Sports and Outdoors


 Lake Info

Normal Lake Level is 322.00 feet above Mean Sea Level.
Current level for Cedar Creek Lake is: 321.70
Water Temperature:
na degrees - top
52 degrees - bottom



  Young Lady Panthers seek loop success
Monitor Staff Reports
MABANK–Youth and inexperience – one hopes to offset it with hustle and quickness.
That’s what second-year Mabank girls coach David Brown hopes as he goes into a fairly strong district with a squad beset by injuries and illness.
Both returning starters, senior guards Kelsi Reynolds (shoulder) and Miranda Groom (knee), have been lost to injuries.
It’s likely Reynolds will be back in time to start District 13-3A play, but Groom’s availability was still very uncertain heading into the Christmas break.
Freshman Sara Springer was brought up from the junior varsity to step into the void at shooting guard. Junior Chelsey Dillon has settled into the point guard spot.
“She (Springer) shoots well and can contribute,” Brown said.
Despite the lack of experience, Brown said the Lady Panthers have made big strides during the past year.
“We don’t really have any standouts, but they’re all working well together,” he said. “Every game, we may have a different leading scorer.”
Through the first 13 games, seven different girls led the team in scoring, which is all Brown can ask.
“I really preach the team concept, and when they do that, it means they are distributing the ball to different people and getting everyone involved,” Brown said.
Brown started out with seven seniors, but with illness and injury had just three available going into the Christmas break – Lauren Graham, Ashley Corter and Paige Howard.
“We were young already, and we’re getting younger by the day,” Brown half-joked.
Brown has three juniors – Dillon, Whitney Cathey and Lauren Hamilton – along with sophomores Ashley Hammack, Jeanice Mojica and Chelsea Alldredge.
Dillon and Corter both got quite a bit of playing time last year, and Mojica made an immediate impact when she was brought up from the junior varsity late in the season.
Corter has really stepped up her play at the post position, Brown said.
“We’ve had to change our style of play a little (with the injuries),” he said. “Last year, we played man defense. This year, we’re trying to grow on that a little bit and do more things out of it.
“The only thing that’s changed, really, is our depth,” he added. “These young kids are talented. It will take time, but I think we’re still going to end up being a really good team.”
Most pre-season projections had the usual suspects – Kaufman, Crandall and Mabank – as the district favorites.
“Kaufman probably has the best post player in the district,” Brown said. “Crandall has a new coach. He plays pressure man (defense) and has three really good players.
“I’ve seen Kemp one time, and they looked a lot better than last year,” he added. “I haven’t seen Eustace, and I don’t know anything about Ferris.”
The Lady Panthers open District 13-3A play on the road at Crandall Friday, Jan. 4, and Brown said he expects the Crandall matchup to be a key contest.
“(The Crandall coach) is playing 10 kids, five in and five out,” Brown said. “I’m playing 10 or 11 pretty consistently. I can sub out, and there’s not going to be a dropoff – sometimes, there’s an upgrade, because the kid coming in is just as good, and they’re fresh.”
Brown said he was encouraged by the Lady Panthers’ come-from-behind win against visiting Wills Point Dec. 11.
“With the injuries we’ve had, we’re still able to beat people like Wills Point, who went to the regional quarterfinals last year, and didn’t lose anybody,” Brown said. “We stepped it up a notch.”

Kemp Lady ’Jackets looking to make strides
Monitor Staff Reports
KEMP–After making huge strides last year, the Kemp Lady Yellowjackets are looking to break a playoff drought this year, despite their relative youth and inexperience.
“We’re really young,” first-year head coach Vince Morgan said. “We’re starting one senior, two juniors, and either one or two sophomores and a freshman, depending on the lineup that evening.”
As with all young teams, maintaining focus has been a problem for the Lady ’Jackets.
“We’ll do well for a quarter or two at a time,” Morgan said. “We haven’t been able to put everything together for an extended period of time this year.”
Despite being so young, the Lady ’Jackets have four returning starters – which shows you how young they were last year.
The lone senior is guard Sarah Smith, who is joined by junior Meagan Lacy and two sophomores, Brandy Simmons and Amanda Lawrence.
Newcomers include juniors Breanna Griffin and Chelsea Mulvaney, along with sophomores Brittany Simmons and Shelbie Wright.
Freshmen Shannon Shipp and Michelle Ritterbach round out the squad.
“We’re trying to build a team concept on both offense and defense, so we’re not relying on one person to carry us through a game,” Morgan said.
“It’s taking time to get that in place, but I see us making tremendous steps forward,” he added. “I’ve been talking to the girls about playing our best games in January and February, and I’m hoping we keep making those strides.”
The Lady ’Jackets have not avoided tough competition, such as in the Fairfield tournament.
“We’ve been playing some good teams, and hopefully, we’ll see the results in the next month or so,” Morgan said.
Looking forward to District 13-3A play, Morgan tapped Mabank and Crandall as the favorites.
“Mabank and Crandall could be 1 and 1-A,” he said. “Kaufman is always good as well.
“Ferris and Eustace are in a similar mode to us, with new coaches and new systems,” he added. The Lady ’Jackets open district play at home against Ferris Friday, Jan. 4.
“At some point in time, somebody has to bust up that stranglehold they (Mabank, Crandall and Kaufman) have on the playoffs,” Morgan said. “Hopefully, that will be us.
“I keep telling the girls that on any given night, anyone can win,” he added. “We’ve got to take it one play at a time and one quarter at a time.”

Panthers nip Eagles in 2OTs
Monitor Staff Reports
CANTON–In a double-overtime thriller, the Mabank Panthers edged the hosting Canton Eagles 75-71 Dec. 18.
Following a Christmas break, the Panthers open play Thursday (today) in the annual Wagstaff Holiday Classic basketball tournament at Tyler Junior College.
Tuesday, Jan. 8, the Panthers will visit another District 14-3A team, Brownsboro, in the last pre-district contest.
Mabank will open District 13-3A play on the road at Kaufman Friday, Jan. 11.
At Canton, the hosting Eagles opened a 12-8 lead in the first quarter, and pushed their margin out to 12 points by halftime, 33-21.
During halftime, the Panthers made some adjustments in their defense, and outscored the Eagles 22-15 in the third quarter.
Mabank continued that resurgence in the fourth period, tying the contest at 60 at the end of regulation play.
In the first overtime, both teams scored five points, but the Panthers posted a 10-6 edge in the second overtime to secure the four-point win.
Kolton Browning (six points) and Haydon Blair (five) led the Panthers during the two overtimes.
Browning took game-high honors with 26 points, including a 3-point basket, as Blair finished with 17 (one trey) and Albin Gashi with 13 points, including a trey.
Tray Phillips added six points, Cameron Tucker and Caleb McKee both had four points, Tyler Fisher, Griffin Marshall and Oliver Wedemeyer all scored two points each, and Jacob Woodard added a free throw.
Kevon Milton led the Eagles with 23 points, with Grant Franklin adding 14 and Travis Renegar 13 points.
Mabank also took the junior varsity contest, 41-35.

Upcoming games

Girls basketball

Dec. 27-29
MHS @ Scurry-Rosser tnm.
KHS @ Scurry-Rosser tnm.

Dec. 28
EHS @ Cross Roads

Jan. 4
MHS @ Crandall*
KHS vs Ferris*
EHS vs Kaufman*

Jan. 8
EHS @ Ferris*

Jan. 11
MHS @ Kaufman*

Jan. 15
KHS @ Crandall*
*District 13-3A contest
Boys basketball

Dec. 27-29
MHS @ Wagstaff Classic
(Tyler Junior College)
KHS @ Gatesville tourn.
EHS @ Scurry-Rosser tourn.

Jan. 4
KHS @ Palestine
EHS @ Trinidad

Jan. 11
MHS @ Kaufman*

Jan. 15
KHS @ Crandall*
*District 13-3A contest