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Goodrich making stretch run

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Tamera Henderson scored five points for the Lady Pirates.Tamera Henderson scored five points for the Lady Pirates.By Brian Besch

The Goodrich Lady Hornets kept their playoff hopes alive Tuesday by defeating Polk County foe Leggett 55-35.

The Lady Hornets seemed to have the game under control, securing a first-half lead of 31-14.  However, the Lady Pirates employed a full-court press in the third quarter that forced turnovers and got the team easy buckets. Heading into the fourth quarter, they had trimmed the Goodrich lead to 40-30.

“It was kind of scrappy tonight,” Goodrich coach Pinellafie Johnson said. “We just didn’t play the way that we practice. We got the job done, yes, true enough. We tried running our 1-3-1 (zone defense) and had those girls been hot shooting from the inside, they would have made us get out of it really quick. I told them that we were going to run our 1-3-1 just to keep them from shooting threes. When we got in our 2-3, I told them that they definitely have to move their feet on that, because they are going to throw it up and it is going to go in.

When we went to the 2-3, that is what happened. We refused to move our feet on defense. We did what we had to do and we got the job taken care of.”

Goodrich did most of their damage from inside a 10-foot perimeter, with jumpers and layups.

“We have been working on a lot of shots in the paint and right around the paint area,” Johnson said. “We told them that we really don’t have an outside game, so we have to do our best to score within that paint. They did a good job on the boards.”

Goodrich had an answer in the fourth, extending their lead to a 20-point difference for the win. Leggett struggled on offense with just five points over the final eight minutes.

“There was too many turnovers in the first half,” Leggett coach Terri Barlow said. “We came out in the third quarter and had a great quarter and cut it to 10. When I looked up again, we lost by 20. We started throwing the ball away again and put them at the free-throw line.

“We got outrebounded because we don’t want to box out and put a body on anybody. It is a good feeling to have everybody back next year, except for my senior (Addison Hinson). I will give them a week off and then we will start on offseason and track.”

For Goodrich, Breya Passmore and Latrina Morgan had 18 points each, while Marisa Olivares had 13. Lone Leggett senior Hinson led the Lady Pirates in scoring with 13 in her final home game, while Kylie Valderez had nine and Tamera Henderson had five.

The Leggett girls will travel to Chester to wrap up the season. Goodrich has a Friday home game with Chireno next and will then travel to High Island. The Lady Hornets are currently in fourth place and fighting to hold on to a postseason bid.

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Leggett continues winning streak versus Goodrich

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Joh'Vonn Scott had 10 points for the Pirates in Tuesday's win. Joh'Vonn Scott had 10 points for the Pirates in Tuesday's win. By Brian Besch

Leggett ran out to a big start, placing little doubt in Tuesday’s outcome with rival Goodrich in Dudley Dickens Gymnasium. The Pirates would coast to a 79-26 victory.

A 19-0 lead was established midway through the first period, and Leggett held a similar margin for most of the match. Goodrich was much more competitive in the second and third quarters.

However, leading Hornet scorer A’Mareion Bookman fouled out early in the fourth quarter, leaving just four Goodrich players on the floor.

Leggett would outscore the Hornets 23-4 in the last eight minutes of play.

“We have to become better ball handlers and defenders,” Goodrich coach Lester King said. “Our basketball I.Q. isn't very good. I told them that it took them the whole eight minutes to get a good shot. That first quarter killed us. It wasn't like they were stopping us from getting to the rim. We were getting there and just throwing it up. We just have to work harder. 

"Burkeville beat Leggett the other night and they are a bunch of little freshmen just like us with some sophomores. Nobody is a dominant team, but Chireno. The rest of us can beat anybody on any given night, except when you don't play defense like we do. Hopefully, it will come around.”

Leggett coach Ra’Shod Jefferson wasn’t particularly pleased with his team’s performance either.

“We didn't play up to our capability on defense,” the Pirate coach said. “We were slacking and giving up easy buckets and second-chance shots. We weren't really boxing out this game. I didn't see the defense I saw in the first game (versus Goodrich). They weren't focused. We played without one of our starters, but I told them that everybody isn't going to be at every game.”

Jacolby Sells led all scores with 42 points, while Joh’vonn Scott had 10 and Jessee Calderas had eight. Goodrich was led by Bookman with 11 points, John Mendoza had six and Tilde Guzman had four.

Jefferson said his team his in a two-way tie with Zavalla, with everyone behind Chireno. The Pirates will become Burkeville fans when they play Zavalla, hoping that they can break the tie for second place. However, Leggett needs to take care of the rest of its games to be in that situation, including a win over the first-place team. 

The Pirates travel to Chester Friday, then to Chireno, and finish the regular season at home with High Island.

Goodrich will have a tough schedule the rest of the way, closing with Chireno, Zavalla and Burkeville.

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Getting over the hump

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Kylie Sisk led the Lady Cats with 18 points.Kylie Sisk led the Lady Cats with 18 points.By Brian Besch

The Onalaska Lady Cats made a few clutch jumpers near the end of Friday night’s challenge in Coldspring to defeat the Lady Trojans 50-48.

Kenadi Houser drilled a 3-pointer to put Onalaska up 48-46 with just 24 seconds to play. Two successful free throws by Coldspring’s Brianna Shaw-Rucker tied it at 48 with 20 seconds left. Houser hit another jumper to put the Lady Cats up two again and the Onalaska defense held off a last-second shot to win it.

“Finally, right? That right there – the passion and togetherness and the fact that I could put anybody on the floor even with 48 seconds and sub a senior on, that is what team is about,” Onalaska coach Ashley Sustaita said. “I knew it was inside of them all year. I hate it for the seniors that it has taken this long to get there. There is a reason why we were picked first in the district. I think they were just scared of it, but I am glad that they found it because basketball is more about life. If you know how to fight through adversity like that, they are going to be so much more successful in life. I am just super proud of them.”

For a season that has not gone the way Onalaska would like, Friday was an emotional win. They are currently in sixth place in District 23-3A.

Two seniors led the way for the team, as Kylie Sisk had 18 points and Houser had 14. Sophomore Katie Boyce added eight.

“(Sisk) put her head down and (Houser) put her head down and just did what they needed to do. (Houser) is actually a post and handled the ball for me. (Sisk) did what she needed to do as far as attacking and calming everybody down and being a leader on the floor. It has been in them all year, it has just been getting it out of them. It was kind of nice for somebody else to step up. There has been so much pressure on Kylie for four years to be the one that gets the ball in the last 15 seconds. I know that she appreciates everybody else stepping up to her level on that occasion. It just makes it so much better.”

Shaw-Rucker of Coldspring led her team with 14 points, while A’Lyvia Jackson had 11.

“We were the problem. I thought we were more beating ourselves tonight than the other team,” Coldspring coach Thaddeus Gordon said. “They came and they fought hard, and we fought hard and it was a good game. I don’t take anything away from (Onalaska); they did good. I think Ikira Byrd, she did a pretty good job, but she got into foul trouble. When she was out of the game, it kind of hurt us.”

The Lady Trojans are in fourth place and trying to hang on to a playoff spot. They will next play Trinity, while Onalaska will host Trinity Friday.

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Building for next season

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Lucas Jackson shoots a jumper in the lane. PHOTOS BY BRIAN BESCHLucas Jackson shoots a jumper in the lane. PHOTOS BY BRIAN BESCHBy Brian Besch

The Coldspring Trojans led throughout Friday’s contest with Onalaska, winning 93-67.

The Trojans raced out to an early advantage, going up 20-3 with a few minutes left in the first quarter. However, Onalaska fought back, closing to within 10 midway through the second period at 30-20.

Coldspring had five players score in double figures to lead the way. Cam Shaw-Rucker had 18 points, Luke Monroe had 17, K.D. Bookman had 14, and Xzavien Major and K.J. Harden each had 10.

“We came off of a tough game last night,” Coldspring coach Greg Devers said. “This is our second game in as many nights and I’m not really sure how our legs were. During the first quarter, they kind of answered my question of how they were. It looks like we took the lead for granted and the Onalaska kids didn’t quit. Our press really gave them problems.

“We lost focus throughout the game. We’ve got three big games next week and I try to keep them focused, but sometimes it is hard to do for a teenager. We missed four days of practice last week because of COVID. Last night, we were cramping up, and you could tell that we are just a little rusty. I’m hoping these games will prepare us for the next three games. We are tied for second right now with Tarkington. They are off tonight, so we are both 5-2. New Waverly is 7-0. We have Trinity, Tarkington and New Waverly in the next three ball games, so it is going to be tough.”

After a slow start, Onalaska competed well and showed no signs of quitting. Bryan Wyatt led the team with 20 points, Johnny Byrd had 10 and Lucas Jackson and Gauge Mosley each had six.

“I was disappointed with the start,” Onalaska coach Nick Tyerman said.

“Shots were not falling and there were some silly turnovers, but once we calmed down, we were able to get a rhythm and go. I think we played pretty even after that. We just can’t start like that. In practice, you try to make it as helter-skelter as you can, because when you play them, it is chaotic. You try to make practice the best you can to simulate it.”

Onalaska has now been eliminated from the playoffs this season, but the coach is looking forward to getting playing time for his younger players and ready for next season.

“I think we can play spoiler to a couple of other teams, so that is what we will take pride in doing,” Tyerman said. “This group is statistically the best offensive team that I have had in terms of shooting and taking care of the ball. We just have to take that next step next year, which I think we will. We need to be more physical and spend time in that weight room this summer and spring to get us strong, where we can compete for a playoff berth next year.”

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