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Current Issue
January 5, 2012






Lake Info

Normal Lake Level
is 322.00 feet above Mean Sea Level.
Current level for Cedar Creek Lake is: 314.87
Water Temperature:
51 degrees - top
49 degrees - bottom

Sports in Brief

Turkey Shoot
The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post No. 4133, in Trinidad, will host a turkey shoot from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 7.
Only 12-, 16- and 20-gauge shotguns will be allowed, rules and safety requirements are available at the VFW post and prizes will be awarded.
For more information, you can call the VFW post at (903) 778-2677.

Birding Basics
Purtis Creek State Park will host an afternoon of bird watching from 3 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 7.
Take a hike and learn about techniques for finding and identifying birds. Wear comfortable shoes, bring binoculars if you have them otherwise we have a few to loan out. Meet at the overflow camping parking lot.
For more information, contact the park at (903) 425-2332.

Geocaching at Purtis Creek
Purtis Creek State Park will hold a "basics of geocaching" program from 3 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 14.
Geocaching is a type of treasure hunt using a GPS unit to help you find hidden "caches" placed by people all over the world.
Geocaches are everywhere - from just down the street to the most remote wilderness areas.
The program at Purtis Creek will teach the basics of using a GPS for geocaching and how to get started. Meet at the Amphitheater. For more information, contact the park at (903) 425-2332.

Stargazing at Purtis Creek
Purtis Creek State Park will host an evening of stargazing from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 14.
Make a star wheel and learn how to use it, learn about the solar system and view the night sky through a telescope. Weather permitting, meet at the over flow camping parking lot.
For more information, contact the park at (903) 425-2332.

Upcoming Events

Basketball (boys)

Jan. 6
• Mildred @ Eustace – 5 p.m.
• Palestine @ Kemp – 5 p.m.
• Mabank @ Quinlan-Ford – 4:30 p.m.























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Sports Highlights

Chapel Hill slips past Panthers at Wagstaff
By Sam Epps
Sports Editor

TYLER–Fueled by Jordan Allen’s 89 points, the Mabank Panthers advanced to the Apache Bracket at the Wagstaff Holiday Classic basketball tournament.
In the final game of the Apache Bracket, the Chapel Hill Bulldogs slipped past Mabank to gain a 66-62 victory.
In the final game, Chapel Hill took a 17-15 lead after the first period.
Brandon Hatfield hit two three-pointers in the period, while Allen had only three points.
In the second period, Allen’s offense shined as he scored 10 points, and the Panthers outscored the Bulldogs 18-15 to take a 33-31 halftime lead.
In the third period, Chapel Hill’s defense took center stage as they held Mabank’s explosive offense to just six points, while the Bulldog offense scored 18 points to take the lead.
In the final period, the Panther offense powered back to life, scoring 23 points. Allen led the way with 11 points, while David Marler scored six points. Chapel Hill, however, scored 17 in the period to retain their lead and secure the win.
Allen scored 27 points for the game, Marler added nine points, while Garrett Graham and Hatfield each scored seven points.
The Panthers began the tournament with a 62-51 loss to the Lindale Eagles.
Mabank took a 12-10 lead after the first period, but a determined Lindale offense outscored Mabank, 23-15, in the second period to take a 33-27 halftime lead.
The Lindale defense held Mabank to just eight points in the third period, while the Eagle offense scored 12 points.
In the final period, Mabank scored 16 points, but Lindale added 17.
Allen led the Panther offense with 32 points. Hatfield scored 11 points for Mabank.
In their second game, the Panthers gained a 70-61 win over the Bullard Panthers.
Mabank sprang to a 15-11 first period lead, and continued to pull ahead, taking a 31-25 lead by halftime.
Bullard had a strong third period, scoring 21 points to Mabank’s 13, to take a 46-44 lead.
Mabank answered by banging out 26 points in the fourth period, while holding Bullard to 15 in the fourth period.
Again, Allen led the Panther offense, this time by scoring 30 points. Marler added 13 points and Hatfield scored nine.
John Tyler defeated Whitehouse, 69-56, to win the tournament’s Gold Bracket, and Tatum defeated Grace Community, 69-60, to win the Chiefs Bracket.
To get to the Gold Bracket, John Tyler defeated Chapel Hill, 71-56, in the first round.
In round two, John Tyler defeated Longview, 56-47.
Whitehouse got to the final Gold Bracket game by first defeating Tatum, 76-55, then getting past Lindale, 61-47.
Tatum got to the Chiefs Bracket after losing to Whitehouse, 76-55, in the first round, then defeating Tyler’s T.K. Gorman, 59-57, on day two.
Also participating in this year’s tournament were All Saints, Arp, Brook Hill, Carthage, East Texas Christian Academy, Grace Community, Henderson, and Kings Academy.
Last year, the Panthers were defeated in the Apache Bracket by Greenville, 86-80, in overtime.
The Panthers will return to action Friday when they travel to Quinlan to face the Quinlan Ford Panthers.
They will visit Canton Jan. 9.

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Aggressive Mabank Panthers seek big numbers
By Sam Epps
Sports Editor

MABANK–Even without last year standout T.C. Green, the Mabank Panthers still know they can have big numbers, and plenty of wins this season.
The 6-3 senior Jordan Allen has provided plenty of points, and the Panthers have put together a team to be reckoned with, including Ryan Walker, Landon Marshall, Brandon Hatfield, David Marler and Chans Hall.
Walker provides intensity and is a solid point guard.

Monitor Photo/Sam Epps
The 2011-12 Mabank Panther basketball team is (from left, front row) Parker Johannesen, Chans Hall, Ryan Walker, Taylor Willeford, Garrett Graham and Toby Grimes; (back row) Jordan Allen, Landon Marshall, Reese Frosch, David Marler, Brandon Hatfield and Chris Newtown.

Panther head coach Mark Allen describes Marshall as “one of the hardest-working players” he has. Hatfield is a smart player and good decision maker.
“Hall is the spark plug for the team,” Allen said, noting his energetic approach and fast pace.
The Panthers don’t look a lot different than last year’s team did. They will still play an up-tempo aggressive game on both offense and defense.
The five seniors on the team all played for Allen last year, and will provide the experience and leadership needed to guide the younger players.
While Green provided many highlights last year in terms of points scored and style of play, this year looks to be more of a team effort.
“There is no one person doing what he (Green) did for us last year,” Allen said.
Although Jordan Allen has proven to be a prolific point-scorer for the Panthers, as well as a force to be respected on defense.
If there is a weakness to this team, it is they don’t have a lot of size inside. Although, with four players standing 6-4, and two standing 6-3, size isn’t a major concern.
What the Panthers do have this year is great guard play, an unselfish and supportive team, and a returning all-state player in Jordan Allen.
With the five seniors, coach Mark Allen also has five juniors and two sophomores.
The juniors have been in Mabank’s system and bring some knowledge and experience to the table, complimenting the seniors’ experience.
“There were no big surprises in putting this team together,” Mark Allen said. “We knew what we were getting early on.”
Another benefit to the Panthers this season is that most of the players are straight basketball players. Only three members of the team played football.
The Panthers hold a 10-8 record, and are keeping in the tradition of “Working Toward Austin (WTA).”
Prior to the season, Texas Basketball Magazine ranked Mabank 18 in the state. Though currently not ranked in the top 25 on the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches (TABC) rankings, they were picked to finish first in District 13-3A, ahead of North Forney and Crandall.
The Panthers will begin their district schedule Jan. 13, when they will travel to Kemp to face the Yellowjackets.
They will then travel to Crandall Jan. 17, before returning home to host North Forney Jan. 20.



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