Sports and Outdoors


Kemp nips Mabank in OT
Monitor Staff Reports
MABANK–In a nail-biting thriller, the visiting Kemp Yellowjackets grabbed the district lead Friday by nipping the hosting Mabank Panthers 52-46 in overtime.
Kemp improved to 13-12 on the season and 4-1 in District 13-3A basketball play, while Mabank fell to 11-9 and 3-2 in loop play, tied with Kaufman and Crandall, who both also finished the first round at 3-2.
Both teams opened the second round of district Tuesday – Kemp hosted Eustace, while Mabank traveled to Kaufman.
Friday, Feb. 2, the Panthers will host the Eustace Bulldogs, while the ’Jackets will visit Crandall. Next Tuesday, Feb. 6, Mabank will visit Ferris, while Kemp will try to avenge a first-round loss when they host Kaufman.
Each evening’s slate opens with 4:30 p.m. sub-varsity games.
A standing-room-only crowd was rocking the Panther Gym Friday night, as the contest opened with both teams clamping down on defense, despite the frenetic pace of the game.
Kemp senior post Jacarri Culberson (last year’s district MVP) gave the ’Jackets an early 5-3 lead with a breakaway dunk – drawing a huge roar from Kemp fans – but Culberson picked up two quick fouls and had to take a seat with a couple of minutes left in the opening period.
Panther senior Barry Prather scored all six of his points in the opening quarter, which ended with Mabank on top by three, 16-13, despite 3-point baskets from Kemp’s Joseph Simmons and Justin Gibson.
Both teams slowed the pace dramatically in the second quarter, combining for a total of 13 points, and the Panthers led by four at halftime, 23-19.
In the third quarter, both teams were content to continue facing off in half-court duels, and the ’Jackets began creeping back behind Gibson, who scored six of Kemp’s 10 points.
Going into fourth quarter, Mabank was hanging onto a slim two-point lead, 31-29, but they built a 43-38 lead behind two treys from Jarred Batson and seven points from Haydon Blair.
That was when Gibson started getting hot. The senior wound up scoring 13 of Kemp’s last 15 points, including a jumper and a pair of free throws to bring the ’Jackets within a point, 43-42, with under 40 seconds to play.
Kemp’s Kevin Freeman made a steal and fed it to Gibson, who drove the lane for a layup, giving the ’Jackets a 44-43 lead.
Blair made one of two from the free throw line to tie the score at 44, and both teams missed shots before the buzzer.
In the five-minute overtime period, the Panthers were unable to stop Gibson, who scored six of Kemp’s seven points, and were also unable to find the range, as Kolton Browning’s two free throws were Mabank’s only points.
Gibson wound up with a game-high 25 points (including two treys), five rebounds and three assists.
Culberson finished with 10 points, five rebounds and one block, while Simmons also had 10 points.
Freeman finished with six points and six rebounds, while Josh Carr had one point and three rebounds.
Blair and Batson (three treys) both scored 11 points each to lead the Panthers, while Browning had seven points, including one trey.
Wayland Pharms and Prather finished with six points each.
Mark Groom – making his first game appearance since suffering a broken leg in the final regular-season football game against Kemp – hit one trey for three points, and Mack Wintin added two points.
Kemp swept the boys contests against Mabank, although all three were very close.
The ’Jackets won the junior varsity game, 46-45, coming from seven points down at halftime with a 15-8 third-quarter run.
Kemp also took the freshman contest 50-46, outscoring the Mabank frosh 16-6 in the fourth quarter.

Monitor Photo/Kerry Yancey
Kemp Yellowjacket senior Justin Gibson (with ball) moves left
across the floor, closely guarded by Mabank Panther senior
Jarred Batson (32) during Kemp’s overtime victory over the
hosting Panthers Friday. Also shown are Kemp’s Josh Carr (32)
and Jacarri Culberson (34) and Mabank’s Kolton Browning (24)
and Barry Prather (42).

Mabank girls ease past Kemp, 54-44
Monitor Staff Reports
MABANK–The hosting Mabank Lady Panthers ran up a big first-half lead and coasted to a 54-44 win over the visiting Kemp Lady Yellowjackets Friday.
Mabank’s girls were scheduled to visit 11th-ranked Kaufman Lady Lions Tuesday, while the Lady Yellowjackets were scheduled to host the Eustace Lady Bulldogs.
Friday, Feb. 2, Kemp’s girls will visit the Crandall Lady Pirates, while the Lady Panthers will host Eustace.
Next Tuesday, Feb. 6, Mabank will wind up the second round of District 13-3A play and the regular season on the road at Ferris, while Kemp will host Kaufman in the season finale.
Each evening’s slate opens with 4:30 p.m. sub-varsity games.
With Friday’s win over the Lady ’Jackets, the Mabank girls improved to 4-3 in district play and remained in the running for a playoff berth.
Kemp fell to 2-5 in loop play, and will need help to gain a playoff berth. Still, even having a shot at a playoff berth is a vast improvement for the Lady ’Jacket program.
Mabank opened a 19-6 lead over the visiting Kemp girls behind seven points (including a 3-point basket) from Miranda Groom and five points (all of her scoring) from Blaire Hyde.
Sarah Smith scored four of Kemp’s six points in the first quarter.
The Lady Panthers nearly shut out the Lady ’Jackets in the second quarter, as Kemp got just one basket from Brittany Simmons, but got five points (on 5-of-6 shooting) on free throws from Ashley Darby.
Up by 16 points at halftime, the Lady Panthers were content to match baskets with the Lady ’Jackets through the second half.
Kemp began to chip away at the Mabank lead in the third quarter, outscoring the Lady Panthers 15-10 behind seven points (including a trey) from Ashley Zellmer and four each from Smith and Darby.
The Lady ’Jackets were able to cut the Mabank lead down to 10 points in the fourth quarter.
Emily Tucker led Mabank with a game-high 15 points, hitting two treys, while Groom finished with 11 points.
Sam Goss scored eight points, while Shadia Rueb had six points, Hyde had five, Chelsea Dillon scored four points, Lauren Graham had three and Kelsi Reynolds had two points.
Darby led the Lady ’Jackets with 13 points, while Smith finished with 10 points.
Zellmer finished with seven points, while Alex Valentine scored six, and both Simmons and Meagan Lacy scored four points each.

Monitor Photo/Mary Landrie
Kemp Lady Yellowjacket senior Alex Valentine (20) grabs a
rebound between Mabank Lady Panthers Lauren Graham (41)
and Chelsea Dillon (12) during Mabank’s 54-44 District 13-3A
basketball victory over the visiting Kemp girls Friday.

Ferris edges Bulldogs
Monitor Staff Reports
FERRIS–The hosting Ferris Yellowjackets used a strong early push to ease past the Eustace Bulldogs 54-49 Friday.
Now 0-5 in District 13-3A basketball play, the Bulldogs were scheduled to open the second round of loop action on the road at Kemp Tuesday.
Friday, Feb. 2, the Eustace boys will visit the Mabank Panthers, and next Tuesday, Feb. 6, the Bulldogs will host the Crandall Pirates.
Each evening opens with 4:30 p.m. sub-varsity contests.
At Ferris Friday, the Bulldogs had to battle from behind most of the game, as the Yellowjackets opened a 17-5 lead in the first quarter.
The Bulldogs outscored Ferris 15-9 in the second quarter behind eight points (including a 3-point basket) from David Graves and six points from Blake Townley to cut the margin to six points, 26-20, by halftime.
Ferris managed to push their lead back out to nine points in the third quarter despite a balanced scoring attack by the Bulldogs, and in the fourth quarter, Eustace came back to cut the final margin to five points.
Graves led the Bulldogs with 17 points, while Townley finished with 12.
Zac Keeling added eight points (including two treys), while Jacob Horton had five points.
Ryan Schwanbeck, Johnny Alberes and Canon Thomsen all scored two points each, and Jordan Nixon (who was hampered by foul trouble) added a free throw.


Upcoming Games

Boys' Basketball

Feb. 2
KHS @ Crandall*

*District 13-3A game

Girls' Basketball

Feb. 2
KHS @ Crandall*

*District 13-3A game



Feb. 2
MHS girls vs Kaufman*
MHS boys @ Kaufman*
EHS boys @ Mabank (JV)
*District 11-4A game