By Will Johnson
Messenger Reporter

ANDERSON COUNTY – And so it begins! The race for the postseason is now underway as all boys’ and girls’ teams have started district play in Anderson County.

At the Class 4A level, the Palestine Wildcats had a rough week. After a bye on Jan. 10, the Wildcats lost to the Athens Hornets by a final score of 84-63. Their next game was a heartbreaker against the Mexia Black Cats as they lost by one, 66-65. Palestine looked to get back in the win column on Friday, Jan. 20 as they traveled to Fairfield for a game against the Eagles. As of press time, however, the score was unavailable.

The Lady Cats fared a little better on the court than their male classmates. After a 50-32 loss to the Madisonville Lady Mustangs on Friday, Jan. 10, Palestine got a big win over the Athens lady Hornets by a final score of 53-50.

Unfortunately, the Lady Cats couldn’t find their shooting touch on Tuesday, Jan. 17 as they lost to the Mexia Lady Black Cats by a score of 45-23. Palestine looked to get back in the win column on Friday, Jan. 20 as they traveled to Fairfield for a game against the Lady Eagles. As of press time, however, the score was unavailable.

Moving to the Class 3A level, the Elkhart Elks opened last week with a win over the Leon Cougars, 65-61. The Elks, unfortunately, followed up the win with a loss to the Westwood Panthers on Friday, Jan. 13. Elkhart was off on Tuesday, Jan. 17 but returned to action on Friday, Jan. 20 when they traveled to Frankston for a game against the Indians. As of press time, however, the score was unavailable.

The Lady Elks are in the midst of rough stretch as they have lost six straight games. On Tuesday of last week the Lady Elks fell to the Leon Lady Cougars by a final score of 42-14. The Lady Elks also lost to the Westwood Lady Panthers by a final score of 52-46 on Friday, Jan. 13.

Elkhart received a much needed respite on Tuesday of this week before they returned to action against the Frankston Maidens on Friday, Jan. 20. As of press time, however, the score was unavailable.

The Frankston Indians are beginning to come together as a team but are still struggling to find the win column, The Indians dropped a 61-31 game to the Malakoff Tigers on Tuesday, Jan. 10, lost to the Leon Cougars on Jan. 13 and to the Westwood Panthers on Tuesday, Jan. 17.

The Indians looked to break into the win column in District 18-3A competition on Friday, Jan. 20 as they hosted the Elkhart Elks. As of press time, however, the score for that game was unavailable.

The Maidens also struggled somewhat last week. They dropped a 36-28 decision to the Lady Tigers on Jan. 10, also lost to the Leon Lady Cougars but recorded a win against the Westwood Lady Panthers by a score of 33-30.

The Maidens took on the Elkhart Lady Elks on Friday, Jan. 20 but as of press time, the score for that game was unavailable.

Staying in District 18-3A, both the Westwood Panthers and Lady Panthers had a bye on Jan. 10. The Panthers returned to action on Friday, Jan. 13 and defeated the Elkhart Elks by a final score of 84-67. On Tuesday, Jan. 17, the Panthers took on the Frankston Indians and won by a score of 53-24. The Panthers traveled to Teague on Friday, Jan. 20 but as of press time, the score for that game was unavailable.

The Lady Panthers defeated the Elkhart lady Elks on Friday, Jan. 13 by a final score of 52-46 but lost on Tuesday of this week to the Frankston Maidens by a score of 33-30. The Lady Panthers traveled to Teague on Friday, Jan. 20 for a game against the Teague Lady Lions, but as of press time, the score for that game was unavailable.

At the Class 2A level, the Cayuga Wildcats are continuing to fight but are having trouble finding the win column. The Wildcats fell to the La Poyner Flyers on Jan. 10 by a final of 71-27 and dropped their next game to the Italy Gladiators by a final score of 78-52. Cayuga also lost to the Frost Polar Bears earlier this week by a score of 70-49.

The Wildcats were looking for that elusive “W” as they hosted the Itasca Cats on Friday, Jan. 20, but as of press time, the score for that game was unavailable.

The Lady Wildcats also dropped their Jan. 10 game to the La Poyner Lady Flyers by a score 50-44. Their game against the Italy Lady Gladiators was also close but was, unfortunately, a 58-53 loss. Cayuga was able to record 48-31 win over the Frost Lady Polar Bears on Tuesday, Jan. 17.

The Lady Wildcats were looking for back-to-back wins as they hosted the Itasca Lady Cats on Friday, Jan. 20, but as of press time, the score for that game was unavailable.

In District 21-2A, the Neches Tigers continued to roll. After a bye on Jan. 10, the Tigers defeated the New Summerfield Hornets on Friday, Jan. 13 by a score of 54-35. They also defeated the Douglass Indians on Tuesday by a score of 66-43.

The Tigers are now ranked #12 in the latest TABC poll and hosted the Mount Enterprise Wildcats on Friday, Jan. 20. As of press time, however, the score was unavailable.

While the boys were off on Jan. 10, the Neches Lady Tigers played the Cushing Lady Bearkats and lost by a score of 53-29. On Friday, Jan. 13, they were able to pick up a win as they defeated the New Summerfield Lady Hornets by a final score of 55-32.

Unfortunately, the Lady Tigers ran into a red hot Douglass Lady Indians team and fell on Tuesday, Jan. 17 by a final score of 78-17. Neches looked to get back into the win column on Friday, Jan. 20 the Mount Enterprise Wildcats on Friday, Jan. 20, but as of press time, the score was unavailable.

Rounding out the area teams, the Slocum Mustangs opened the week on a positive note as they defeated the Oakwood Panthers by a score of 54-39. The Mustangs also picked up a win over the Avalon Eagles by a final score of 58-53. Unfortunately for the Mustangs, things went south from there as they fell to the Laneville Yellow Jackets by a score of 69-45.

The Mustangs were hoping to return to their winning ways on Friday, Jan. 20 when they hosted the Milford Bulldogs, but as of press time, the score was unavailable.

The Slocum Lady Mustangs are beginning to get some notice – statewide – as they’ve moved up to the #15 spot in the latest TABC poll. The Lady Mustangs took care of business last week as they defeated the Oakwood Lady Panthers by a score of 60-9 and also dispatched the Avalon Lady Eagles by a score of 81-13.

On Monday of this week, Slocum took on the Chireno Lady Owls and eeked out a 73-69 win. The Lady Mustangs were hoping to continue their win streak on Friday, Jan. 20 as they hosted the Tyler Grace Lady Cougars, but as of press time, the score was unavailable.

Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at wjohnson@messenger-news.com.