Kenzie Hatton shoots one for the Lady Pirates in their game against Prairies Lee High.
by Andrew Harmon
On Monday, February 12, the Spurger Lady Pirates basketball team took on Prairie Lee High School in the first round playoff match-up. The Lady Pirates were ready for this game, as they had practiced all season in preparation.
The Lady Pirates came to the court with great attitudes and so did the spectators. A packed gym, excited fans, and anxious players indicated that it was, in fact, a playoff game. The senior players seemed determined to pull off another win to keep their season alive.
As the game was tipped off, the girls ran and played with great intensity. Prairie Lee seemed to have an advantage as they took the ball and held it with great momentum for the first half of the game. The senior Lady Pirates struggled in the first period but picked the pace back up as the game progressed. Kaylee Hatton and Cassidy LeBouef worked together extremely well with some excellent passes.
As the final half of play began we saw a lot of talent from both teams. However, the Spurger season came to a close with a score of 34-67. The Lady Pirates were very grateful to head coach Amber Moore for her great work in leading the girls to a winning playoff season. Moore is already looking forward to next basketball season.
Jacob Riley on the mound against Trinity. (Doug Glosson Photo)
by Doug Glosson
Baseball - Last Monday, Trinity visited Warren for an early season scrimmage. Scrimmages are used to give several pitchers a chance to show themselves while getting their arms in shape for the long season, and batters a chance to work on their timing. Each team was only allowed six batters or three outs, whichever came first. Warren's Jacob Riley pitched the first two innings striking out two while allowing no hits or runs.
Trinity was able to get on the board with a run in the third inning, but Warren would strike in the bottom of the inning as well. Austin Scarborough, pitching the third and fourth innings, started off the bottom half of the third with a double. Riley then hit a single to set up Easton Perfect who hit a two-run double, to give the Warriors a 2-1 lead. Dylan McGallion then hit a RBI single to score Perfect and then Cody Freeman with a single to score McGallion, giving Warren a 4-1 lead.
Trinity would not fold so easily and got right back in the game with two runs in the top of the fourth inning, making the score 4-3. Warren had a chance to blow it open in the bottom of the fourth with bases loaded and no outs, but were unable to push any runs across.
Scarborough and Austin Scherry did a good job of holding Trinity to just three runs over the next couple of innings.
Warren was able to push across three runs in the sixth and two more in the seventh to take the scrimmage 8-3.
Next up, the Warren JV is hosting a tournament February 23-24. Varsity is heading to Hemphill for a tournament February 23-25.
Softball – The Lady Warriors participated in the Bayou Classic hosted by the Hampshire Fannett Lady Horns this past weekend. They took their first win with a score of 13-1 over Port Arthur Memorial. Junior Alyssa Phillips went two for two with two RBI's and an in-the-park homerun. Freshman pitcher, Hailey Craigen went one for one at the plate with one RBI. She also had seven strikeouts and gave up on two hits.
The Lady Warriors then took on Hampshire Fannett, defeating them 9-0. Junior shortstop, Laikyn Bell, went one for two with two stolen bases. Junior first baseman, Bailey Hamilton, went two for two with a double, a stolen base, and RBI. Junior third baseman, Marion Purvis, went two for two with two RBI. Craigen again only gave up two hits while on the mound and went two for two with two RBI at the plate.
The Lady Warriors played in the championship game Saturday night against the Hardin Lady Hornets, coming up short by a score of 5-1. Hamilton and Emily Cloud both went one for two. Cloud hit a solid double, getting the only RBI of the game. Craigen worked hard on the mound, getting four strikeouts while giving up only six hits.
Coach Deaver said, "It was a lot of fun and the game gave the girls a good taste of the great things that are ahead of them this season." Phillips and Hamilton were both selected for All-Tournament honors, while Craigen was chosen MVP for the Lady Warriors for the tournament.
They will travel to Jasper this weekend for a tournament, playing at 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, and then at 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturday.
Cord Neal gets set to shoot a free throw against the Eagles. Neal scored 27 points during the game.The Chester boys basketball team has finished out their regular season in 3rd place and are headed into post-season play.
The Jackets played their final district game in Apple Springs on Monday, February 13. This game was a must win for the Jackets, and despite an overly aggressive Eagle team, the Jackets got the win 70-50. Cord Neal was high point of the night with 27 points. Other Jackets contributing on the scoreboard were Dane Barnes with 16 points, Seth Read with 12 points, Colten Martin with 8 points, and Jaqualin George with 7 points. The Jackets have a tough starting lineup and a strong bench to pull from. Senior Neal leads the team in scoring, and is definitely a presence on the court. Neal averaged over 25 points per game during district play. Barnes is a strong ball handler and an overall smart player. He has high percentages in both 3-pointers and free throws. Read is a beast under the goal. He is aggressive on offense and on defense. Martin is a strong rebounder, and is a reliable and consistent presence on the court. George has speed, and his defensive skills are an asset for the team. Clay Thomson uses his height to his advantage, rebounding and playing hard under the goal. Freshman J.D. Clarke has stepped up this year and improved with each game he played. Junior Henson brings aggressiveness to the game. J.T. Martin is hard working and enthusiastic. The Jackets are also lucky enough to have two great managers in Cooper Bendy and Stran Hines.
The Chester Lady Jacket softball team has been hard at work preparing for this season. Coaches Jeremy Wooten and Becki Byrd believe they have the right group of girls to have a successful season. Coach Byrd added, "We are a work in progress right now. The games we play before district starts will be the time for our players to get used to their positions in game situations. We need to get all the kinks worked out before our first district game on March 7."
The Lady Jackets will play Lovelady in an away game on Tuesday, February 28 at 6 p.m.
Taking Aim—Woodville’s Jayda Argumon (11) sets up for a three-point shot as the playoff rounds deepen. (Hale Hughes Photo)Woodville Boys finished fourth in District 22 and beat Big Sandy last week 53-57 in a warm-up game as they head to postseason play to take on Hempstead in Bi-District Tilt. Head coach Lane Shands has his Eagle team ready and Woodville looks solid as they prepare to take on district champion Hempstead. Confidence is high right now with the Eagles and their primary short-term goal of making the playoffs is now a reality. The Eagles fought diligently this year for a playoff spot in what is traditionally known as one of the toughest teams in state, with Buna currently holding a number eight state ranking to their credit. "Getting in the playoffs is all that matters," said Shands. "Now we have the same opportunity as everyone else and it's a whole new season and level playing surface for everyone who qualified." Now it's time to see just what the Eagles will do with their hard earned playoff opportunity.
District 22 champ Woodville girls face Crockett (the District 21 winner) with a showdown with the winner of Teague and Franklin on the line to decide who goes to the Regional Tournament. Woodville's girls are ranked number 13 in state according to Texas Association of Basketball Coaches (TABC) and head coach Troy Carrell has the Lady Eagles firing on all cylinders this post season. It's been several years since Woodville has advanced to the regional tournament, and if this team can take care of business and block out distractions, the sky's the limit for our Lady Eagles.
Last week's win over Rice Consolidated 58-33 in the area round was proof and put all of east Texas on notice that the Lady Eagles are the real deal this year. In the win over Rice, senior Bethany Mitchell led all scorers with 20 points and added ten rebounds to her game credits. Freshman Jordan Beaty added another 16 points with her efforts that contributed to Woodville's 58-point total. Beaty also garnered four offensive and four defensive rebounds to provide a solid game for Woodville down low. Jayda Argumon and Chelsie Sargent added eight and six points respectively.
Carrell said he has high expectations for this group this year and each player on the team strives to do their part to make the machine that is the Lady Eagles run smoothly. With each win, Woodville becomes more and more confident in their abilities and further strengthens the bond that each player shares with one another. Woodville's game with Crockett is scheduled for Tuesday evening at Livingston High School.
Senior, Cassidy LeBouef works the court.On Tuesday February 9, the Spurger Pirates basketball teams took on Richards High School in their senior night match-up. A lot was on the line for the Spurger seniors as they would play their last game in their home court.
The Lady Pirates started the evening off with a quick game. The Lady Pirates showed their dominance with an early lead. Kaylee Hatton, Vivian Zoch, Ashley Mock, and Mykala Huerta began the game showing the spectators their experience and abilities from their high school career. Senior Cassidy LeBouef showed an extremely high amount of confidence as she worked with the rest of the team to get the Lady Pirates their final win on their home court.
The varsity Pirates were just as successful as the Lady Pirates for senior night. Matthew Sirmons, Coltyn Simon, Javyn Fontenot, Fabian Hefty, and Kaleb Hyden all worked together to put the final home game win on their record.
The Lady Pirates and varsity Pirates had their final get together on the court with their coaches and families.
Woodville varsity tennis players pose after playing in Beaumont. (Woodville High Photo)
by Hale Hughes
Woodville's new tennis coach Tyler Word is seeing a great start to his first year helming the tennis team. He has taken his tennis players to two events and has seen some promising starts and progress in what is sure to be a promising season for the Eagles this year.
The team traveled to Beaumont their first week at Lamar University with The Eagles were strongly represented in girls doubles with two teams. Brooke Byley and Emma Winchester won their first two matches and the Miranda twins, Yoselin and Miranda, ultimately taking the girls' doubles championship with a win over Kirbyville.
In girls' singles, it was Malaysia Williams winning her first two matches convincingly but falling in the semifinals to the eventual champion. A.J. Worsley and Caleb Powell represented the boys side, and won their first two but lost in the semifinals in a close match. Eli Shirley and Trevor Vardeman won their first match and fell to the eventual champions by a score of 6-2, 6-3. In mixed doubles, it was the power pairing of Cameron Coker and Lyndsey Kinard, who competed in the higher division class 5A & 6A draw. Word said he felt like the competition they would face would serve them well preparing for what is sure to be a long season for the mixed doubles pair. The Kinard/Coker duo competed in the championship match, but being edged by the narrowest of margins.
Fast forward one week and it was the same location, Lamar University, but this time it was for the Vidor Invitational. The Eagles did not disappoint. Woodville came back netting big results. Coker and Kinard answered the call and won the tournament by defeating the same team from Kirbyville that they played in the final during the first week. Kinard/Coker came out firing with stellar play and dominated the match 6-3, 6-3. "We didn't give them a whole lot of second chance balls," Word commented. Kinard/Coker simply served better and played more loose according to Word. Thier return percentage was much higher than the previous week and it was evident that they wanted this win. "They were simply determined," Word stated.
"We had a bit of a target on our back," said Word following the first week's results. "A couple of our teams returned this week as number one seeds in their brackets."
"We know pretty much who we are going to be challenged by locally," said Word. "Kirbyville returns a mixed doubles team who placed third in regionals last year and they will likely be our strongest competition that we face before state," according to Word.
When asked what they practiced between the two meets, Word said, "We worked on our net game heavily. We concentrated on being much more aggressive and poaching more at the net. I wanted to see them get more cross court shots in and take those opportunities to end the points quickly and keep the opponents on their heels."
Word also spoke highly of Malaysia Williams in her singles play. "She's really come out and worked hard to improve her game. She comes early and stays late and is always looking for ways to improve." He continued, "I was proud to see her win the matches she did last week and I was especially happy to see her go up against last week's tournament winner from Kountze and beat her this week. The sky's the limit for her. She's just a sophomore and she is already catching people's eyes when she plays."
Word said that the first year has been transitional, but said the former Coach Sergio Ramos set the bar and "I'm just picking up the torch where Ramos left it. He is very passionate about tennis and that is one thing we both have in common. I want to make sure the tennis legacy remains strong in this community. We may have different strategies and approaches to the game, as most coaches do, but our passion for this sport is evident. We both believe in the mantra 'Work Hard; Results Follow.'" Word said he has 23 kids in his tennis program from freshmen to seniors and it's about a 50/50 split between boys and girls. Word has high goals and wants his Eagles to take district and advance to both the regional and state tournaments this year. He said the first trip to the state tennis meet can be overwhelming to some players and many times it takes return trips to state to secure those elusive state championships. "They're hard to get," said Word. "I hope we can make a return trip this year (with Coker) and win state in mixed doubles and I think we have a real chance to make that happen, but it will require a great deal of focus and work, but I think our players are up to the task this year."