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Fast start guides Goodrich

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Brianaly Resendez is alone for the layup.Brianaly Resendez is alone for the layup.

By Brian Besch
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Lady Hornet basketball led from the game’s first bucket until the final buzzer Friday in Dudley Dickens Gym, taking down rival Leggett 56-36.

An 11-0 start to the first quarter gave the Lady Hornets a lead that they would not surrender.

Leggett could not find the bottom of the bucket until 7:27 in the second quarter, when Bianca Perkins hit a couple of free throws. It stopped a Goodrich scoring streak of 13 unanswered points.

Coach Pinellafie Johnson was not impressed with her team’s defensive effort, but the Lady Hornet half-court trap would cause several turnovers that led to points.

“We played a 1-3-1, we played our press, we ran our 2-3, and we couldn’t even run a man. We were just out there,” Johnson said. “It just so happened that they played a little bit less than what we did. It wasn’t that we did anything spectacular. At one point, we all just started trading baskets. That is no indication of playing defense. I just told them that we have to buckle down and play defense. We know how to do it, now it is just a matter of doing it on the court.”

Goodrich outscored Leggett in each quarter, but it was the first-quarter blanking that caused most of Leggett’s damage. The largest difference in the game was rebounding. The Lady Hornets were buzzing around the boards on both ends of the court, at times, grabbing multiple rebounds in one possession.

“Part of that was that the ball just fell in our hands,” Johnson said. “It wasn’t that we were going to the hoop, because I got on to them about not jumping and going for the ball. I told them that we have to learn once the ball goes up, we have to contest it, turn around and box out, and then go get the rebound. We have to learn to be consistent with defense, because that is what’s going to win the game.”

Latrina Morgan led Goodrich with 24 points, Brianaly Resendez had a dozen and Liseidy Balbuena 10. Johnson had good things to say about the recent play of Resendez and Tanyreauna Criswell.

“She is a hustler,” the coach said of Resendez. “This is nothing compared to what she has done in the past few games. She and (Criswell) hustles too.”

Goodrich is now 2-3 in district, while Leggett is 1-3. All teams in 28-1A will be chasing Brookeland, the heavy favorites.

“Rebounding, hustling and confidence in ourselves,” Leggett coach Terri Barlow said of the game’s shortcomings, “we have to play through being tired. It is a tough one to lose, but Goodrich came ready to play and we weren’t. In that first quarter, we didn’t score anything. If we would just continue to hustle and play four quarters, we would be good.”

Barlow said her squad has had a problem of playing the full 32 minutes all season. Leggett was successful in driving to the hoop for most of the night, but there seemed to be a lid over it in the difficult first quarter.

Bianca Perkins was high point for the Lady Pirates with 18 points, while Tamera Henderson had 13.

“We ran out of gas and didn’t listen,” said Barlow. “Passing the ball out of the press – if you have three people on you, two people are open somewhere. Madyson Burr and Cheyanne Simons stepped up at the end and did some good things. We beat ourselves a lot during the game with the unnecessary turnovers. We would just get the rebound and throw it away. I tell them on the rebounds, five in on the defense and four in on the offense. We had two or three people standing back and watching while two others are trying to rebound. We can’t have that.”

Leggett will travel to Zavalla Tuesday and return to host Brookeland Friday.

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Leggett offense on display

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Gavin Nichols is challenged by two Hornets at the rim.Gavin Nichols is challenged by two Hornets at the rim.

By Brian Besch
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What started as a competitive game quickly became a victorious certainty for the home team, as the Leggett Pirates defeated Goodrich 100-43 Friday in Dudley Dickens Gym.

A tight first period that saw Goodrich share the ball and take good shots turned ugly for the remainder. Leggett turned up the intensity and received many free possessions for the effort. The Pirates were up 11-10 after eight minutes of play, but scored 30, 36 and 23 over the final three quarters for the blowout.

“We still didn’t play like I wanted them to,” Leggett coach Ra’Shod Jefferson said. “We are not pressuring the ball and kind of laid back a little bit. In the first quarter, I think we just came out with a big head. This is our third time playing each other this year. We played each other twice in the Colmesneil tournament. I told them that we have to play our game, and everyone that we play is going to have talent on their team. I told them I would call all my time outs to run sprints if they don’t play ball. We started picking it up a little bit.”

The coach said he liked the teamwork and passing his group showed Friday.

“Usually we have one scoring here or one scoring there. I want all five scoring and using our teammates.”

A large portion of the Leggett scoring came from Jace Railey with 25, Joshua Perkins with 24, and Gavin Nichols 23. Amareion Bookman led the Hornets with 25 points, Marquis Robinson had seven and Joel Resendez six.

Leggett is now 3-0 and will head to Zavalla on Tuesday, then return home for what could be a matchup of the district’s top two teams versus Brookeland in Dickens Gym.

“Brookeland is the challenge; they are 3-0 right now, as well,” Jefferson said.

Goodrich has struggled this season, but is improving. Multiple freshmen are getting their first varsity experience and adjusting to the speed of the game.

“We played a decent quarter and that was it,” Hornet coach Lester King said. “We are standing around. What gets me is that we are not shooting the basketball, we are not rebounding, so it’s not that hard to get back. We talk about that every day, about getting back and playing defense. Then, we’ve got people pouting instead of going in and trying to correct their mistakes. We’ll cure that next week. It’s just terrible when you know you can play with somebody and then all the sudden go to la-la land. Until we start rebounding and playing defense, it’s going to be a long night. I told them that they have to find their pride.”

The Hornets are 0-3 in district with High Island coming to Polk County Tuesday.

“We’re catching the basketball and not looking at the basket. We’re just throwing it away,” King said. “We talk every day about how your first look is at your basket. It is also killing us not having ball handlers like I used to have. Ball handling is killing me. We got to the rim a lot in the first half, but we aren’t scoring.”

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Woden flying high

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Mazaiya McQueen hit a field goal for the Lady Bulldogs in the third quarter. PHOTOS BY BRIAN BESCHMazaiya McQueen hit a field goal for the Lady Bulldogs in the third quarter. PHOTOS BY BRIAN BESCH

By Brian Besch
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From the opening tip there was little doubt of the Woden Lady Eagles’ success Tuesday over Corrigan-Camden.

The Lady Bulldogs are rebuilding under new Coach Jack Arneson and suffered a 63-4 loss to the perennial power in girls hoops.

Woden commanded a 43-1 lead with 1:47 to go in the third quarter. Corrigan would score three points to close the quarter, but it would also be their final makes.

Ava Burks, Mazaiya McQueen and Syannia Roberts all scored for the Lady Bulldogs in the contest.

Friday’s game will tip in Broaddus, then the girls return home Tuesday for San Augustine.

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District winning streak hits 14

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Bryce Lawrence beats the defender to the rim.Bryce Lawrence beats the defender to the rim.

By Brian Besch
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Corrigan-Camden basketball handed Woden its first district loss Tuesday on the north side of Polk County, taking a 77-57 match.

After the ‘Dogs gained a lead in the opening period, Woden closed the margin to one multiple times. However, Corrigan would stretch their lead back to double digits with a few minutes to play in the second quarter.

The press would be Woden’s undoing just after halftime. A 43-31 lead at the half turned into a 27-point advantage at 67-40 by the end of the third. Woden had problems with the inbounds pass and with any ball handler finding an open teammate. The Bulldogs gathered several steals and turned many into simple, uncontested layups.

“We noticed that they were dragging,” Corrigan-Camden coach Greg Devers said. “He didn’t use his bench much in the first half. I play seven players, but we played five games last week in the Houston County Tournament, so I called that conditioning week. He had one game, so I felt that our conditioning got them in the third quarter. We scored the most points – 24 – in that quarter, I believe.”

With the contest decided, everyone in blue got minutes on the floor in the fourth and most everyone found the scoring column.

Tony Cooper went over the 1,500-point mark for his career by leading the team with 30 Tuesday. Earlier in the season, Cooper passed 1,000 points. Brodgrick Price scored 14 and Michael Kenney had 13.

“In the Houston County tournament, we went 3-2,” Devers said of recent action. “We lost to Grapeland, and they are ranked 20 in the state in 2A. We had a 12-point lead going into the fourth quarter and we lost to them by six. Then, we beat a good 4A school in Longview Spring Hill, and then we beat Caldwell and Buffalo. My old school, Coldspring, got me again. Right now, we are 18-5, but the big thing tonight was both us and Woden were 1-0 in district. Now, we are 2-0 and we have now won 14 straight district games.”

The coach still wants to rebound better and rotate on defense quicker. He believes that many of the losses are due to teams getting second-chance points. He referenced the Grapeland game, where the Sandies got four offensive rebounds in one possession and the last shot taken was a successful 3-pointer. On the next trip down the court, Grapeland converted an offensive rebound into another bucket, making for five offensive rebounds in two possessions to go up by a point.

“Hopefully, we are going to improve in district. Woden may be one of the top three teams in district – them and Chireno can probably battle it out. When we go down there, they are tough to beat at their place, and I am sure we are going to see a different Woden team then.”

Devers also said his squad defeated Chireno by seven in a tournament earlier in the season. A trip to Broaddus is next on the schedule Friday. The Bulldogs then return home Tuesday for a date with San Augustine.

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Building the program

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Syannia Roberts puts up a shot in the lane.Syannia Roberts puts up a shot in the lane.

By Brian Besch

The Corrigan-Camden Lady Dogs could not match their first-period output over the final three quarters of the game, dropping a 63-9 contest to West Sabine Tuesday.

The Lady Dogs were able to score five in the first quarter, but failed to put together consistent offense from there. West Sabine held a 10-point margin after one, and led 29-6 at the half.

“I think we are hustling a lot harder and we still need to work on turning the ball over too much,” Corrigan coach Jack Arneson said. “There are too many turnovers; we just need to be more patient on offense. It is tough in the first year and I got here kind of late in the summer. The real growth is going to be made in the offseason. Usually by year two or three, things start rolling and the girls get a little more comfortable with me, and I learn how things go around here scheduling-wise. We’ve got to get them in the gym more, because that is really what they need.”

Anyea Wyatt, Faith Menifee, Noretta Sweats and Ava Burks all contributed in the scoring column for the Lady Dogs.

Arneson, in his first year at Corrigan, said he wants to build an offseason program for the girls, where they can work through the late spring and summer to be better prepared for the future. However, he has also not given up on making improvements now with the season in progress.

“The athleticism is there, we just need to work on basketball IQ,” the coach said. “The more they can watch and get excited about it like they do volleyball – because they play volleyball more and they are around it more. We just have to build that up.”

The girls host Grapeland Friday night, then travel to Colmesneil Tuesday. 

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