Sports and Outdoors


 Lake Info

Normal Lake Level is 322.00 feet above Mean Sea Level.
Current level for Cedar Creek Lake is: 319.84
Water Temperature:
na degrees - top
50 degrees - bottom


Icy shooting dooms ’Jackets
By Kerry Yancey
Monitor Staff Writer

COMMERCE–Icy shooting in a sweltering gym proved to be a fatal combination for the Kemp Yellowjackets Friday, as they fell to the Princeton Panthers 38-26 in a Region II semifinal basketball game.
In their first trip to the Region II tournament, the ’Jackets were knocked out of the playoffs for the second straight year by the Panthers, who lost to Chapel Hill’s Bulldogs 53-52 in the tournament final Saturday.
Kemp ended the year with a 20-13 record, a District 13-3A championship trophy, an area championship trophy and a regional quarterfinals championship trophy.
Despite the starting time moving up to 2 p.m., in order for the Texas A&M at Commerce Lady Lions to host a playoff game that evening, a significant percentage of Kemp’s total population was present in the near-capacity crowd.
Princeton (28-6) entered the game riding a 17-game winning streak, and featured a starting lineup averaging 6-6 across the front line and 6-1 in the backcourt, far bigger than the ’Jackets.
That tall and talented Panther squad defeated the ’Jackets in the regional quarterfinals round last year; in 2005, the ’Jackets defeated Princeton in the area round for the school’s first-ever playoff win.
Cold shooting marked the ’Jackets from the start, as they missed on their first three possessions. The Panthers didn’t, taking a 6-0 lead and prompting a Kemp time out with 5:25 left in the first quarter.
Kemp senior Jacarri Culberson finally broke the ice with an inside bucket, and he and Princeton’s James Erger swapped baskets.
Kevin Freeman hit for the ’Jackets and Kemp fans roared their appreciation when Culberson drew a charge from Panther Brian Beauchamp with 2:34 left.
Culberson hit again to draw the ’Jackets within two at 8-6, and after a Panther turnover, the big senior again muscled inside to tie the contest at 8-8 with 1:45 left in the first.
After a Princeton basket, Kemp senior guard Joseph Simmons hit a 3-point bucket to give the ’Jackets their first (and only) lead at 11-10, but a Panther trey by Bryce Ivy, a Kemp miss and fumble left Princeton on top, 15-11, at the end of the first quarter.
Cold shooting really got the better of the ’Jackets in the second quarter, as they misfired on six of their seven possessions.
Both teams clamped down on defense, and each offense was deliberate in attacking, leading to the slow pace of the contest – the first basket came at the three-minute mark.
Princeton hit back-to-back buckets to give them a 19-11 edge, and Culberson’s basket cut the Panthers’ halftime lead to six points, 19-13.
“We didn’t shoot the ball real well, but their defense had a lot to do with that,” Kemp coach Tracy Carter said later. “They are a great team and well-coached.”
Strong defensive play on both sides continued in the second half. A foul on Culberson put Princeton’s Division I prospect, junior Chase Spruell, at the line. Spruell’s free throws put the Panthers up by eight, 21-13.
Freeman answered with an inside bucket, and both teams misfired on subsequent possessions.
A free throw by Panther Cliff Mishler, a follow-up basket and a Kemp miss gave Princeton a nine-point lead, 26-15, and prompted Carter to call time with 2:53 left in the third quarter.
Simmons responded by putting together a three-point play on a drive down the lane, and senior guard Justin Gibson made it a six-point game, 26-20, with his only basket.
After a Princeton miss, Kemp played for the last shot, but sophomore Josh Carr was called for charging (drawing a chorus of boos from the Kemp crowd), and the quarter ended with Princeton still up by six.
Simmons opened the fourth quarter with a steal, and set up sophomore James Trim, who was fouled.
Trim hit both shots to pull the ’Jackets within four at 26-22 with 6:56 to play.
The ’Jackets turned up the defensive pressure, forcing a miss on a good play by Matt Brown, but Kemp again misfired.
Simmons grabbed his second steal of the half, but the ’Jackets fumbled, and Kemp fans held their breath when Culberson took a bad fall and limped off the court, holding his elbow, with five minutes to play.
Both teams swapped free throws, and Culberson returned to the lineup with Princeton up by four, 28-24, with 4:39 left.
Princeton became even more deliberate on offense, forcing the ’Jackets to gamble and leading to a Panther layup and a 30-24 lead.
Kemp turned the ball over on a throwaway, and Princeton called time with 3:14 to play.
The Panthers set up a perfect lob to Spruell, and Culberson picked up his fourth personal foul. Spruell completed the three-point play to give the Panthers a 33-24 lead.
After a miss and a Panther misfire on the free throw line, Simmons’ drive cut the margin back to seven points at 33-26, but the ’Jackets were not able to score another point.
Princeton held the ball, forcing Kemp to foul, and Spruell hit four free throws in the final minute to help forge the final 12-point margin.
“We were right there, but we could not put the ball in the hole, and had to start fouling,” Carter said. “They hurt us on the boards (33-13), and they got to the free throw line, and we did not.
“They minimized Jacarri’s touches in the second half, and put the 6-6 Spruell kid on (5-5) Joseph,” Carter noted.
“I’m extremely happy and proud of our kids,” he added. “They played with heart and class. It was a great year.
“Our support from the community could not be matched, and it was great to see all that orange (in the crowd),” Carter said.
Simmons finished with 10 points, while Culberson finished with eight points, seven rebounds, three blocks and two steals.
Brown had two points and five rebounds, while Gibson had two points and three assists.
Freeman and Trim both finished with two points each.

Monitor Photo/Kerry Yancey
Kemp’s Kevin Freeman and Jacarri Culberson (dark uniforms), along with
Princeton’s Derek Fort, James Erger and Bryce Ivy, battle for a loose ball
under the Kemp basket during the second half of Princeton’s 38-26 regional
semifinal victory Friday.

Panthers split at Fairfield
Monitor Staff Reports
FAIRFIELD–Mabank’s Panthers split three games at the Fairfield Eagle Invitational baseball tournament last weekend.
The Panthers were scheduled to visit Van Tuesday, and will open play Thursday (today) in the Athens Hornet Invitational tournament.
Tuesday, March 13, the Panthers will visit Canton for a double-header, with a 2 p.m. start.
Following Spring Break, Mabank will open District 13-3A play at home against the Kaufman Lions Friday, March 23, and will visit Eustace Tuesday, March 27, before returning home to host Ferris Friday, March 30.
Each district varsity game starts at 6:30 p.m.
At Fairfield, the Panthers opened with a 15-2 loss to the District 17-3A China Spring Cougars.
Chris Trejo took the loss, allowing nine runs (eight earned) and 10 hits in two and two-thirds innings before Zach Kennedy came on in relief.
Kennedy allowed six runs (five earned) on four hits. The Panthers committed eight errors.
China Spring opened a 1-0 lead, and the Panthers tied the score at 1-1 in the top of the second.
The Cougers exploded for five runs in the bottom of the second, added three more in the third and six runs in the fourth before the Panthers scored in the top of the fifth.
Mabank came back to defeat the District 23-A Lovelady Lions 10-2 in the second game.
David Taylor pitched a complete game, allowing two runs (one earned) on seven hits and striking out eight Lions.
The Panthers pounded out 12 hits against the Lions, led by RBI singles from Garrett Hill, Mikey Shelton (two RBI) and Kolton Browning, along with two RBIs from R.P. Smith and a sacrifice fly RBI by Alan Ott.
Hill and Browning both went 3-for-3 at the plate, while Taylor and Shelton both went 2-for-3.
Mabank opened a 2-0 lead in the first and added four runs in both the second and third innings.
In the third game of the tournament, the Panthers committed four errors during a 5-2 loss to the District 18-4A Huntsville Hornets junior varsity.
After a scoreless first inning, Huntsville opened a 4-1 lead in the second, and added a fifth run in the third. Mabank’s second run came in the fifth inning.
Chanz Sullivan took the loss, issuing six walks and hitting one batter, along with allowing four hits in three innings.
Hill came on in relief, allowing one hit and notching two strikeouts in two innings of work.
Browning (1-for-1) had an RBI, and Mark Groom (1-for-2) nailed an RBI double.

Kemp, Kaufman big men named co-MVPs
Monitor Staff Reports
CEDAR CREEK LAKE–The district’s two biggest centers were named the co-Most Valuable Players by the District 13-3A basketball coaches recently.
Kemp’s 6-5 senior Jacarri Culberson, last year’s MVP in a different district, and Kaufman’s 6-9 senior James Valladares each anchored their respective team’s defense.
Kemp’s Yellowjackets and Kaufman’s Lions split their district games, each winning at home, and met for the third time in a memorable regional quarterfinals match in Lancaster, won by the ’Jackets 47-45 in overtime.
One of the district’s smallest players, Kemp senior guard Joseph Simmons, was named the “Offensive Player of the Year,” while Kaufman sophomore David Miles was named the “Defensive Player of the Year.”
Ferris sophomore Paul Alexander was named the district’s “Newcomer of the Year.”
Kemp coach Tracy Carter, Kaufman coach Charlie White and Crandall coach Stan Short were named the “Coaches of the Year.”
Kemp’s Kevin Freeman was the only senior named to the five-member first team, as loop coaches selected four sophomores – Mabank’s Kolton Browning, Kaufman’s Ayron Miles, Ferris’ Tevin Richard and Crandall’s Brett Russell, who was a unanimous selection.
Three unanimous selections led off the five-member second team – Kemp senior Justin Gibson, Kaufman sophomore Deon Wells and Eustace junior David Graves.
They were joined by Mabank junior Haydon Blair and Crandall senior Matt Woodham.
Ten players were given honorable mention, including Kemp junior Matt Brown and sophomore Josh Carr, along with Mabank senior Jarred Batson and Eustace senior Ryan Schwanbeck.
Also named were Ferris’ Jeremy Masterson and Emmanuel Grady, Crandall’s Travis Dykman and Matt Dotson, and Kaufman’s Josh Altman and Lester Camp.
Mabank’s Bobby Gaddis, Blair, Dewayne Hamilton and David Parry were named to the Academic All-District team.
Kemp seniors Simmons and Patrick Dowd, along with junior Chas Gipson were also named Academic All-District.

Terrell knocks off Lady Panthers, 2-0
Monitor Staff Reports
MABANK–A strong defensive effort by the Mabank Lady Panthers limited Terrell’s Lady Lions to one goal in each half in a 2-0 defeat Friday.
Now 8-9 overall and 5-8 in District 11-4A soccer play, the Lady Panthers were scheduled to visit Kaufman Tuesday, with the Mabank boys hosting the Lions.
Friday, March 9, the Lady Panthers will visit Ferris for a single 5:30 p.m. varsity match, while the Mabank boys will host Ferris.
During Spring Break, the Lady Panthers will host Red Oak Tuesday, March 13, and will visit Corsicana Friday, March 16, with the Mabank boys visiting Red Oak and hosting Corsicana. Each evening opens with 5:30 p.m. junior varsity matches.
The Mabank soccer teams will wind up district play and the regular season Monday, March 19, when the girls visit Lancaster and the boys host Lancaster for single 5:30 p.m. varsity matches.
Against Terrell, the Mabank girls defense stood up strongly, as the Lady Tigers took 33 shots on goal, forcing goalie Erin Mason to make 18 saves.
Mabank was able to get only two shots on goal during the match.
Lady Panther Hilary Noble was issued a yellow card during the bruising contest.

Monitor Photo/Mary Landrie
Mabank’s Hilary Noble (right) battles a Terrell
Lady Tiger during a 2-0 home loss Friday.

Yellowjackets go 1-2 at tournament
Monitor Staff Report
NACOGDOCHES–Kemp’s Yellowjackets went 1-2 against a trio of 4A teams at the Nacogdoches Dragon Invitational baseball tournament last weekend.
The ’Jackets were scheduled to visit Canton Tuesday, and will play in another major tournament, the Time Warner Classic at Waco, opening Thursday (today).
Kemp will return home Tuesday, March 13, to host the Fort Worth Diamond Hill-Jarvis Eagles in a 3 p.m. contest, and Thursday, March 15, the ’Jackets will travel to North Dallas to face Reverchon in a 1 p.m. contest.
Saturday, March 17, Kemp will wind up its pre-district schedule with a 6 p.m. road game against the hosting Mineola Yellowjackets.
Kemp will open District 13-3A play on the road at Eustace Friday, March 23, before returning home to host Crandall Tuesday, March 27.
At Nacogdoches, the ’Jackets opened tournament play against the Livingston Lions of District 18-4A, using a five-run third inning to notch an 8-1 victory.
Mikie Scruggs got the win for the ’Jackets, allowing four hits and no earned runs while issuing one walk and striking out six Lions.
Kemp opened a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Bret Kennedy led off with a double and was singled home by Dalton Fugitt, who advanced to third on an error.
After a fly out by Matt Carr, Nick Sallings singled, but was later tagged out trying to take third.
Justin Gordan singled in Fugitt, but Scruggs hit into an inning-ending double play.
After a scoreless second inning, Kennedy opened the Kemp third with another double and both Fugitt and Carr walked to load the bases with no outs.
Following a fly out by Sallings, Gordan walked and Scruggs cleared the bases with a double.
Scruggs later advanced to home on a balk, but Tim Fuller and Cody Kuehn both hit into outs to end the inning.
Kemp added another run in the bottom of the fourth when Sallings hit a sacrifice fly to score Kennedy, who singled.
Livingston’s only run came in the top of the fifth when Clamon singled home Simpson, who had reached base on an error.
Both teams committed two errors each, and both left six runners stranded.
Kemp then faced two District 12-4A teams, the hosting Dragons and the Henderson Lions.
The Dragons pounded the ’Jackets 17-2, taking advantage of six Kemp errors and racking up 11 hits against a trio of Yellowjacket pitchers.
Sallings took the loss, giving up six runs (only two earned) on nine hits, with no walks and three strikeouts.
Gordan gave up seven runs (four earned) on four hits, and issued three walks in just two-thirds of an inning, before giving way to Shane Henderson, who allowed one run on one hit and two walks.
Kemp opened a 2-0 lead on a two-run homer by Carr, but the Dragons tied the score in the bottom of the first and then blew open the game with a 12-run second inning that featured all six Kemp errors and a three-run homer.
The Dragons added two runs in the third and a single run in the fourth.
Henderson’s Zack Aiken one-hit the ’Jackets to fuel a 14-0 victory.
The Lions racked up 14 hits against a trio of Kemp pitchers, and the ’Jackets also committed five errors in the loss.
Tim Fuller took the loss, allowing 10 runs (six earned) on nine hits, while Leif Skierski allowed three runs (all earned) on five hits, and Kennedy allowed one unearned run.
Henderson had two big innings, a six-run second (featuring a three-run triple by Daniel Francis) and a four-run fourth (featuring a two-run homer by Joel Johnson).
Carr got Kemp’s only hit in the bottom of the fourth.

Upcoming Games


March 6
MHS @ Van
KHS @ Canton
EHS vs Rains

March 8-10
MHS @ Athens tourney
KHS @ Waco tourney
EHS @ Malakoff tourney


March 5
MHS vs Dallas Molina

March 6
KHS @ Canton

March 8
MHS vs Seagoville
EHS @ Lindale tourney

March 9
KHS vs Cross Roads



March 6
MHS girls @ Kaufman*
MHS boys vs Kaufman*
*District 11-4A game


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


March 10
Region II meet
@ Elysian Fields