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  • Lovelady girls open hoop season with victory (VIDEO)

    Lovelady CoachLARRY LAMB | HCC Lovelady girls basketball coach Kollyn McWhinney gives instructions to players during their season opener against Crockett.

    By Larry Lamb

    Lovelady’s girls basketball season got off to a winning start under new head coach Kollyn McWhinney against county rival Crockett, 58-27, on the road Tuesday, Nov. 10.

    The Lady Lions led 14-6 after a quarter, 26-12 at halftime and 37-19 at the end of three.

    Macie LaRue had the hot hand in the middle quarters when she scored 13 of her 17 points (1 trey) to pace Lovelady’s offense.

    Shyanne Pipkin, a returning all-district second-team honoree, scored 11 (1 trey) and Kortney Bynum rounded out double figures with 10.

    Aaliyah Jones canned 6, while Morgan Womack, Haley Davidson and Shelby Pugh scored four apiece. Rojanae Polhamus, a returning all-district first-teamer, tossed in 2.

    Crockett’s scoring was led by Quenisha Henderson with 10 (1 trey). Tocarra Johnson had 7, Ty’Shonda Bell 4 and La’Kyriah Hamilton drained a 3-pointer. Keaton Crabtree, A’Naya Wooten and Ja’Kenya Tryon each had a free throw.

    Before coming to Lovelady, McWhinney was head coach at Class 3A Marion High School for 16 seasons. She passed the 300-win milestone during the 2016-17 season and finished the 2019-2020 season with a total of 363 victories.

    Lovelady CrockettGirlsBasketballLARRY LAMB | HCC Crockett’s Quenisha Henderson and Lovelady’s Haley Davidson scramble for a loose ball in a county rivalry matchup Tuesday, Nov. 10 at The Hop in Crockett.

    After finishing third in the district last season, the Lady Lions beat Cayuga in bi-district and then knocked off a highly ranked Marlin squad before being eliminated by Crawford in the third round.

    Texas Basketball magazine’s prediction for District 20-2A is a repeat of last year. Grapeland (35-5, 12-0) is the projected champion, followed by Centerville (25-9, 10-2), Lovelady (25-12, 7-5) and Jewett Leon (12-9, 6-6). Slocum, Groveton and Latexo round out the district.

    Lovelady opens district play Dec. 11 on the road against Groveton.

    The Lady Bulldogs are playing catch-up after missing the first two weeks of practice due to Covid-19 quarantine.

    Crockett begins its District 20-3A schedule Dec. 8 at home against Teague.

  • Lovelady outlasts West Sabine

    LoveladyFootball Lovelady DefenseLovelady’s Joel Pomeroy (12) and Carter Murray (75) put pressure on the West Sabine quarterback Friday night in Pineland. Photo by Lawanna Monk

    By Lawanna Monk

    HOUSTON COUNTY - A 100-mile-plus trip to Pineland was worth it for the Lovelady Lions and their fans Friday night.

    The Lions fended off the West Sabine Tigers 44-34 for their second straight district victory.

    After West Sabine made it a four-point game late in the third quarter, the Lions put the game away with a touchdown early in the fourth quarter.

    Lovelady started its first series with good field position after Joel Pomeroy covered the kickoff on the Lion 49.

    Shaun Easterling took the ball on first down and reeled off a 34-yard run behind the offensive line manned by Matthew McFarland, Caleb Larkin, Jaxson Reeves, Mikey Montemayor and Carter Murray.

    Three plays later Easterling capped the drive and Eric Anderson ran the two-point conversion for an 8-0 lead with 10:41 in the first quarter.

    Lovelady’s onside kick failed to go the required distance, so West Sabine took over on the Lion 43 and scored five plays later on a short pass. An extra point kick failed, leaving the Lions with an 8-6 lead with 9:02 left.

    The Lions went up 16-6 with an 11-play, 77-yard drive after Keivon Skinner downed the Tigers’ kickoff at the 23 yard line.

    Easterling carried five times, dragging defenders behind him on several plays. The drive also included a four-yard carry by quarterback Slade Murray and a nine-yarder by Conner Martinez. Easterling scored from four yards out with 3:14 left in the first quarter and Martinez ran the conversion.

    West Sabine took advantage of a momentum swing and scored two unanswered touchdowns to go in front by four early in the second quarter.

    Late in the first quarter West Sabine recovered a fumble at the Lion 25 and cashed in two plays later on a quarterback keeper. The Tigers threw for two points to close the gap to 16-14 with :06 left in the opening period.

    West Sabine took the lead, 20-16, with 7:39 left in the second quarter after taking over at the Tiger 17 on a punt. The Tigers drove down the field and scored from three yards out but were unsuccessful on the conversion.

    The Lions regained the momentum with back-to-back touchdowns before halftime.

    A fair catch by Pomeroy on the kickoff set up Lovelady’s offense at the Lion 38. Except for two short runs by Martinez and Murray, Easterling accounted for most of the yardage on the seven-play drive and scored on a 35-yard run. Martinez ran for the conversion to give the Lions a 24-20 edge at the 4:20 mark.

    After forcing a Tiger punt that went out of bounds at the Lion 43, Easterling picked up four on first down and then Murray connected with Skinner on a 53-yard touchdown strike. Easterling’s two-point conversion run gave the Lions a 32-20 lead at the 2:16 mark in the first half.

    The Lions weren’t able to breathe easy for long, though.

    After kicking off to the Tiger 28, West Sabine marched down the field and scored five plays later on a six-yard pass and then threw for the conversion to make it a four-point game, 32-28, with :24 left in the half.

    A crucial fourth-down stop by the Lion defense at the 10 yard line shifted the momentum back to Lovelady. Moore had several tackles while Martinez and Murray helped keep the pressure on the Tigers until they ran out of steam.

    The Lions then drove 90 yards down the field on five carries by Easterling, four by Slade Murray and three by Eric Anderson. Martinez capped the 13-play drive on a four-yard run and a two-point conversion was unsuccessful but Lovelady was up 38-28 with 1:19 to go in the third.

    Refusing to go away quietly, the Tigers roared back on their next possession and struck quickly on a two-play drive. After being stopped for a two-yard loss on first down, West Sabine took it the distance from 67 yards out on the next play. The conversion failed, leaving the Lions with a 38-34 lead with :28 left in the third.

    Lovelady started its next possession at its 40 yard line after the kickoff and put together an eight-play scoring drive.

    The Lions drove down the field on five carries by Easterling, a seven-yarder by Murray and a 15-yarder by Anderson.

    With the ball inside the 10, Easterling took it rest of the way for the Lions’ final touchdown midway through the fourth quarter that sealed a 44-34 victory.

    This week Lovelady (2-1, 3-4) hosts Mt. Enterprise (1-2, 1-6), which fell to Tenaha 49-0 last week.

  • Lovelady Volleyball

    Lovelady VolleyballThe Lovelady Lady Lions volleyball team had reason to smile Tuesday night after defeating Groveton to clinch the District 23-2Achampionshipwith a 10-2 record. School officials say this is Lovelady’s first district volleyball title since 1968. Team members are Jacy Stubblefield (0), Courtney Spoerle (7), Rylee Biedryzki (1), Morgan Womack (8), Shyanne Pipkin(2), Macie LaRue (9), Rajanae Polhamus (3), Bailee Albinus (11), Makenna Pierce(5), Katie Thompson (12), Haven Prager (8) and Kylie Pugh (13). They are pictured with head coach Emily McLaughlin and assistant coaches Jordyn Hester and Andee Little. (Courtesy photo)

  • New homeschool hoops team building for the future

    IMG 1312LARRY LAMB | HCC East Texas Archers head coach Detrick Watts talks to players during a time-out against Crockett.

    By Larry Lamb

    Homeschool students in the Houston County area now have an opportunity to play on a basketball team close to home.

    The East Texas Archers, based in Lovelady, have already played 21 games during their inaugural season.

    “We’re a first-year homeschool boys team with all freshman and sophomore players. These are young kids ranging from age 13 to 16,” explained Jeff Rollo, who co-organized the program with Archers head coach Detrick Watts.

    “There’s nothing really in Deep East Texas for homeschool athletes,” said Rollo, noting that his children played for the Aggieland HomeSchool Panthers in College Station several years ago when they were homeschooled. “There are several homeschool teams in the Houston area but we wanted to provide an opportunity for homeschool kids in this area to play basketball without having to travel so far just to practice.”

    Playing a mixture of high school varsity teams, private schools and homeschool teams, the Archers have compiled a 10-11 record.

    The Archers haven’t backed away from playing powerhouse teams.

    The Archers took on the Crockett Bulldogs (6-2), a class 3A UIL squad, on Dec. 31 in the Hopkins Activity Center in Crockett. Although the Archers fell 76-44, Rollo says playing high-caliber teams like Crockett is going to pay off down the road. Two of the Archers’ earlier losses were to defending UIL Class 1A state champion LaPoynor and TAPPS 2A champion Alpha Omega Academy of Huntsville.

    After the Crockett game, the Archers fell to class 2A Normangee, 73-48, and then posted back-to-back wins over Aggieland HomeSchool, 67-53, and Still Creek Christian (Bryan), 48-30 .

    Earlier this season, the Archers notched impressive tournament wins over two private schools. They knocked off Rosehill Christian (Tomball), the sixth-ranked private school team, 54-46, and Bay Area Christian, 68-55, in back-to-back games. “Those were the two best games that we’ve played but since then we’ve lost about five in a row,” said Rollo.

    The Archers’ roster includes Jaedin Watts, Brycen Watts, Kaven Rollo, A.J. Frizzell, Ethan Jones, Trent Goodall, John Sullivan, Shayne Cox, Braden Kovar, Josh Nutt and Levi Smith. Players are from Lovelady as well as Latexo, College Station, Willis, Huntsville, Palestine and Trinity.

    “We have some varsity-caliber kids and then we have some that had never played. We have some with one or two years of experience,” said Rollo. “When we first started this we had three players and now we have a total of 11. Most of these kids did not know each other. Now they’re developing team chemistry and camaraderie.”

    Rollo explained that National Homeschool Basketball rules specify that students can play on a team if they live within a 100-mile radius, but they must be “true homeschool students” not enrolled in a public or private school.

    When the homeschool playoffs begin the Archers will compete in the 16-under division. Playoffs start with the district tournament in Houston, followed by regional in Duncanville, state in Round Rock and nationals in Springfield, Mo.
    Without the luxury of a home gym, the Archers are true road warriors.

    “We’re always the underdog, the away team. You’re not going to get any calls. You’re not going to get any love. Nobody knows who you are,” said Rollo. “I like to say that we’re homeschooled, but we’re homeless without a home gym.”

    Lack of consistency has been the main issue so far.

    “We see spurts. We’ve played pretty good basketball at times but it’s about consistency. We don’t have a lot of skilled players that you could put in and out, so you get worn down during a game. It’s all about trying to get better for the future,” he said.

    Homeschool teams are not restricted in the number of games they can play so the Archers are planning 45 to 50 games.

    “We still have a lot of basketball to be played. These are great kids, very respectful and we’re learning and growing. I explain it as a big brother-little brother situation. Little brother is going to take his licks early but then little brother is going to grow and get stronger. We schedule tough teams because we want a gauging stick. We want to play games that are tough and difficult. It’s only going to make us better,” Rollo said.

    Rollo, who coached the Lovelady High School girls program four years, said plans call for the addition of a girls program next year, eventually expanding to more age groups. Rollo will be the girls team head coach and Watts will assist.

    “We’re all in it together. We try to bring our knowledge, our passion and our love of the game,” he said.

  • Parents allege child abuse, seek answers

    IMG 7787ALTON PORTER | HCC Exterior of the Treehouse Academy, a daycare in Crockett, Texas.

    By Alton Porter

    A group of parents who had children at a Crockett day care are still searching for answers after a grand jury voted to no-bill a case in December.

    Criminal charges will not move forward against past employees — Shaquill Johnson, Sekelthia Nicole Jackson and Sabrina Griffin — of Treehouse Academy at 301 Renaissance Way for alleged child abuse. They were charged in April and May 2020 with abandoning or endangering children at the day care.

    All cases were closed after a Dec. 2, 2020 Houston County grand jury hearing returned a no-bill. That decision means the jury did not feel there was enough probable cause for arrests or charges to move forward, Houston County District Attorney Donna Kaspar said in an interview with Polk County Publishing Company.

    Therefore, the case will not proceed to trial unless another grand jury finds probable cause with additional evidence.

    As prosecutors are not present in the jury room during a vote, no explanation was given as to the grand jury’s decision, Kaspar said, adding she was unaware of any further investigation into the alleged incidents.

    The investigation began after Treehouse Academy teacher Paola Mendez, whose two-year-old son attended the day care at the time, came forward with video evidence that her child had been mistreated or abused by some of the staff. Mendez said her son got to the point where “everyday he was crying all day” at school and at home in the middle of the night, behaving strangely at home and mimicking what he experienced at the day care.

    In an interview with Polk County Publishing Company, Mendez said her son was “scared of Shaquill (Johnson) and (Sheklethia Nicole Jackson) due to alleged mistreatment,” adding, when she arrived at work each morning, “once he would see them, he would start screaming and crying, and he would continue to hide.”

    Mendez said this was very confusing and concerning and wanted to know what was going on, so she obtained access to videos taken by surveillance cameras at the facility. In viewing the videos, she saw employees spanking and hitting her son and other children; dragging children by their arms, legs and ears; grabbing them by their hair; slapping one in the mouth; cursing to some of them; and other unacceptable things.

    Mendez said she was later fired by Treehouse Academy owner Lyndsey Rice. She obtained copies of videos showing children at the day care allegedly being abused from her attorney. She said many of the videos were not included in the montage that was presented to the grand jury.

    “They do not show the dragging” of a child, she said. “They do not show the slamming him in the mat. They do not show them picking him up waist-high and then slamming him down and dragging him off.”

    She also said grand jurors were not shown a child being grabbed by the hair to make her sit, another child who was grabbed by the ear to make him sit, or one who was “popped in the mouth.”

    In addition to reporting the alleged abuses to police detectives and her lawyer, Mendez said she and three other parents upset by the alleged mistreatment of their children reported the information they had to the district attorney’s office.

    Physical discipline of children in a day care setting is prohibited, Mendez noted.

    “You cannot discipline a child (with) anything physical. You cannot do anything of that matter. You cannot spank them. You can’t pinch them. You can’t pull their hair. You can’t even thump them.”

    Mendez said she and seven other parents whose children allegedly were abused at the day care were hoping their attorney and the district attorney would reopen the cases under a different charge.

    “We were all kind of hoping to do that,” she said. “And what we understood was they were supposed to take it back to the grand jury. And now, they’re saying that they’re not because there’s no new evidence, which that still does not make sense to me. I think that they have enough.”

    Asked for her reaction to the charges against her former employees and the grand jury’s no bills, the academy’s owner declined comment on the matters.

    “I’m not going to comment on this,” Rice said. “I’m not going to comment on anything, because I have not been told anything yet. I don’t want to make any comments right now, because that has not even been told to me yet. I just would like to not make any comments at this time.”

    Allegations of abuse toward the children at Treehouse Academy in 2020 resulted in Johnson, Jackson and Griffin being charged for the alleged offenses and arrest warrants issued by officers of the Crockett Police Department (CPD).

    After the first warrant was issued for Johnson, she turned herself in to authorities April 26, 2020, on the charge of abandoning or endangering a child — a state jail felony offense — at Treehouse Academy after the initial stages of an investigation. She was released on a $50,000 bond later that day.

    Jackson turned herself in to law enforcement personnel on the same charge the next day. She was released the day after on a bond in the same amount as Johnson’s.

    Wednesday, May 6, 2020, Crockett police detectives issued an arrest warrant for Griffin, also on abandoning or endangering a child, and she turned herself in to the authorities the next day. She also was released from jail on bond, but one of a smaller amount.

    The allegations of abuse toward children at Treehouse Academy were in regard to the 2- to 3-year-old (children) class.

    In an April 16, 2020 statement, Crockett Police Chief Clayton Smith said detectives met with the day care’s administrative personnel and obtained surveillance camera recordings during initial stages of the investigation. A follow-up statement on Monday, May 4, 2020 said the initial investigation began with abuse allegations in the two- to three-year-old classroom, but expanded to include all age groups and classrooms.

    Smith stated then that Treehouse Academy executives and staff members cooperated with police department detectives throughout the thorough investigation.

  • Pet Show kicks off 2021 Houston County Fair (GALLERY)

    2021 Houston Co Fair 3ALTON PORTER | HCCQueen Ayvery Sallee, left, and Princess Kallie Jo Stephens are this year’s royalty for the Houston County Fair & Youth Livestock Show and Home & Garden Fair. They were introduced to attendees at the annual event’s Pet Show Tuesday evening.

    By Alton Porter

    The 2021 Houston County Fair & Youth Livestock Show and Home & Garden Fair is being held this week at the usual places, the Porth Ag Arena in Crockett and Crockett Civic Center.

    Participants assembled at the arena and set up the fairgrounds for the event Monday evening and it was kicked off with the check-in of many of the animals and home and garden items entered in the various shows and the holding of the Pet Show late Tuesday afternoon and evening.

    The Pet Show, which features youngsters and their pets, is one of the most popular fair activities.

    Pet Show class award winners were Lacey Currie and her dog Dixie, in the Mixed Breed Under 25 Pounds class; Kayleigh Hicks and her dog Lucy, in the Mixed Breed Over 25 Pounds class; Charlee Culpepper and her pet dog, in the Pure Breed Under 25 Pounds class; Isaac Mathison and his dog Piper, in the Pure Breed Over 25 Pounds class; and Kade Stephens and his lizard Mushi, in the Miscellaneous Animals class.

    The Best of Show trophy was won by Kennedy Craycraft and pet, the Best Team trophy by Nolan Jansky and pet, the Best Groomed trophy by Corey Hicks and his pet, the Showmanship trophy by Carley Tucker and pet and the Best Mannered trophy by Jase Turner and his pet.

    2021 Houston Co Fair-1

    Tobi Curless, left, leading a llama, and Chuck Curless, leading an alpaca, along with Kathy Curless, not pictured, presented a demonstration with the two animals to attendees at the Pet Show of the…

    2021 Houston Co Fair-2
    2020 Houston County Fair Queen Jamie Welch, right, and Princess Laney Smith were introduced to fair attendees Tuesday. ALTON PORTER | HCC
    2021 Houston Co Fair-4

    Queen Ayvery Sallee, left, and Princess Kallie Jo Stephens are this year’s royalty for the Houston County Fair & Youth Livestock Show and Home & Garden Fair. They were introduced to attendees at…

    2021 Houston Co Fair-5
    acey Currie and her dog Dixie won the trophy in the Mixed Breed Under 25 Pounds class competition at the Houston County Fair Pet Show Tuesday. ALTON PORTER | HCC
    2021 Houston Co Fair-8

    Kayleigh Hicks and her dog Lucy were presented the trophy for winning the Mixed Breed Over 25 Pounds class competition by 2020 Fair Princess Laney Smith at the Houston County Fair Pet Show Tuesday.

    2021 Houston Co Fair-9
    Charlee Culpepper and her dog are the winners of the trophy in the Pure Breed Under 25 Pounds class competition of this year’s Houston County Fair Pet show. ALTON PORTER | HCC
    2021 Houston Co Fair-12
    Isaac Mathison and his dog Piper are winners of the trophy in the Pure Breed Over 25 Pounds class competition of the 2021 Houston County Fair Pet Show. ALTON PORTER | HCC
    2021 Houston Co Fair-14
    Kade Stephens and his lizard Mushi won the trophy in the Miscellaneous Animals class competition at the Houston County Pet Show Tuesday. A ALTON PORTER | HCC
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    Before the Pet Show competitions were held, three Latexo-area residents—Kathy Curless, Chuck Curless and Tobi Curless—put on a demonstration with one of their llamas and one of their alpacas for the show attendees.

    In addition, both last year’s fair and livestock show queen and princess and this year’s royalty were introduced to the event attendees.

    The 2020 queen was Jamie Welch, a Latexo High School graduate who now attends Texas A&M University. Laney Smith, a fifth grader at Kennard Elementary School, was the 2020 princess.

    This year’s queen is Ayvery Sallee, a Lovelady High School Senior, and the 2021 princess is Kallie Jo Stephens, of Latexo, a Grapeland Middle School student.

    The fair and youth livestock show activities will continue through Saturday, when the participants will clean up the fairgrounds, and the climaxes of the event will be held Friday: the Buyers Appreciation Dinner, beginning at 4 p.m., and the Sale of Champions, beginning at 6 p.m.

  • RELIVING THE GLORY

    IMG 9919LARRY LAMB | HCC Former Crockett Bulldogs taking on the 2021 team Saturday, Feb. 6 were (front l-r) Kendall Rhodes, Joseph Smoldas, Dustin Wyble, Antwaain Boston and Garrett Reeves; (back l-r) Ryan Young, Jake Young, Larren Reeves, Drew Corry, Rascal Yates and coach Joe Smoldas. Not pictured is Tyrone Colter.

    Crockett baseball alumni shine again

    By Larry Lamb

    Eleven former Crockett High School baseball players dusted off their gloves, grabbed a tube of sports cream and returned to the diamond for the annual alumni match-up against the 2021 Bulldogs Saturday, Feb. 6.

    The “Bulldogs vs. the Old Dogs” battle has become a tradition in Crockett along with a home run derby in which the old-timers have a chance to show off their power hitting prowess.

    Kendall Rhodes and Tyrone “Six” Colter, both members of Crockett’s 1996 state championship team, headlined the alumni squad’s roster. Rhodes and Colter played for legendary coach Tommy Parker, who earned championship rings in 1982 and 1996 during his stint at Crockett.

    Rounding out the Old Dogs roster were 2001 graduate Antwaain Boston, Joseph Smoldas, Dustin Wyble, Garret Reeves, Ryan Young, Jake Young, Larren Reeves, Drew Corry and Rascal Yates. Joe Smoldas coached the Old Dogs.

    Continuing their domination of the series, the Old Dogs won this year’s battle 8-5.

    Bulldog baseball coach Cole Pemberton told the victorious alumni, “Nothing but love and respect for you guys. Today was about honoring y’all. Old guys still got it.”

    Pemberton, a CHS graduate who took the reins as head coach this season, inherited a baseball program that has struggled in recent years.

    Addressing the alumni crew before the game, Pemberton said, “You guys started this tradition of greatness in Crockett and it’s something we don’t take lightly. I preach every day to my guys about the greatness Crockett baseball has produced.

    “I’m beyond proud to be the head coach here in Crockett and an alumni from here myself. To the class of ‘82 and ‘96, thank you for showing us what excellence is all about. We hope one day to get the program headed in that direction that you guys showed us,” Pemberton concluded.

  • Sandies advance to state semifinal

     MG 5462COURTESY PHOTO | MARSHA COOK Grapeland’s Cadarian Wiley brings fans to their feet with a slam-dunk in the regional championship game against LaPoynor Saturday.

    By Larry Lamb

    Revenge is always satisfying but a win that moves you a step closer to a state basketball championship is even sweeter.

    The No. 3 Grapeland Sandies (28-1) took down No. 4 LaPoynor 75-57 in the regional final Friday at Fairfield.

    LaPoynor put the only blemish on the Sandies’ resume back on Dec. 12 when the Flyers notched a 61-56 non-district road win.

    Grapeland advances to the state semifinals against Schulenburg Tuesday at Aldine ISD’s Campbell Center. Schulenburg, ranked No. 20 in the final TABC poll, knocked off No. 7 Port Aransas 57-50 in the regional final.

    The winner of the Grapeland-Schulenburg game advances to the championship game at the Alamodome in San Antonio Saturday at 10 a.m.

    No. 2 Clarendon and No. 8 Lipan will face off for the other state tournament berth.

    LaPoynor led 12-10 after a quarter but didn’t have an answer for a barrage of seven 3-pointers by Grapeland that fueled a 32-11 run in the second quarter.

    By halftime the Sandies were firmly in control 42-23 behind B.J. Lamb’s four treys and a pair of deuces in the second quarter. Riley Murchison drained a pair of treys and Johnny Lamb swooshed in another from 3-point range at the buzzer for a 19-point advantage.

    Grapeland’s second quarter flurry also included five points by Keizion Ashford and a basket by Omarian Wiley.

    The Flyers came out energized in the third quarter and reeled off an 11-2 run to whittle the lead down to 44-34.

    Momentum shifted back to the Sandies when Ashford buried a trey and an electrifying two-handed dunk by Cadarian Wiley pushed their lead to 49-34 with 3:00 left in the third.

    After Murchison scored on a put-back and Ashford converted a steal to go up by 18, LaPoynor drilled a trey with 40 seconds left in the quarter.

    B.J. Lamb took the ball the length of the court in the waning seconds and laid it in at the buzzer for a 57-40 lead.

    LaPoynor refused to go away quietly and opened the fourth quarter with a 12-4 run to get within nine.

    After Cadarian Wiley slammed home his second dunk of the night and Mike Dancer scored a bucket, the Flyers rattled off nine unanswered points to make it 61-52 with 5:20 left.

    Grapeland put the game away with a 14-0 run that included three baskets by Cadarian Wiley and one by Omarian Wiley, along with perfect 4-of-4 free throw shooting by B.J. Lamb and two by Murchison.

    B.J. Lamb paced the Sandies with 24 points followed by Cadarian Wiley with 16, Murchison with 12 and Ashford with 10. Omarian Wiley had six points, Dancer four and Johnny Lamb three.

    Ashford led the Sandies with seven steals and five assists.

    Garrett Nuckolls, who was scoreless in the first half, led LaPoynor with 14 and Cooper Gracey had 12.

    LaPoynor was declared a Class 1A State Co-Champion last year after winning its state semifinal game before the UIL suspended the tournament due to COVID-19 concerns. LaPoynor was elevated to class 2A when the UIL announced its 2020-2022 realignment and reclassification.

  • Second arrest made in Paul case

    1 MUGSHOT Edwards 031621MUGSHOT Clara Kimble Edwards

    By Chris Edwards

    CROCKETT – A second arrest was made in connection with the disappearance of Faye Lynn Paul on Monday.

    Crockett Police Chief Clayton Smith announced on Monday that Clara Kimble Edwards, age 31, was taken into custody by investigators on the charge of Tampering with a Human Corpse, a second-degree felony. Edwards was apprehended with the assistance of the US Marshals’ Service, at her family’s home in Houston County.

    According to Smith, the arrest came about through the ongoing investigation into Paul’s murder. Houston County District Attorney Donna Kaspar approved of a warrant being issued for Edwards’s arrest.

    Crockett Police began investigating Paul’s disappearance in February of last year, when the 79-year-old Crockett woman’s Chevrolet Impala and her nephew, David Wayne Denson, were also missing. A Silver Alert was out for Paul, and the Houston County Courier was notified that Denson was wanted for questioning about his aunt’s whereabouts.

    Denson and the vehicle were both located, and the 25-year-old man was brought back to Crockett from Alamosa, Colo., where he was discovered, for questioning and on felony charges for violating an existing probation.

    Although Paul was not located after Denson was questioned, Smith announced in March 2020 that his department was actively investigating Denson for capital murder. Earlier this month, the case was presented to a Grand Jury, which returned a True Bill for the case. A True Bill indicates that enough evidence was presented to proceed with a trial.

    Smith added in a news release on Monday that Paul’s remains have yet to be recovered. “Investigators hope to one day be able to locate her and provide the family with some closure,” he stated in the release.

    Edwards is currently being held in the Houston County Jail on a $100,000 bond. Crockett Police are encouraging anyone with information about the case to contact them at 936-544-2021.