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Completing series sweep (VIDEO)

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IMG 4148BRIAN BESCH | PCE

By Brian Besch

The Leggett Pirates scratched out an early lead and maintained an advantage in their annual road game at Goodrich, winning 53-39 Tuesday. 

Behind a 29-point performance from Chase Parrish, the Pirates played well on both ends of the court. The Hornets struggled to consistently score, ultimately failing to keep pace with the defending district champs.

"We played good, I am proud of our team and we played good team ball," Leggett coach Sean Edwards said. "We played fundamentally sound and we are blocking out a little more to get rebounds. We kind of let up a little bit and gave up some cheap fouls later.

"We are playing more team ball and limiting our turnovers a little bit more. We're going inside and drawing some more fouls. It is the second half of district, so we will be alright."

Pirate Garrett Francois had 10 first-half points and 11 for the game, while Varian Flournoy added six. For Goodrich, Joacxi Garzon had 19 points and Isaiah Sapio had eight.



After a lone 3-pointer in the first period, Parrish filled the stat book over the next three frames.

For Goodrich, the year has been a struggle. There has been inconsistencies in team chemistry and a lack of experience. 

They did improve as the game progressed. Totaling just 13 points in the first half, they scored 10 and 16 points in the third and fourth quarter, respectively.

"You've got to rebound and play defense," Goodrich coach Lester King said. "We have had a hard time all year long scoring. The game was kind of good at the beginning, but they just out-hustled us and they wanted it more than we did. We didn't want it.

"The only difference between them and us tonight was they played defense and hustled when we didn't play any. You can't win like that."

If the Pirates win their remaining games, it could cause a three-way tie with Chirino and Zavala.

Edwards said he believes his team can run through the rest of the district schedule unscathed.

"I think we can. I believe in my guys and they are helping me out. I always get feedback from the kids and they always know what's going on when they are on the court. They tell me what we need to do. I think we can win the next five games. We are finally improving and we are peaking. We are getting better and better."

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Coldspring Trojans defeat Onalaska 90-44

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Onalaska Coldspring 01 29 21

BY BRIAN BESCH

The Trojans of Coldspring used a late kick to handily defeat Onalaska 90-44 Tuesday in San Jacinto County.

Onalaska managed to remain within striking distance of the defending state semifinalists for part of the third quarter, but Coldspring found another gear.

The Trojan press was successful more times than not late in the contest, allowing for a 39-point final period.

"I thought we were a little rusty through the first three quarters," Coldspring coach Greg Devers said. "We haven't played since last Tuesday and I had some kids out, so we didn't get a chance to practice yesterday. We were wide open and we had threes and we had layups. Our defense was there and our quickness was there, but we just couldn't go."

Through four minutes in the fourth quarter, Coldspring scored 27 points and ended with 39 for the eight-minute span.

Duke Lawniczak led all scores with 32, freshman Luke Monroe had 14 -- all in the fourth quarter --and Jared Curry scored 12.

"I hope that kind of carries over, Devers said of his team's fourth-quarter performance. We are trying to get our rotation going and get ready for the playoffs.

"I thought Coach (Nicholas) Tyerman did a great job and I told him not to show that press break to anybody, because at the end of the third quarter, it was an 11-point game. He did a great job of preparing his kids for tonight."

It has been a while since Coldspring has been challenged within district, but New Waverly put a stop to the Trojans 39-game winning streak a few weeks ago.

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"New Waverly is one of the top teams in this region. They are 18-1 and ranked No. 7 and we are 13-1 and ranked No. 12. The big showdown is going to be next Friday at New Waverly. Kind of like us last year, I think they are going to be the team to beat. We are not going to just let them have our district title. I hope we will have a couple of tricks up our sleeves when we play next Friday."

Devers said his team lacks the depth that they possessed during last year's run to the state tournament in San Antonio. He is looking for a few athletes to step into larger roles once the postseason begins. He also wants the team to work on its half-court defense.

Onalaska has struggled in the 20-21 season, but Tyerman sees improvement in his group. There were flashes of potential throughout the first three quarters of Tuesday.

"We were within 11 there in the third quarter, but we just have to take care of the ball better and it is some simple mistakes," the Wildcat coach said. "When we get fatigued, we start struggling sometimes to stay focused. We have to stay calm no matter what happens.

Freshman Bryan Wyatt led the 'Cats with 14 points, Kevin Redden had a dozen and Chase Fletcher had 10.

"We have a lot youth, so we are gaining some valuable experience and starting to play teams a lot tougher," Tyerman said. "We are taking better care of the ball and this tonight was a lot better than the first time we played them. That is what we are looking for, to keep getting better and keep growing. We're just trying to play as hard as we can. We've got five games left."

Covid has flipped the Wildcats' schedule on its side, as they will have a bye on Friday and play four games in five days next week.

"I think when you compare our youth to their youth -- really outside of New Waverly, we return the most," Tyerman said of the program's future. "That is a good sign and we have been competitive on the JV level, so that is what we are looking forward to. We need to work and advance to that next level next year."

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Last-second prayer unanswered (VIDEO)

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IMG 3690COURTESY PHOTO

By Brian Besch

Goodrich had a chance to send Friday's game versus Burkeville into overtime at the buzzer, but fell a bit short in a 49-46 contest. 

Down by three with nine seconds remaining, Goodrich inbounded the ball. They missed two field goals in the lane before tossing up a last-second heave from behind the arc that bounced off the front of the rim. 

"It is hard to beat somebody when you can't make free throws," Goodrich coach Lester King said of the team's 8-for-20 performance from the charity stripe. "With all the layups we missed, it is hard. Kids are standing around and they don't realize that you have to rebound." 

The Hornets led 15-5 after the first period, yet were not on the positive side of any quarter following. 

The Mustangs had three players score in double digits and only four players that registered a point. The Hornets were led by Joacxi Garzon, who had a game-high of 23 points, Brandon Izaguirre with 10 and Dartavian Nickson with eight. 

The Hornets have a bye Tuesday and then go to Chester Friday to begin the second half of district play. 

"We will spend Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday on the baseline (running)," King said. Making free throws will get you off of it. Otherwise, we will stay there a while. 

"With the type of ball that we play, we haven't played a team yet this year that has shot more free throws. We are playing man-to-man defense. We've got one senior that we will lose and the rest of them are coming back. We've got some kids in eighth grade that are coming up, so we will be pretty good next year." 

King is beginning to feel better about his team's chances in district. Goodrich has just one win in 28-1A play, but he feels there is enough parity for every game to be competitive. 

"That was the last game of the first half. We can go through the second-half and beat everybody almost. That should show it right there.  

"These kids are trying to do too much on offense, but I want you to break your neck on defense -- not offense. Take your time and wait for a good shot. They will see it on video. We had plenty of opportunities and plenty of good shots. If you get to the rim, you should score. We got the lead a little bit and we got relaxed. We stopped really concentrating on defense. I hope we are learning."

 

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Goodrich rides second half play to victory (VIDEO)

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IMG 3640COURTESY PHOTO

The Goodrich Lady Hornets got a spark in the locker room that vaulted the team to a comfortable 51-24 win Friday over Burkeville.

The Lady Hornets led 13-10 at the half, but received some “encouragement” to play with increased intensity in the final two frames.

“I told them that Monday it would be tough,” Khadijah Carter said of the next practice. “I told them mostly just to get the ball inside. They cannot stop us inside and we are more of an inside team than an outside team. We needed to play good defense and that is what we did.”

The Lady Hornets got to the basket with urgency in the second half, creating points with both its offense and off turnovers. The result was a 22-point third quarter and 16 points in the final period — both more than they collected in all of the first half.

Latrina Morgan led all scores with 30 points, Breya Passmore had 13 and Aralyn Angel had six. The Lady Mustangs never accumulated more than eight points in a quarter.

Carter says the season has been a little bit rough for her kids, but believes that her young group has done some growing up over the past few months.

“This is our second district win,” Carter said. “The first game wasn't by as many (44-35) as we beat them this time. I feel like we have improved even since last game. The competition was a different level.”

Carter said the team's ability to see inside and find the open player has improved. Though her group rushes at times, the coach likes the pace which the Lady Hornets are beginning to play.

“We are taking our time moving the ball, finding the holes, getting open and passing it when we need to.”

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Playoff contenders (VIDEO)

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IMG 3597BRIAN BESCH | PCE Chris Washington leans in for the dunk attempt.

By Brian Besch

The Lions established an early lead with its defense versus Liberty Tuesday, winning a 61-35 contest over the Panthers.

A 20-2 lead early in the second quarter was enough to allow Livingston to coast for a while. They did coast, and Liberty closed the advantage to 10 points at 25-15 early on in the third quarter. 

"The first half, we played OK, but we still didn't play with a lot of energy," Livingston coach Calvin Phillips said. "Then, we came back in the second half and I thought we were going too slow. We talked about putting more man-to-man full court pressure on in the second half so we could get ourselves going. That kind of helped us out."

The man-to-man defense indeed helped, as Livingston scored 23 points in the period to quell any chance of a Panther comeback. 

Chris Washington led the way with a dozen points, while Izzy Enard had 11 and Julian Gardner added nine.

"I will take a win any way that it goes," Phillips said. "We are back tied for fourth now and we've got Hamshire-Fannett. If we can get them, that would be a big win for us right there."

Livingston fell to Hamshire-Fannett in the first round by seven points. The hope is they can take a week to prepare with an open date Friday and get a win that would propel the team into playoff contention. The Longhorns are currently tied for fourth place with the Lions. 

Phillips said his first year as head coach at Livingston is not going how he planned.

"I don't like where I am at, I will be upfront with you on that. When I stepped in the gym at the beginning of the year, I saw the size and athleticism of those guys. I thought we would probably be in the running. We started off 5-0 and dropped off and started playing very erratic. It's kind of been disappointing, but I will still take what we have. I am hoping that we will finish up strong and peak out in the second half and get some more wins."

The coach said that he wonders if all of his athletes are committed to him or if they are still trying to figure him out the same way he is trying to figure them out.

"They don't know how to take me. I get on them hard sometimes and in this time and age, some kids don't take that kind of coaching anymore. You have to be more positive and not run them so much in a negative mode. I'm learning them and they are learning me, and if we can get in that fourth spot (playoff seed), that would be a blessing."

The coach said in order to reach the postseason, his team's shooting would need to improve so the half-court offense can be more productive. The team now relies heavily on its defense to create offense.

After the road trip to Hamshire-Fannett Tuesday, the Lions will host district leaders Huffman Hargrave next Friday.

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