended Lovelady's threat.

Groveton plated two runs in the bottom of the fifth on a double and a pair of RBI singles.

Lovelady collected 11 hits off two Groveton pitchers while striking out three times and drawing five walks.

Senior Macie LaRue recorded the pitching win. She gave up two hits (one home run) and four runs, struck out nine and walked five.

Sandoval, who relieved LaRue in the fourth and fifth frames, gave up five hits and two runs with two strikeouts and one walk in 1 2/3 innings.

Lovelady retained its top ranking in this week's TGCA state poll but Groveton dropped out of the Top 20.

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LaPoynor knocks Grapeland boys out of playoffs

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Grapeland Johnny Lamb drives against LaPoynor in the regional quarterfinals last Tuesday in Tyler. LaPoynor prevailed 72-60 and went on to win the Region III championship over the weekend in Athens. Marsha Cook PhotoGrapeland Johnny Lamb drives against LaPoynor in the regional quarterfinals last Tuesday in Tyler. LaPoynor prevailed 72-60 and went on to win the Region III championship over the weekend in Athens. Marsha Cook Photo

From Staff Reports

TYLER – After having their championship dreams shattered by Grapeland in the 2021 regional finals, the LaPoynor Flyers turned the tables on the Sandies in this year's regional quarterfinals.

LaPoynor withstood a late rally by the Sandies to win 72-60 last Tuesday night and advance to the Region III tournament.

Last year, Grapeland knocked off LaPoynor 75-57 in the regional final to earn a berth in the state tournament.

LaPoynor, ranked No. 10 in the final TABC state poll, led 22-14 after a quarter and took a 41-28 halftime lead.

LaPoynor threatened to blow the game wide open after taking its biggest lead of 17 points midway through the third,  but the Sandies rattled off a 9-0 run consisting of three consecutive  treys.

Trailing 51-34, Johnny Lamb sparked a flurry of triples and then thwarted LaPoynor’s next possession with a steal. Sandie fans were able to breathe a little easier after Cole Goolsby heaved in back-to-back treys that cut the deficit to eight, 51-43, with 2:20 left in the third.

LaPoynor went back up by 13 before Lakerina Smith hit a late  basket to make it 56-45 at the end of three.

The Flyers opened the fourth quarter with a trey but Grapeland closed the gap to eight with 3:45 left on three consecutive treys – one by Johnny Lamb and two by Goolsby.

LaPoynor closed out the third with a 5-2 stretch to push its lead to 56-45.

After the Flyers took a 61-48 lead, the Sandies trimmed it to single digits on back-to-back treys by Goolsby and Riley Murchison.

With the lead cut 61-54 with 3:45 left, LaPoynor called a time-out and then worked the ball to big man Dijuan Whitehead for a layup to push the lead to nine.

Whitehead fouled out on LaPoynor’s next possession with a minute left when Lamb took a charge.

A Cadarian Wiley bucket made it a seven-point ball-game, but the Sandies would get no closer down the stretch.

After falling behind by 10, Murchison made it 67-59 with 1:30 left but LaPoynor hit four of four free throws in the final 25 seconds to ice the win.

Murchison, a junior, led Grapeland (28-11) with 20 points and six rebounds. Junior Omarian Wiley recorded a double-double with 13 points and 14 rebounds.

Goolsby, a junior, had nine points, followed by junior Johnny Lamb with eight, senior Lakerina Smith with six points and seven rebounds, and senior Cadarian Wiley with four points and seven rebounds.

Goolsby drained three triples while Murchison and Lamb hit two apiece.

The Flyers advanced to the Class 2A Region III tournament at Athens where they knocked off No. 4 Timpson 60-59 and then edged Beckville 76-71 Saturday to punch their ticket to the Final Four.

LaPoynor (33-6) faces Clarendon (29-2) in the state semifinals Friday at 10 a.m. in San Antonio. Lipan (38-0) and Mumford (31-7) are paired in the other semifinals matchup at 8:30 a.m. The 2A championship games is 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

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State-ranked Lovelady, Latexo softballers go undefeated in tournaments

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Lovelady's Lady Lions, the top-ranked class 2A team in the state, went undefeated in winning the Franklin tournament last week. COURTESY PHOTOLovelady's Lady Lions, the top-ranked class 2A team in the state, went undefeated in winning the Franklin tournament last week. COURTESY PHOTO

By Larry Lamb
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Two Houston County softball teams boasting lofty state rankings flexed their muscles in tournament action over the weekend.

The Lovelady Lady Lions are tabbed No. 1 and the Latexo Lady Tigers are pegged No. 6 in the latest MaxPreps class 2A rankings released Friday, March 4.

Both Lovelady and Latexo are coming off eye-popping tournament performances.

Lovelady shut out six class 3A squads on the way to the tourney championship at Franklin. The Lady Lions outscored their opponents 45-0.

During the grueling two-day tournament, the Lady Lions defeated Buffalo 10-0, Blooming Grove 10-0, Caldwell 6-0, Rogers 9-0, Kountze 2-0  and Woodville 8-0.

Latexo also grabbed some attention by outscoring their opponents 52-4 in five games en route to the championship in their own tournament.

The Lady Tigers won two  games Friday over Alto 9-1 and Cypress Christian 13-0.

Picking up where they left off Saturday morning, the Lady Tigers shut out Cross Roads 10-0, beat Concordia Lutheran 10-2 and then completed their tourney sweep over Crockett 10-1.

Lovelady and Latexo compete in different districts and regions. The Lady Lions are in District 21-2A Region 3 and Latexo is in District 25-2A Region 4.

Lovelady's district includes Alto, Cushing, Douglass, Groveton, Apple Springs (1A), Kennard (1A) and  Wells (1A).

Latexo's district includes Centerville, Grapeland ,Jewett Leon, Slocum and Oakwood (1A).

Facing off in a non-district matchup Feb. 15,  the Lady Lions edged the visiting Lady Tigers 8-7 on a walk-off triple.

Latexo's Lady Tigers, ranked No. 6 in the state by MaxPreps, were undefeated champions in their own tournament over the weekend.Latexo's Lady Tigers, ranked No. 6 in the state by MaxPreps, were undefeated champions in their own tournament over the weekend.

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