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Leopards claw ’Jackets in area
By Kerry Yancey
Monitor Staff Writer

LONGVIEW–Quickness and defensive pressure proved to be a winning formula for the Kemp Yellowjackets in their bidistrict win over Quinlan Ford Feb. 23.
Quickness and defensive pressure again proved to be the keys to victory in an area basketball championship game at Longview High School’s Lobo Coliseum Friday night – but this time, it was the Yellowjackets who were on the receiving end of the pressure supplied by the Liberty-Eylau Leopards. AreaBBWesley.jpg (323291 bytes)
In a game similar to the Kemp girls’ bidistrict loss to Rains Feb. 16, the Kemp boys fell behind early and were never able to catch up to the Leopards, who raced out to an impressive 76-51 victory.
The Yellowjackets finished their season at 12-20, capturing the District 14-3A third-place playoff berth – their first playoff berth in three years (since the 2007 graduation of four-year standouts Joseph Simmons and Jacarri Culberson) and adding a bidistrict championship trophy.
Liberty-Eylau improved to 20-9 and advanced to face 14-3A winner Van in a regional quarterfinals matchup.
Liberty-Eylau defeated Van 82-62 Monday night at the Texas A&M-Commerce Field House. Van enjoyed a bye in the area round.
District 14-3A runner-up Wills Point also lost in the second half of a double-header at Commerce Monday (see sidebar).
“We knew they were good,” third-year Kemp head coach Terrance McCloud said afterward.
“Everybody’s going to be bigger than us and more athletic, but we’ve got a lot of heart – that’s what we’ve played on all year, heart,” he added.
“We ran into a really good basketball team,” he said. “We didn’t play as well as we could have, but they (the ’Jackets) never quit. That’s why I like coaching these guys. I’m very proud of their accomplishment.”
As the game got underway, this reporter camped out under the Kemp basket, waiting to take a photo, but that plan changed pretty quick.
The ’Jackets got past the midcourt line only once in their first five or six possessions – although that one time, Jeff Goldman hit a 3-point basket to close within a point of the Leopards at 4-3.
Leopard guards Tevin Wilson and Alex Watson, with help from Tra Carson and Marquez Clark, caught the Goldman brothers (juniors Jeff and Jake) and senior Wesley Kerr in a trapping press, forcing numerous turnovers and errant passes.
When the ’Jackets were able to close off the inside on defense, the Leopards didn’t hesitate to fire from long range, with Watson hitting two treys to push L-E’s lead out to 11-3 before Kemp was able to answer with their second basket.
Another Leopard trey (by Wilson) made it 14-5, but Kemp senior Zach Allison answered to cut the L-E lead back to seven points at 14-7.
After the teams swapped turnovers, the ’Jackets forced a jump ball inside, and a lengthy discussion between Leopard head coach Craig Collvins and the officials led to a technical foul against Collvins.
Jeff Goldman hit both free throws, but the Leopards forced another turnover, and both teams swapped misses before the quarter ended with Liberty-Eylau up by nine at 16-7.
Jeff Goldman put together a three-point play to pull the ’Jackets back close at 16-12 as the second quarter opened, but the Leopards then forged an 11-0 run over the next two minutes.
When Wilson hit a trey (one of five by the Leopards in the quarter) to give L-E a 17-point lead at 36-19, McCloud called time so the ’Jackets could regroup.
Kemp appeared much steadier through the rest of the second quarter, but the damage had been done, and swapping baskets with the Leopards didn’t bring the ’Jackets any closer.
A steal and a layup by Clark gave L-E a 20-point lead at 42-22 with 2:15 left in the first half, and that was the game, pretty much, because the Leopards were content to match baskets with the ’Jackets throughout the second half.
Kemp senior Jeremy Quick hit a jumper at the buzzer to make it a 19-point game, 45-26, at halftime.
The ’Jackets tried to make a run at the Leopards as the third quarter opened, with Allison putting together a three-point play and Jeff Goldman adding another trey, but they didn’t get any closer than 14 points at 50-36, and the Leopards still led by 19 at the end of the third quarter, 59-40.
A basket by Kemp sophomore Ryan Emfinger cut the margin to 15 points at 62-47, but minute or so later, Wilson hit another trey to push the lead back out to 20 at 69-49 with 4:26 left to play.
The ’Jackets tried to do more on defense as the time started winding down, but as they tried to close in, their shooting suffered and they also started fumbling when harassed by the quicker Leopards.
A three-year starter, Kerr hit the last Kemp basket, which ended the scoring with about 20 seconds left.
Jeff Goldman led all scorers with 19 points, as Allison had nine, Kerr eight, Quick six, Emfiinger five and Jake Goldman four.
Clark led the Leopards with 16 points, as Carson had 15, Wilson 12 and Watson 10.

Maltos qualifies for state meet
Monitor Staff Reports
EUSTACE–Eustace High School senior Kelsey Maltos took second in her weight class at the Women’s Powerlifting Association’s regional meet at Forney High School Feb. 27. Maltos.jpg (87826 bytes)
In finishing as the silver medalist, Maltos set a new regional record in the squat by lifting a personal-best 425 pounds. She finished with a total lift of 900 pounds, also a personal best.
The second-place finish automatically qualifies Maltos to compete at the state powerlifting meet, and her 900-pound total is 105 pounds more than the minimum needed to qualify, independent of her runner-up finish.
Maltos will compete at the state meet in Corpus Christi Friday and Saturday, March 19-20.

Kaufman wins EHS tournament
Monitor Staff Reports
EUSTACE–Kaufman’s Lions beat hosting Eustace and Malakoff to win the championship at the annual Eustace Invitational baseball tournament Saturday.
Malakoff got into the championship game with a memorable see-saw win over Scurry-Rosser.
During Friday’s game against Malakoff, Bulldog senior four-year starter Chris Compton set a Eustace school record by recording his 100th career hit. EHSbaseballTourney.jpg (178340 bytes)
Misty rain all day Friday threatened the tournament, but all the pool games were held as scheduled, Eustace head baseball coach Chris Powers reported.
However, heavy rain Monday on already soaked ground forced the cancellation of Eustace’s scheduled Tuesday night baseball and softball games against visiting Kerens.
The Bulldogs are scheduled to play in the Grand Prairie tournament starting Thursday (today), and are scheduled to play in the Athens tournament next weekend, March 11-13.
A scheduled contest against Tyler All Saints will follow Tuesday, March 16, and the Bulldogs are scheduled to open District 14-3A baseball play at home against Mineola Friday, March 19.
Eustace opened pool play Feb. 25 with a 13-3 thumping of Alba-Golden, and followed that with a 5-0 win over Quinlan that evening.
With the late withdrawal of one team, the Bulldogs split into varsity and junior varsity squads, and the JV lost back-to-back games to Grand Saline, 17-3, and eventual tournament champion Kaufman 9-1.
Malakoff opened pool play by handing Alba-Golden a second first-day loss, 12-5.
Grand Saline lost to Scurry-Rosser 7-6 and followed that by blowing out the Eustace JV.
Friday’s pool play got underway with Scurry-Rosser taking back-to-back wins over Kaufman (8-4) and the Eustace JV (16-6).
Kaufman followed the early loss with an 11-7 win over Grand Saline. Quinlan Ford (who did not play the opening day) defeated Alba-Golden, but a second scheduled game against Malakoff was not played.
Eustace edged Malakoff, 12-11, in the final game of pool play Friday.
Sunny skies greeted teams Saturday, and Alba-Golden opened the final day of competition with an 11-2 win over the Eustace JV. Grand Saline followed with a 12-0 shutout of Quinlan Ford.
In the first of the championship game playoffs, Kaufman edged Eustace 6-2, and then watched as Malakoff came from behind to edge Scurry-Rosser 8-7.
Kaufman outslugged the Tigers 18-13 to win the championship.
In the opening day of play, Eustace blasted 10 hits and overcame four errors in their 13-2 win over Alba-Golden, who had five hits in the contest.
Nathan Taft went the distance for the Bulldogs, striking out three, with no walks and one batter hit by a pitch. Both Alba-Golden runs were unearned.
Offensive standouts for the Bulldogs were Taylor Caldwell (two doubles, two RBIs), Compton (single, double, three RBIs), Jacob Petillo (RBI double), Blake Hammonds (two-RBI single), Blake Ward (RBI single), Taft (RBI single), Owen Babcock (RBI single) and Braden Strickland (single).
Strickland went the distance on the mound during the Bulldogs’ 5-0 shutout of Quinlan, giving up only one hit, to the leadoff batter in the first inning.
Strickland finished with nine strikeouts and issued just one walk to pick up his second win of the season.
Compton had two singles and a double, with one RBI, Ward had two singles and an RBI, Tyson Oliver and Babcock both had RBIs and Petillo also singled.
In Eustace’s 12-10 slugfest against Malakoff, the Bulldogs battled back after giving up eight Tiger runs in the first inning.
Oliver pitched the first two innings, but only two of the eight runs he allowed were earned, as the Bulldogs committed four errors.
Petillo pitched the third inning, giving up three earned runs, but Addison Scott came on in relief and threw one shutout inning to get his first career victory.
Oliver came up with the key hit, a walk-off RBI double in the rain. Petillo had three singles and two RBIs, while Hammonds had a single and a double, with two RBIs, Babcock had two singles and one RBI, Strickland had a three-RBI single, Compton had an RBI single, Ward had an RBI single and Caldwell singled.
Saturday, the Bulldogs again were plagued by sloppy throws, recording three errors in the 6-2 loss to Kaufman. Both teams had six hits.
Compton went six innings, but took the loss, striking out six and walking three. Only three of the six runs he allowed were earned.
Petillo had an RBI double for the Bulldogs, who also got offensive support from Caldwell (two singles), Compton (RBI double), Scott (single), Oliver (single) and Strickland (RBI).


Upcoming games


March 5
MHS g/b vs EHS g/b*

March 9
MHS g/b @ Lindale*
EHS g/b @ Athens*

March 12
MHS g/b vs Athens*
EHS g/b vs Chapel Hill*
(end regular season)
(*District contest)

Semi-pro Football

March 6
Xtreme @ Shreveport Storm

March 13
Xtreme @ Longview


March 5
EHS @ Canton

March 6
EHS @ Rains


March 4-6
MHS @ Tyler tournament
KHS @ Tyler tournament

March 5
EHS @ Scurry-Rosser

March 8
MHS vs A+ Academy

March 9
MHS bye*
EHS @ Hawkins

March 12
MHS @ Terrell*
KHS @ Athens
EHS @ Athens Christian


March 4-5
MHS @ Grand Saline trn.
EHS @ Grand Prairie trn.

March 5
KHS @ Kaufman

March 9
MHS @ Kaufman
KHS vs Maypearl
EHS idle

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