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Grapeland Breezes into Regional Quarterfinals

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Sandiettes Demolish Moody Bearcats, 90-27

By Will Johnson
Messenger Reporter

GROESBECK – The road to San Antonio gets a lot bumpier from here. Although, on Tuesday night, it was as smooth as it could possibly be as the Grapeland Sandiettes traveled to Groesbeck on Thursday, Feb. 15 for an Area Championship game against the Moody Lady Bearcats.

The Grapeland Sandiettes used a smothering defense to generate a multitude of turnovers from the Moody Lady Bearcats. Above, Hannah Chipman leads the pack as she goes in for a lay-up.

While the Lady Bearcats hung around the Sandiettes for a little at the start of the game, it didn’t take long for Grapeland to assert its dominance as they destroyed Moody by a final score of 90-27.

The first quarter started fairly slow. At the six minute mark, however, the Sandiettes turned up their defensive intensity, which in turn, cranked up the offense as Grapeland jumped out to 20-8 lead, by the end of the period.

Teira Jones paced the Sandiettes with 10 first quarter points, while both Tatiyana Bowie and Hannah Chipman dropped in four. KeKe Harris also had two.

The Moody first quarter points came from Canyon Hughes with four while Tanna Pruett and Hannah Welch added two apiece.

Grapeland seemingly put the game away in the second as the Sandiettes’ defensive scheme seemed to demoralize the Lady Bearcats. The Sandiettes play an aggressive style of in-your-face defense and the refs were letting both teams play.

This resulted in numerous steals for Grapeland along with unforced turnovers by Moody as the Sandiettes opened up a 46-15 lead at the break.

Grapeland’s KeKe Harris pulls up for a mid-range jumper in the second quarter of the Area Championship against the Moody Lady Bearcats.

Kenya Woods had the hot hand in the Sandiettes’ second quarter with 10 points. Jones added eight to her total, Chipman dropped in six and Harris added two which brought the first half of the game to a close.

The Lady Bearcats’ seven points came from Alli Lantz with four, Jaylah Good with two and Pruett with one.

After the break, the Sandiettes didn’t let up as they removed any hopes of a comeback from the Moody psyche. Chipman, Harris and Jones all dropped in seven points while Harris and Ragan Bowie both had two which gave Grapeland a 71-26 lead after three periods of play.

Lantz added four to her total in the Lady Bearcats’ third quarter. She was joined in the scoring column by Good with three while Pruett and Welch chipped in two apiece.

Moody was completely deflated by the start of the fourth quarter and it showed as they only scored one point on a free throw from Darian Rogers.

Grapeland began to substitute liberally and pass up open shots during the final eight minutes but still dropped in 19 points. Woods had six to lead the way while Chipman had four. Tori Woodford hit from three-point range as Jones, JaMiyah Bowie and Aeriannia Granderson all had two apiece as Grapeland easily won the Area Championship game by a final score of 90-27.

Ragan Bowie launches a three-pointer during first quarter action against the Moody Lady Bearcats.

The Lady Bearcats were led in scoring by Alli Lantz with eight points while Jayla Good and Tanna Pruett both had five. Canyon Hughes and Hannah Welch both had four while Darian Rogers closed the Moody scoring output with one.

Grapeland was led in scoring by four players in double figures. Teira Jones had a game-high 27 points. Hannah Chipman poured in 21, Kenya Woods netted 18 and KeKe Harris had 11. Tatiyana Bowie had four and Tori Woodford knocked down a three-pointer. Three other Sandiettes – JaMiyah Bowie, Ragan Bowie and Aeriannia Granderson – all had two to close out the Grapeland point production.

Following the game, Grapeland Head Coach Anthony DeCello spoke about his team’s performance.

“I thought our defense was good to start but we couldn’t convert anything to stay in rhythm. We missed so many easy shots at the beginning of the game. Eventually, we started to convert some of those,” the coach said.

Concerning his defensive scheme, DeCello said he went from a 2-2-1 zone press to a man press to take advantage of a questionable Moody passing game.

Teira Jones rises above the crowd to put up a shot in the Area Championship game.

“I thought we played hard but we also gave up a lot of easy looks at the basket. To continue moving on,” DeCello stressed, “we are going to have to convert those. It has been a point of emphasis for a couple of weeks now.”

Over the course of the game, the Lady Bearcats became visibly rattled by the Grapeland pressure and the coach said he was a little surprised by that.

“They have some quality kids and a big girl who you can’t let get deep inside. We wanted to keep everything away from the basket. Sometimes when you’re not accustomed to playing against speed, it can become overwhelming. I thought they kind of got caught up in just how fast we were,” DeCello said.

One bonus of the blow-out win was the Sandiettes’ bench received some quality minutes on the court.

“I really liked that. Those kids work hard every single day and they take a lot of beatings from the first group. They went out there, though, hit a couple of threes and played good, hard defense. Their rotations weren’t as good but they’ll get

The Grapeland Sandiettes are the Area Champions after the defeated the Moody Lady Bearcats by a final score of 90-27.

there. I thought it was good to get those kids in the game,” he said.

DeCello added even those his team was tired, the girls played with a tremendous amount of intensity at the defensive end of the court.

“When we went to a full-court man press, they really got after it. I thought they hustled really well and I was very happy about the effort they put out,” he said.

Next, Grapeland will face the winner of the Kerens Lady Bobcats’ game against the Mart Lady Panthers in the Regional Quarterfinals. If Kerens was to win – as expected – the game would be played in Fairfield on Tuesday, with a 6 p.m. tip-off.

Unfortunately, the final score of the Kerens/Mart game was unavailable as of press time.

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