Sports and Outdoors


Ferris nips Eustace in overtime
Monitor Staff Reports
EUSTACE–The hosting Eustace Bulldogs came mighty close to winning their first District 13-3A basketball contest in the season finale Tuesday, but fell in overtime to Ferris, 82-80.
The youthful Bulldogs ended the district campaign under first-year coach Lynn Cook at 0-8, with two games cancelled due to widespread illness.
Neither team had any chance at one of the district’s playoff berths – those were being decided in Kemp and Crandall (see related story) – but the few fans who attended saw a very entertaining back-and-forth contest between two fairly evenly matched squads.
Ferris opened an early 21-18 lead behind 10 points (including a pair of 3-point baskets) from sophomore Tavin Richard, while Eustace countered with six points each from seniors Ryan Schwanbeck and Blake Townley.
The Bulldogs outscored the Yellowjackets 22-14 in the second quarter, behind eight points from Jacob Horton and eight points (including two treys) from David Graves, to take a five-point halftime lead.
Ferris came out on fire in the third quarter, outscoring the Bulldogs 25-10 behind Richard and Jeremy Masterson, who combined for 16 points, to take a 10-point lead into the fourth quarter.
However, the Bulldogs came back in the fourth quarter with a balanced scoring attack, and outscored the Yellowjackets 21-11 to tie the contest at 71 at the end of regulation.
In the overtime period, Ferris edged the Bulldogs 11-9 to take the narrow two-point win.
The Yellowjackets hit 7-of-8 free throws in the overtime period, and got two baskets from Richard, while the Bulldogs got six points (including a trey) from Townley and a trey from Schwanbeck.
Townley led the Bulldogs with 22 points, while Graves finished with 18 (including three treys).
Schwanbeck finished with 17 points, while Horton had 15.
The Bulldogs also got five points from Russell Templeton, two from Thomas Clowdus and a free throw from Cannon Thomsen.
Richard led all scorers with 27 points, while Masterson finished with 18, Paul Alexander had 16 and Tanner Bodine had 15 points.

Monitor Photo/Kerry Yancey
Eustace Bulldog senior Blake Townley (33) drives inside for a basket against the defense of Ferris junior Max Kruse (32) during the Yellowjackets’ 82-80 overtime win Friday. Townley led the Bulldogs with 22 points.

Kemp crushes Mabank
Monitor Staff Reports
KEMP–At halftime Tuesday, the Mabank Panthers trudged dejectedly off the court, glancing glumly up at the scoreboard.
Kemp’s Yellowjackets ran up a 20-point lead in the first half, and went on to write an end to the Panthers’ season with a 68-41 victory.
The ’Jackets improved to 18-12 on the year and finished District 13-3A play at 9-1, while the Panthers fell to 5-5 in loop play and out of the playoffs, thanks to Crandall’s 55-30 win over Kaufman Tuesday.
Crandall and Kaufman ended up tied at 6-4 in district play (each winning at home), and Crandall won a coin flip to get the second-place playoff spot.
Kemp gets a first-round bye, and will face either Mount Vernon or Gilmer in the area round of the playoffs, probably Friday or Saturday, Feb. 23-24, at a site to be determined.
The ’Jackets scheduled a warm-up game for 12:30 p.m. Saturday against No. 16 Wimberly at Glen Rose.
Going into Tuesday’s game, Mabank knew they had to win on Kemp’s home floor to have any shot at the playoffs, but the ’Jackets took control of the game early in front of a deafening standing-room-only crowd.
The shooting woes that had bothered the Panthers all season seemed to go away in a Feb. 9 win over Crandall, which set up the final-game showdown against the ’Jackets.
On Kemp’s home court – where the ’Jackets have not lost a district game in four years – Mabank’s shooting slump came back with a vengeance.
Shot after shot clanged off the iron, and the ’Jackets made sure the Panthers got only one shot per trip down the court.
Midway through the opening period, the Panthers were relatively close at 13-7, but the ’Jackets went on a 10-0 run to end the first quarter with a commanding 23-7 lead.
Mabank didn’t get any closer, as the ’Jackets outscored them 13-9 in the second quarter to take a 36-16 halftime lead.
The pace of the contest slowed considerably in the second half, as both teams visited the free throw line frequently. Two Panthers, Haydon Blair and Mark Groom, fouled out.
Kemp hit 18-of-28 free throws in the second half – most of them by Justin Gibson, who hit 16-of-18 – to keep the Panthers from gaining any ground.
The Panthers’ shooting woes extended to the charity stripe, as they made just 11-of-24 attempts.
“Collectively, our kids played one of their best games all year. We were focused on both ends of the court,” Kemp coach Tracy Carter said later.
“It was great to see this senior class play so well in their last home game,” he added. “They have been a very important part of the program’s success the last four years.”
During the last four years, Kemp has posted a 28-8 record in district play (going 23-3 over three years).
Gibson took game-high honors with 27 points, including one 3-point basket, four assists and four rebounds.
Jacarri Culberson finished with 20 points (including a trey), 10 rebounds, four assists and one block, while guard Joseph Simmons finished with nine points (one trey), three steals and three assists.
Kemp also got six points and five rebounds from Matt Brown, five points and four rebounds from Kevin Freeman and a free throw from Josh Carr.
The Panthers wound up with very balanced scoring, with all but three players tallying points.
Kolton Browning led the way with nine points, including a trey, while Jarred Batson had seven, including two treys.
Both Wayland Pharms (one trey) and Barry Prather finished with six points each, and both Blair and Groom finished with four points each.
Mack Wintin and David Parry scored two points each, and L.T. Toliver chipped in a free throw.
Mabank won the sub-varsity contests, with the Panthers edging Kemp 66-65 in the junior varsity game, and the Panther freshmen defeating the Kemp frosh 73-42.
The junior varsity match was a thriller, as Kemp went into the final quarter with a slim 43-42 lead. The Panthers outscored Kemp 24-22 in the fourth quarter to grab the win.

Monitor Photo/Kerry Yancey
Kemp sophomore Josh Carr (32) grabs a loose ball away from Mabank sophomore Kolton Browning (24) as Kemp’s Justin Gibson (at left) and Mabank’s Mack Wintin (44) begin running upcourt during the third quarter of Kemp’s 68-41 win over visiting Mabank Tuesday.

Monitor Photo/Kerry Yancey
Kemp senior Kevin Freeman (15) nails a close-in basket over Mabank defender Haydon Blair (10) during the first half of Kemp’s 68-41 victory Tuesday.


Eaglettes halt Lady Panthers’ playoff run
Monitor Staff Reports
FORNEY–Good shooting from the free throw line by the Canton Eaglettes led to a 51-30 bidistrict defeat for the Mabank Lady Panthers Tuesday.
The runner-up in District 14-3A behind unbeaten Athens, Canton’s girls (28-5) advanced to the area round of the basketball playoffs against 15-3A champion Spring Hill, who had a first-round bye.
Mabank’s girls, who grabbed the 13-3A third-place playoff berth under first-year head coach David Brown, finished their season at 14-15.
Any chance the Lady Panthers might be able to make a second-half run at the Eaglettes vanished under a cloud of fouls and Canton free throws.
The Eaglettes made 20 more free throws than the Lady Panthers even attempted, shooting 21-of-37 for the game, while Mabank hit just 1-of-11 attempts.
Playing at Forney High School’s cavernous new gym, the Eaglettes took a lead early and maintained it through a cold-shooting second quarter.
Up by seven points at halftime, 23-16, the Eaglettes and Lady Panthers played to a 6-6 draw in the third quarter, leaving Canton still ahead by seven going into the fourth quarter.
In the final frame, the Eaglettes hit their free throws, outscoring the Lady Panthers 22-8 to forge the final 21-point margin.
“It was a good season. I think they came a long ways,” Brown said afterward. “I think all of the kids enjoyed the (playoff) experience.”
Blaire Hyde led the Lady Panthers with nine points, while Kelsi Reynolds had seven (including Mabank’s only 3-point basket).
Both Miranda Groom and Ashley Corter scored six points each, while Emily Tucker and Chelsea Dillon scored two points each.
Meagan Wilson led a very balanced Canton scoring attack with 11 points, as Alexis Popelar had 10 points, Lindsey Knowles eight and both Brittany Barton and Cassie Williams had six points each.

Monitor Photo/Doug Stuart-Canton Herald
Mabank Lady Panthers Shadia Rueb (14) and Miranda Groom (21) bracket a Canton Eaglette during their bidistrict contest at Forney High School Tuesday. Canton won 51-30.

Upcoming Games


Feb. 19
EHS @ Athens

Feb. 20
MHS vs Quinlan Ford
KHS @ Nevada Community

Feb. 22-24
KHS @ Mexia tournament
Eustace tournament

Feb. 19
MHS vs Quinlan

Feb. 22-24
MHS @ Malakoff tourn.
KHS @ Kerens tournament
EHS @ Kerens tournament

Feb. 26
MHS vs Westwood



Feb. 20
MHS girls @ Forney*
MHS boys vs Forney*

Feb. 23
MHS girls vs Ennis*
MHS boys @ Ennis*

Feb. 26
Eustace Invitational (girls)
(Cedar Creek Country Club)


Feb. 24
District 13-3A meet


Feb. 22-23
Eustace Bulldog Relays
(JV Thursday, varsity Friday)