girls’ playoff hopes dashed
Monitor Staff Reports
FORNEY–One bad quarter ended the Kemp Lady Yellowjackets’
slender playoff hopes Monday night, as the hosting North Forney
Lady Falcons held off a determined Kemp comeback to escape with
a 53-50 victory.
Kemp Lady Yellowjacket Brianna Powell (4) passes back outside to
teammate Michelle Ritterbach (23, back to camera) as Mabank Lady
Panthers Sara Springer (23, far right) and Kourtney Holyfield
(12, far left) pressure both Kemp girls during Mabank's key
third-quarter run in the Lady Panthers' 51-38 victory over
hosting Kemp Feb. 2. Also shown are Kemp's Jacque Cooper and
Mabank's Ashton Norman (background left).
Now 16-14 overall and 3-6 in District 13-3A play, the Lady
’Jackets were scheduled to wind up the second round and the
regular season at home with a “senior night” game against the
Kaufman Lady Lions.
Originally scheduled to be played Friday night, the Kemp/Forney
matchup was delayed until Monday by bad weather.
The Lady ’Jackets had to win at North Forney and again Tuesday
against Kaufman to be able to tie the Lady Falcons for the
district’s third-place playoff berth behind Mabank and Crandall.
Mabank crushed the hosting Lady Pirates Saturday to forge a
home-and-home split and tie both teams at 8-1.
Mabank was scheduled to host the Lady Falcons for “senior night”
Tuesday (see related story, page 1B).
Both the Lady ’Jackets and Lady Falcons played evenly in the
first quarter, finishing at 9-9, but late in the second period,
the Lady Falcons forced some turnovers, enabling them to score
three breakaway layups and take an eight-point halftime lead,
“That turned out to be the difference in the game,” Kemp coach
Kent Smith noted afterward.
Both teams again played even in the third quarter, with North
Forney still up by nine, 40-31, going into the fourth quarter.
“Forney attempted to stall, but a strong man-to-man effort and a
trapping defense forced several key turnovers, and we were able
to climb back into the game,” Smith said.
“I thought (junior point guard) Brianna (Powell) did a great job
forcing the ball inside against a tight trapping defense,” Smith
Powell’s penetrations led to fouls and trips to the free throw
line, where she hit 8-of-13, finishing with 21 points to lead
the Lady ’Jackets. She also had three steals, two rebounds and
Senior guard Michelle Ritterbach had an off night, hitting just
4-of-18 from the field to finish with 11 points, and had just
one steal and one rebound, all far under her averages.
Junior post Kandace Rose almost finished with a double-double,
scoring eight points and grabbing 11 rebounds. Senior Shannon
Shipp finished with four points and five rebounds, while junior
Taylor Day had six points and five rebounds.
Great Backyard Bird Count set
Special to The Monitor
CEDAR CREEK LAKE–Game officials are encouraging bird and nature
fans throughout the state to join tens of thousands of everyday
North American bird watchers for the 2011 Great Backyard Bird
Count (GBBC) Friday through Monday, Feb. 18-21.
A joint project of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the
National Audubon Society, this free event is an opportunity for
families, students and people of all ages to discover the
wonders of nature in backyards, schoolyards and local parks,
and, at the same time, make an important contribution to
conservation. Participants count birds and report their
sightings online at
Participants are asked to count birds for at least 15 minutes on
at least one day of the event and reporting their sightings
www.birdsource.org/gbbc. Additional online resources
include tips to help identify birds, a photo gallery and special
materials for educators.
The data collected helps state game commissions and other
wildlife researchers understand the importance of particular
locations to birds and bird population trends, information that
is critical for effective conservation.
These efforts enable everyone to see what would otherwise be
impossible: a comprehensive picture of where birds are in late
winter and how their numbers and distribution compare with
In 2010, participants turned in new record of more than 97,200
checklists, creating the continent’s largest instantaneous
snapshot of bird populations ever recorded.
Checklists came in from all 50 states in the U.S. and from all
10 provinces and three territories of Canada. Participants
reported 602 species in 11.2 million individual bird
Each year, in addition to entering their tallies, participants
submit thousands of digital images for the GBBC photo contest.
Many are featured in the popular online gallery. Visit
to learn more.
girls tie for 1st
Lady Panthers crush Crandall to forge
Monitor Staff Reports
CRANDALL–In a critical road contest, the Mabank Lady Panthers
dominated the Crandall Lady Pirates in the second half to forge
a home-and-home split and tie both teams atop the District 13-3A
basketball standings at 8-1.
Behind a career game from sophomore point guard Kourtney
Holyfield, the Lady Panthers outscored the Lady Pirates 31-15 in
the second half to win a game postponed to Saturday, 49-31.
Mabank Lady Panther sophomore Kourtney Holyfield (center) brings
the ball upcourt during Mabank's narrow 60-55 home-court loss to
Crandall Jan. 18. The Lady Panthers beat Crandall on their home
court, 49-31, Saturday to forge a tie for first place with the
Lady Pirates. Holyfield led all scorers with a career-high 22
Now 20-10 on the season and 8-1 in district
play, the Lady Panthers were scheduled to host North Forney for
“senior night” in the second-round and regular season finale
Tuesday night, while the Lady Pirates, also 8-1, were scheduled
to visit Ferris Tuesday.
Assuming both teams remained tied after Tuesday night – and both
have handled the other loop teams fairly easily – the Lady
Panthers and Lady Pirates will meet for a third time at a
neutral site to determine the district champion, probably
Thursday night (tonight) or Friday night.
In very preliminary discussions early Tuesday, it is possible
the two teams may flip a coin to determine first and second
place, and then play a playoff warmup game. Nothing was to be
finalized until after Tuesday night’s games.
The winner of the playoff/coin flip, as the district champion,
will have a first-round bye in the playoffs. The second-place
team will face the third-place team from District 14-3A in the
bidistrict round, which probably will be played Monday or
Tuesday, Feb. 14-15.
Mabank’s dominating win spoiled “senior night” for the Lady
Pirates Saturday, although the hosting Crandall girls opened a
10-8 lead in the first quarter.
The Lady Panthers edged the Lady Pirates 10-6 in the second
quarter to take a narrow 18-16 halftime lead.
Holyfield started going to the charity stripe in the second
half, helping the Lady Panthers outscore Crandall 14-7 in the
third quarter and 17-8 in the fourth period to forge the final
Holyfield wound up with 22 points – including 10-of-12 from the
free throw line – to lead all scorers, as Ashton Norman added 10
points. Both Alex Brady and Olvia Pannell scored six points
each, while Sara Springer added three points and Cheyenne
Alldredge scored two points.