Eustace hosts annual E.L. Kirk tournament
EUSTACE–The Eustace Lady Bulldogs varsity basketball team hosted their annual E.L. Kirk tournament Nov. 30 through Dec. 1 that saw 10 teams participate over the three days.
Eustace, Mabank, Cross Roads, Malakoff and Kerens were among the five local Henderson County teams in the tournament along with Lone Oak, Jacksonville, Chapel Hill, Frankston and Sunnyvale.
The Lady Bulldogs kicked off things bright and early at 8 a.m. Thursday morning as they faced Lone Oak in the first game of the tournament.
After falling behind on the first shot of the game, a layup and a three-point shot from Madison Holbert put Eustace ahead 5-2 early in the first quarter.
A layup by Lily Sorrells after a pass from Kedria Hurd gave Eustace an 11-7 lead to end the first quarter.
The Eustace offense struggled to get anything through the lanes of the Lone Oak defense as they managed just five points in the second quarter, all coming from the free throw line as they were outscored 15-5 to end the first half trailing 22-16.
The Lady Bulldogs looked like they were on the comeback trail as they opened with an early free throw from Sorrells and a three-pointer from Rubi Bailey to cut the deficit to 22-20, forcing a Lone Oak timeout.
Holbert would add four more points from the free throw line to end the third quarter as Eustace trailed 34-24 entering the final eight minutes.
Despite big offensive efforts from Holbert and Sorrells, the Lady Bulldogs came up short in their first game as they fell 47-32 to Lone Oak.
Holbert led the way for Eustace with 14 points as Sorrells added 10 for the Lady Bulldogs.
The Mabank Lady Panthers played at the same time as Eustace in the old high school gym across the parking lot Thursday morning.
The Lady Panthers faced off against the Lady Wildcats from Kerens, falling by a final score of 60-43.
The Lady Panthers then took on the host Lady Bulldogs Friday morning at E.L. Kirk Gym.
Sorrells opened the scoring for the Lady Bulldogs in the second contest before Mabank sophomore Drew Neighbors answered with a free throw and a three-pointer to take a 4-2 lead.
Sorrells answered right back with a three-point shot of her own to put Eustace back ahead 5-4.
Brianna Martin added five more points late in the first quarter for the Lady Panthers as they ended the first quarter on a 15-0 run to take a 19-5 lead after the first eight minutes.
The Lady Panthers got some early scoring from the whole lineup as Madison Reneau, Chelsey Kirkland and Neighbors all continued to put up points to push the Mabank lead to 29-7.
Ashton Milner added a three-pointer and Gracey Pitchford added two points from the line as Eustace cut the deficit to 31-12.
Cearra Warren hit a last-second three-point shot for the Lady Bulldgs as the buzzer sounded to end the first half as Eustace trailed 35-16 heading into halftime.
The Lady Panthers outscored the Lady Bulldogs 14-5 in the third quarter as the entered the fourth quarter leading Eustace 49-21.
The Lady Bulldogs put up quite the fight in the fourth quarter as they outscored Mabank 18-9, but it wasn’t enough as they fell 58-39 to the Lady Panthers.
The Malakoff Lady Tigers opened the tournament with a close loss to Jacksonville as they fell 51-40 Thursday morning.
The Lady Tigers followed that up with a contest against the Cross Roads Lady Bobcats immediately following their first game.
The Lady Tigers opened up quite the lead in the first quarter as they received great offensive efforts from Sha’Kera Thompson, Alliyah Coleman and KeiKei Walker as they led Cross Roads 15-2 after the first quarter with the lone two points for the Lady Bobcats coming from Natalie Fulton.
Mia Jackson and Thompson went back-to-back with steals and layups early in the second quarter to put Malakoff ahead 23-4. Coleman also knocked down two at the free throw line for the Lady Tigers.
Fulton hit a three-pointer for the Lady Bobcats to push herself to five points in the first half.
Cameron Case Roberts finished off a pass from Thompson with four seconds remaining as the Lady Tigers took a 33-7 lead into halftime.
The Lady Tigers played even better shut-down defense in the second half as they held the Lady Bobcats scoreless while adding 32 points over the final two quarters on their way to a dominant 65-7 win over Cross Roads.
Fulton accounted for all seven points for the Lady Bobcats against Malakoff.
Thompson had quite the afternoon for the Lady Tigers as she put up 20 points in the victory.
Coleman, Jackson, and Kyiah Hicks were the other three players for Malakoff that hit double digits in points as all three added 10 points each Thursday.
The Lady Bobcats followed that game with a loss to Chapel Hill Thursday afternoon as they dropped a 55-13 contest.
Jansyn Hughes led Cross Roads with six points in the loss, followed by Preslie Penix with three points. Brooke Lawrence and Harley Bennett each added two points for the Lady Bobcats.
The Lady Tigers ended the weekend with two hard-fought victories over Lone Oak 51-46 and Sunnyvale 56-53 on Friday, taking home third place in the tournament.
The Kerens Lady Wildcats took home second place while Jacksonville took home the first-place prize. The Mabank Lady Panthers won the consolation bracket Saturday afternoon in the Eustace tournament.