Sports and Outdoors


 Lake Info

Normal Lake Level is 322.00 feet above Mean Sea Level.
Current level for Cedar Creek Lake is: 320.93
Water Temperature:
na degrees - top
58 degrees - bottom



  Panther comeback falls short, 35-28
By Kerry Yancey
Monitor Staff Writer

NACOGDOCHES–Mabank’s Panthers scored twice in the final two minutes to put a severe scare into the top-ranked Gilmer Buckeyes, who held on to record a narrow 35-28 Division I regional championship win Saturday.
Gilmer (12-0) advances to meet Dallas Roosevelt (11-1) in a quarterfinals contest at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, at Mesquite’s Memorial Stadium.
Mabank finished its season at 6-6, garnering the school’s first playoff win in 28 years.

Monitor Photo/Kerry Yancey
Gilmer defender Brennan Thompson (mostly hidden) pushes Mabank Panther quarterback Kolton Browning (14, with ball) out of bounds after a seven-yard gain to the Buckeye 33. One play later, Browning hit Haydon Blair with a 28-yard touchdown pass to bring the Panthers within a touchdown of the top-ranked Buckeyes Saturday.

Coming into the contest, the Buckeyes had averaged more than 50 points a game and had beaten all their opponents by at least 28 points or more, but the Panthers held them to their lowest point output of the season and came within an onside kick recovery of threatening to tie the game.
Had it been warm enough, the Buckeyes would have been sweating bullets after the Panthers swarmed back from a 35-14 deficit.
Given the miserable weather conditions – temperatures in the upper 30s, a strong north wind and driving rain – it was surprising that neither team suffered a turnover during the hard-hitting contest.
Following an opening exchange of punts, the Buckeyes used a big play to draw first blood.
Oklahoma commit Justin Johnson, who had gotten zilch on his first two carries, took an inside handoff, bounced outside and splashed up the Gilmer sideline for an 85-yard touchdown.
The Buckeyes, who were facing the wind, faked the PAT kick, as Johnson dashed over for a two-point conversion to put Gilmer up 8-0 with 7:41 left in the first quarter.
Following another exchange of punts, the Panthers finally started marching on their third possession, taking 13 plays to go 73 yards for their first touchdown.
Junior quarterback Kolton Browning keyed the march, hitting Haydon Blair for 21 on third-and-13, hitting Blake Rambo for a gain of 14 on the next play, and converting a fourth-and-eight situation by finding Dewayne Hamilton for an 18-yard gain to the Gilmer 21.
Browning converted a third-and-10 with an 11-yard gallop to the Buckeye 10, and took three carries to cover the remaining distance, moving the pile forward just enough to score from a yard out on the first play of the second quarter.
Browning (who finished with 72 yards and one touchdown on 23 carries, and hit 28-of-39 passes for 279 yards and three TDs) passed to Jake Birch for a two-point conversion, tying the score at 8-all.
“I wouldn’t trade Kolton for any quarterback in the state,” Panther head coach Jimmy Cantrell said later. “He just keeps amazing me.”
Gilmer came back with another big play, as quarterback Darian Godfrey hit wideout Houston Tuminello for a 30-yard gain to the Panther 35.
The Panther defense then clamped down, as the Buckeyes stalled at the Mabank 28 on a no-gain run by Godfrey and two straight incompletions.
It was time for the Panthers to come up with a big play of their own.
Browning hit Hamilton (five catches, 55 yards) over the middle for a gain of 15, but then the Panthers were flagged for holding.
Facing second-and-14, Browning aired it out for Birch (four catches, 96 yards), who gathered it in and hotfooted up the Gilmer sideline for a 67-yard touchdown.
Sophomore kicker Michael Blackburn’s PAT kick hit the right upright and bounced out, leaving the Panthers ahead 14-8 with 8:34 left in the first half.
“Kolton has big ol’ hands that wrap around the football,” Cantrell said. “We practice with wet balls all the time – we practiced a lot last week, because we knew the weather would be like that.
“That ball was hard to catch, especially the way he (Browning) throws it,” Cantrell added. “Our offensive line and receivers did a great job.”
Gilmer responded with a lengthy march of their own, moving 67 yards in nine plays.
Key plays in the drive included two runs by Godfrey, an 11-yard scramble to the Mabank 40, and two plays later, a 15-yard run up the middle after Godfrey dropped the shotgun snap.
Johnson (26 carries, 244 yards, three TDs) got the touchdown on a nifty 23-yard run to the right, carrying a couple of Panther defenders the final five yards.
“(Johnson) is bigger than anyone we have on defense, aside from the defensive line,” Cantrell said.
Adan Olivares added the PAT kick to give the Buckeyes back the lead, 15-14, and that’s where things stood at halftime.
During halftime, the rain became heavier, and during the second half continued to pelt down on the 500 or so shivering fans huddled under umbrellas and tarps at Homer Bryce Stadium.
Mabank opened the second half with a punt.
What appeared to be a first-down pass to Rambo was waived off, as the officials ruled Browning was a step past the line of scrimmage when he threw the ball.
“That took a little air out of our sails,” Cantrell said later. “If we had picked that one up, it would have been a completely different game.”
As it was, the Panthers were forced to kick, and the punt against the wind only went 18 yards, giving the Buckeyes outstanding field position at the Panther 37.
It took Gilmer four plays to capitalize on the short field, as Johnson dashed through the Panther defense for his third TD from 21 yards out.
Olivares’ second PAT kick made it 22-14 with 8:25 left in the third quarter.
The Panthers responded with a lengthy march, moving from their 36 to the Buckeye 17 in 12 plays, including a 14-yard pass to Hamilton to convert a fourth-and-six situation.
On fourth-and-eight, Browning was sacked by Gilmer sophomore Mikey Wilson for a loss of 12, giving the Buckeyes possession at their 29.
Gilmer then forged a 71-yard scoring march in 12 plays, which included the only pass the Buckeyes attempted in the second half.
Key plays in the drive included back-to-back runs of 15 and 17 yards by Johnson, followed by another 17-yard run up the middle to convert a fourth-and-two situation.
Godfrey got the touchdown with a one-yard plunge, and Olivares’ PAT kick gave the Buckeyes a respectable 29-14 lead with 10:23 left to play.
Mabank stalled at the Gilmer 37 on their next possession, and Godfrey made the Buckeyes’ play of the day on second-and-six, picking up a dropped shotgun snap and scrambling up the Gilmer sideline for a 45-yard touchdown.
Olivares’ PAT kick was wide left, but the Buckeyes had a seemingly insurmountable 35-14 lead with just 4:37 left to play.
It was time for the Panthers to go into high gear behind Browning, who hit 6-of-9 passes and added runs of seven and four yards to move Mabank 65 yards in 13 plays, taking just over two minutes of game time.
“The wind was a big factor, especially in the second half, when everything was water-soaked,” Cantrell said. “Even though we had six balls, the way it was raining, everything got soaked.”
Key plays in the march included a 17-yard pass to Birch, and three receptions by Blair (nine catches, 93 yards, two TDs), covering nine and 12 yards, and the scoring play, a one-yard pass.
Blackburn’s PAT kick made it a 35-21 game with 1:52 left, and the Gilmer fans really began to worry when the Panthers recovered an onside kick to give them possession at the Buckeye 46.
It took the Panthers just five plays and 41 seconds to score again, as Browning hit Blair coming across the middle of the end zone from 28 yards out.
A false-start penalty backed the Panthers up on the PAT try, but Blackburn nailed it anyway, and Mabank was in striking distance at 35-28 with 1:10 to play and one time out left.
Gilmer called a time out before the kickoff to make sure their “hands” team was in place, and the Buckeyes recovered the onside kick attempt at the midfield stripe.
The Panthers could only stop the clock once more, as Godfrey knelt three times to run out the final 1:08.

Busby wins steer undecorating title
Monitor Staff Reports
TERRELL–Mabank High School student Kelsie Busby won the steer undecorating competition at the 10th Lone Star High School Rodeo Association’s event of the season.
Busby also placed ninth in poles during the rodeo, held at Wade’s Arena in Terrell Nov. 10.
Marcus Emmons of Eustace High School took forth place in calf roping and received a no time in boys ribbon roping.
Nicole Harrison of Kemp High School and Bethany Norman of Mabank High School both competed in barrels.
Harrison also took 13th place in poles.
Josh McClintock of Kemp High School received a no time in bareback riding.
Dustin Jackson of Mabank High School took fifth place in calf roping, received a no time in team roping as the header, took fifth place in team roping as the heeler and a no time in boys ribbon roping.

Lady Panthers nip Lady Vandals, 55-52
Monitor Staff Reports
MABANK–Mabank’s Lady Panthers handed the Van Lady Vandals their first loss of the season, 55-52, Nov. 20.
Now 5-2 on the season, the Lady Panthers were scheduled to begin play in the Wills Point Lady Tiger Invitational tournament Thursday (today).

Monitor Photo/Kerry Yancey
Van’s Taralyn German (middle) passes the ball out to a teammate after getting trapped by Mabank Lady Panthers Chelsea Alldredge (right) and Miranda Groom during Mabank’s 55-52 win over the visiting Lady Vandals Nov. 20.

Tuesday, Dec. 4, the Mabank girls will go on the road, visiting Royse City, and then traveling to Cross Roads Friday, Dec. 7, before returning home Tuesday, Dec. 11, to host Wills Point.
Both the Lady Panthers and Lady Vandals posted strong runs during the bruising contest, which featured strong defense on both sides.
Mabank’s quickness enabled them to open a 26-11 first-quarter lead, but the Lady Vandals began a comeback that saw them outscore the Lady Panthers 29-18 during the middle two quarters.
The Lady Vandals pulled within two points at 38-36 in the third quarter, but the Lady Panthers pushed their lead back out to four, 44-40, heading into the fourth quarter.
In the final stanza, the Lady Panthers held off the Van comeback to win by three points.
Jeanice Mojica led the Lady Panthers with 13 points, as Kelsi Reynolds scored 12 (all on four 3-point goals) and Miranda Groom added 10 points.
Chelsey Dillon added three points, while Ashley Corter, Lauren Hamilton and Sam Goss all scored two points each, and Hali Schultz chipped in a free throw.
Shannon Hullum led the Lady Vandals with 13 points, as both Sarah Milenski (two treys) and Nicole Black scored 12 points each.
The Lady Vandals also got four points each from Lauren Graham and Seleah Wilkinson, along with two points each from Taralyn German, Cheyenne Massey, Chasity Smith and Brittany Wood.
Mabank and Van split the sub-varsity games, as Mabank won the junior varsity contest 45-8, while Van won the freshman game 33-30.

Upcoming games

Girls basketball

Nov. 29-Dec. 1
MHS @ Wills Point tourn.
KHS @ Edgewood tourn.
EHS Roundball Roundup

Dec. 4
MHS @ Royse City
KHS @ Quitman
EHS vs LaPoynor

Dec. 7
MHS @ Cross Roads
KHS @ Fairfield tourn.
EHS @ ET Shoot-Out
Boys basketball

Nov. 29-Dec. 1
MHS hosts CC Shoot-out
KHS @ Quinlan Ford tourn.
EHS @ Edgewood tourn.

Dec. 4
MHS @ Rains
KHS vs Scurry-Rosser
EHS vs LaPoynor

Dec. 7
MHS vs Scurry-Rosser
KHS @ Fairfield tourn.
EHS @ ET Shoot-Out