Princeton Stops 'Jackets, 57-44
By Kerry Yancey
Monitor Staff Writer
MESQUITE-A tall, talented Princeton Panther squad handed the Kemp Yellowjackets a 57-44 defeat in front of a nearly standing-room-only crowd Friday in the area championship.
The loss ended the 'Jackets season at 19-13, while the Panthers improved to 29-4 and advanced to regional competition.
Kemp coach Tracy Carter said he had picked Princeton and top-ranked Bullard as two of the teams to beat in Region III prior to the season.
"They have numerous weapons and are strong in many phases of the game," Carter said. "Coach (Robert) Erger does an outstanding job with his kids.
"I was very impressed with their patience on offense and their overall team defense," Carter added.
The key to the game was an 8-2 Panther run to open the third quarter, but the 'Jackets had a chance to go into halftime tied, only to see the opportunity slip away.
Kemp senior Bryan Svoboa hit to give the 'Jackets a 22-20 lead with 2:13 to play, only to see the Panthers answer with a tying bucket.
Panther guard Bryce Ivy made a steal, and a foul on Kemp's Justin Gibson gave Panther Chase Spruiell the opportunity to hit a pair of free throws with 1:09 left.
Looking to run the clock down for a last shot, the 'Jackets lost control and gave up a bucket at the buzzer to leave the Panthers up 26-22 at halftime.
That 8-2 run to open the third quarter gave Princeton a 34-24 lead, and the 'Jackets deliberate style on offense began to draw criticism from Kemp supporters, who saw the 'Jackets working a long time - perhaps too long - for each bucket.
Up by 10 late in the third quarter, the Panthers started working the clock themselves - until it was time for a stab to the heart.
That came in the form of an alley-oop pass from Ivy to Milos Lopicic, whose shattering dunk put the Panthers up by a dozen, 41-29.
From that point on, the 'Jackets started working the ball inside to junior post Jacarri Culberson, but Kemp was too far in the hole to get back out quickly, particularly since the Panthers were almost perfect at the free throw line.
The Panthers wound up hitting 16-of-20 attempts from the charity stripe, missing only once until the final minute of the game, when substitutes were in on both sides.
In contrast, the 'Jackets only got to the line 13 times and hit just seven attempts.
Kemp coughed up 11 turnovers and gave up 24 points in the paint to the Panthers, who recorded 15 assists in the game.
Lopicic and Spruiell both scored 14 points to lead the Panthers, while adding 10 and eight rebounds, respectively, helping the Panthers out-rebound Kemp 25-19.
In addition, Panther guards Ivy and Rob Erger both scored nine points each and Blake Ivy added eight points.
Culberson and guard Joseph Simmons led the 'Jackets with 12 points each, as Gibson finished with seven points and senior guard Steve McKinney added six points.
Svoboda, Juan MacKennon and Dontae Square all added two points each, while J.D. Cook added a free throw.
After the contest, several Panther players walked over to embrace Culberson, who stood disconsolately with his face buried in a towel.
"I'm very proud of the effort from our kids, not only tonight, but the entire year," Carter said later. "They continued to battle throughout the game, and their coaching staff was very complementary of our team following the game."
Kemp also brought a large crowd to the contest, as Mesquite Poteet High School's gym was almost full on both sides.
"That type of fan support is certainly appreciated by the players and us coaches," Carter said.
Monitor Photo/Kerry Yancey
Kemp junior guard Joseph Simmons (3) slips between two Princeton defenders to hit a layup during the first half of Kemp's 57-44 area championship loss Friday.
Xtreme Wins Opener
Monitor Staff Reports
SHREVEPORT-Opening the 2006 season on the road, the Athens-based Texas Xtreme semi-pro football team won their first contest of the season Saturday, besting the hosting Port City Jaguars 22-12.
The Xtreme will host the North Texas Falcons out of Wichita Falls, at 6 p.m. Saturday, March 4, in their home opener at Bruce Field in Athens.
Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for children, with children under 6 admitted free. Students will be admitted for $2 with valid student ID.
Xtreme coaches Larry Anding and Gary Craig described the team's first effort as "ugly," but despite missing several starters and 20 players overall from the roster, the Xtreme never trailed in the contest.
Anding and Craig said the Jaguars have a very good team, and overall have more size than any other team the Xtreme has faced.
Anding was particularly displeased with the Xtreme offense, which failed to capitalize on several scoring opportunities and also committed a number of costly penalties, drawing eight flags for 75 yards in losses.
Overall, the Xtreme offense gained 102 rushing yards on 24 attempts, completed 8-of-15 pass attempts for 115 yards and recorded 12 first downs, but also lost three fumbles and gave up two interceptions.
Brandon Thompson scored on a two-yard run and added a second touchdown on a 30-yard pass reception from quarterback Johnny Morgan.
Thompson led all rushers with 66 yards on 12 carries, and added 48 yards on two receptions.
Marvin Hopkins also added a touchdown catch on a 25-yard attempt from Morgan.
Wet field conditions played havoc with the Xtreme's kicking game, as placekicker Michael Clay his just one of three extra point attempts, but also added a field goal.
Offensive standouts included Jimmy Roberts, James Melton, Chris Ross, Allen Stallings, Marvin Lyons, Cecil Chapman and Willy Bristow.
The Xtreme continued their long-standing tradition of being the toughest defense in the Texas United Football League (TUFL).
The Jaguars finished with minus 22 rushing yards on 24 attempts and completed 8-of-21 pass attempts for 168 yards, for a net gain of 146 yards.
That total included two big pass plays, covering 45 and 51 yards. Overall, the Jaguars had nine first downs, two coming on Xtreme penalties.
The Xtreme had a 22-6 lead late when the Jaguars scored their second touchdown with 30 seconds left. The Jaguars failed on both of their two-point conversion attempts.
Leading the defense were Dontay Richardson with a fumble recovery and an interception, while Jason Anding blocked two Jaguar punts and added a fumble recovery.
Also, Jimmy Wade racked up three sacks and a fumble recovery, while Kailan Vinson notched a sack.
Other defensive standouts included Terry Bonner, Allen Beasley, Troy Harper and Kris Martin - all recording a sack - along with Donny Drake, Leon Bell, Eric Foreman, Thompson, Brian Ham, Orlando Butts and Matt Bernhardt.
Panthers Edge Royse City, 2-1
Monitor Staff Reports
ROYSE CITY-Unbeaten Royse City edged the visiting Mabank Panthers 2-1 in a non-district contest Monday.
Starting Thursday (today), the Panthers are scheduled to compete in the Mesquite Invitational tournament through Saturday, March 4.
Tuesday, March 7, the Panthers will visit Crandall for a 7 p.m. non-district matchup, and then continue on the road next weekend, when they play in the Athens Invitational tournament, starting Thursday, March 9.
Now 0-1-1 on the season, Mabank's next home game will be a 7 p.m. contest against Terrell Tuesday, March 14.
At Royse City Monday, freshman Kolton Browning took the loss, notching five strikeouts, giving up one walk and two unearned runs in six innings.
Bulldog senior Doug McCain got the win, giving up one unearned run, and no walks, while striking out three Panthers in seven innings as the Bulldogs improved to 4-0-1 on the season.
Mabank wound up with five hits, while Royse City had four. Both teams committed one error each.
Browning notched the Panthers' first hit with a single to right in the first inning, while right fielder Chris Trejo singled to center in the second inning, but both wound up stranded.
First baseman David Taylor singled down the third base line, scoring the only Panther run in the fifth inning. Third baseman Mark Groom also had a single to right.
The Bulldogs also got their first hit from their pitcher, as McCain singled to right in the second inning.
In the third inning, Browning walked Brandon Joslin, who later scored on a sacrifice ground-out from Curtis Sexton. That same inning, third baseman Bradley Haren lined a shot to center to score the Bulldogs' second run.
In the fourth inning, McCain reached base on a slow dribbler to short, and Panther Chancz Sullivan could not make the throw.
Later in that inning, Joslin hit to Groom at third, but Joslin beat the throw to first.
MHS boys vs Jacksonville
MHS girls @ Jacksonville
MHS @ TASO tourney (Tyler)
KHS @ Athens tourney
EHS @ Spring Hill tourney
Mabank @ Mesquite tourney
Eustace vs Trinidad
Kemp vs Royse City
Mabank @ Crandall
Eustace vs Chapel Hill
Al Williamson Relays @ Kemp