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Kemp, Eustace split district contests
By Kerry Yancey
Monitor Staff Writer

EUSTACE–Visiting Kemp and Eustace split a pair of key first-round District 14-3A basketball contests Friday night, as the Kemp girls remained unbeaten with a dominating 51-19 win and the Eustace boys opened loop play with a 51-43 victory.
Eustace’s boys improved to 1-0 in district play, while the girls dropped to 0-3. Both teams were scheduled to visit Wills Point Tuesday before hosting Van’s boys and girls Friday, Jan. 22.
Next Tuesday, Jan. 26, the Eustace girls and boys travel to Mineola, and will host Canton’s girls and boys Friday, Jan. 29. Each evening opens with 4:30 p.m. sub-varsity contests.
Kemp’s girls improved to 18-7 on the season and 3-0 in district play, while the boys dropped to 0-1. The Kemp girls and boys were scheduled to host Mineola Tuesday night, before visiting Canton Friday, Jan. 22.
Next Tuesday, Jan. 26, the Kemp girls and boys will visit Van, and then will stay on the road against Wills Point Friday, Jan. 29. Each evening opens with 4:30 p.m. sub-varsity contests.
On the girls’ side, the Kemp-Canton matchup looks to have serious playoff implications, as both the Lady Yellowjackets and the Eaglettes are 3-0 after wins Friday night.
Canton defeated Mineola 58-32 Friday, dropping Mineola to 2-1 in district play. Elsewhere, the Wills Point girls improved to 1-2 and dropped Van to 0-3 with a 57-42 victory.
On the boys’ side, Van knocked off Wills Point, 46-45, in Friday night’s district opener, while Canton stopped Mineola 48-41.
In Eustace’s E.L. Kirk Gym, the much quicker Kemp Lady Yellowjackets held the Lady Bulldogs to just two baskets in the first half – one in the first quarter by Vanessa Lopez and one in the second quarter by Allie Cass.
Kemp’s offense also started slow, but picked up in the second quarter, when the Lady ’Jackets outscored the Lady Bulldogs 14-6 to take a 23-8 halftime lead.
As usual, junior Michelle Ritterbach continued to perform at an MVP level, scoring six of Kemp’s nine first-quarter points, including a 3-point basket.
The Lady ’Jackets outscored the Lady Bulldogs 15-7 in the third quarter to take a 38-15 lead into the fourth quarter, and then outscored Eustace 13-4 in the final frame to forge the final 32-point margin.
Ritterbach ended up outscoring the Lady Bulldogs all by herself, finishing with 20 points (including four treys), six rebounds, four steals and three assists. She missed a fifth trey because her foot was on the sideline.
The Lady ’Jackets finished with eight 3-point baskets, as Brianna Powell (2), Amanda Lawrence and Brittany Simmons all hit from outside.
Powell, a sophomore in her first season of varsity play, continued to gain confidence, finishing with 10 points on two threes and hitting 2-of-2 at the free throw line.
Senior Shelbie Wright, who started at post with the absence of junior Shannon Shipp (who was at a state Beta Club conference in San Antonio) scored six points and pulled down nine rebounds.
Brittany Simmons finished with five points, six rebounds and four assists, while Lawrence finished with six points.
Cass finished with 11 points, Lopez finished with three, Megan Renteria and Jenny McConathy both finished with two points and Harmony Allen chipped in a free throw.
“We didn’t do a good job offensively,” Eustace coach DaLinda Cassell said later. “We never ran through our offense and made the defense work.
“We took open shots and had shots in the paint – they just didn’t fall for us,” Cassell added. “Kemp played a great game defensively and offensively. Allie has played consistently for us during district, and we want to get her the ball more.”
“Overall, it was a good game, with the girls playing four complete quarters,” Kemp coach Kent Smith said.
“We had backed off in the third quarter during the previous two games, but this game, they didn’t let up in their intensity, especially on defense,” Smith added.
As the boys game got underway, Kemp’s Yellowjackets took an early lead, 11-8, but the hosting Bulldogs turned the tables in the second quarter, outscoring Kemp 11-8 to forge a 19-19 halftime tie.
Each team pressured the ball in transition, as both tried to push the ball upcourt before settling into a half-court setup.
The Bulldogs took control of the contest in the third quarter, putting together a 17-8 run to take a nine-point lead into the fourth quarter, 36-27.
In the final frame, the ’Jackets managed to cut into the Kemp lead by just a point, 16-15.
Eustace’s Braden Strickland led all scorers with 19 points, as Addison Scott added 11, Guy Hargrove scored seven, Trevan Johnson, Jacob McCarter and Tyson Oliver all scored four points each and Marcus Emmons added two points.
Zach Allison and Ryan Emfinger led the ’Jackets with 11 points each, with Jeff Goldman adding seven, Jake Goldman five, Jeremy Quick and Brandon Stewart scoring four points each and Cody Dunagan chipping in a free throw.

Forney edges Mabank, 59-54
Monitor Staff Reports
MABANK–The visiting Forney Jackrabbits outscored the hosting Mabank Panthers in the fourth quarter to take a narrow 59-54 win Friday night.
Now 0-4 in District 15-4A basketball play, the Panthers were scheduled to visit second-ranked Lancaster Tuesday night, and wind up the first round of district play at home Friday, Jan. 22, against West Mesquite.
The Panthers have an open date Tuesday, Jan. 26, and will open the second round of district play at home Friday, Jan. 29, against Terrell. Each evening opens with 6 p.m. sub-varsity contests.
Both Forney (3-1) and Mabank came into Friday’s contest looking for their first district win, and the score remained extremely close throughout the contest.
Forney opened an 18-16 lead in the first quarter, but the Panthers came back in the second quarter behind 3-point baskets from Jacob Woodard and Jordan Allen, along with six points from Tyler Fisher, and opened a three-point halftime lead, 35-32.
The Jackrabbits put together a good third quarter to take a one-point lead, 46-45, into the fourth period.
In the final frame, the ’Rabbits outscored Mabank 13-9 to forge the final five-point margin.
Fisher led the Panthers with 20 points, with Allen finishing with nine, Griffin Marshall and Woodard seven points each, Tray Phillips six points, James Burkhalter two and Unterrious Toliver chipped in a free throw.


Upcoming games

Girls basketball

Jan. 22
MHS @ West Mesquite*
KHS @ Canton*
EHS vs Van*

Jan. 26
MHS idle
KHS @ Van*
EHS @ Mineola*

Jan. 29
MHS @ Terrell*
KHS @ Wills Point*
EHS vs Canton*

Feb. 2
MHS vs Red Oak*

Feb. 5
MHS @ Mesquite Poteet*
KHS @ Mineola*
EHS vs Wills Point*
(*District contest)
Boys basketball

Jan. 22
MHS vs West Mesquite*
KHS @ Canton*
EHS vs Van*

Jan. 26
MHS idle
KHS @ Van*
EHS @ Mineola*


Jan. 21-23
MHS g @ Eustace tourn.
EHS hosts tournament

Jan. 26
MHS girls vs Ferris
KHS @ Lindale
EHS @ Kilgore

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