Sandies Win Area Championship, 71-38
By Will Johnson
BRYAN – The Grapeland Sandies hit the road on Thursday, Feb. 21 as they traveled to Bryan for the Area Championship game against the Marlin Bulldogs.
The Sandies came into the contest with a #5 ranking in the latest TABC poll, a record of 27-6 and a blow out of the Italy Gladiators in the first round, 78-32. Marlin, on the other hand, was unranked, had a record of 15-14 and had barely slipped by Bosqueville in Bi-District, 49-47.
Given those factors, it came as no surprise when Grapeland jumped out to an early double-digit lead and never looked back as they beat the Bulldogs like a government mule to win the Area Championship by a final score of 71-38.
As the game got underway, the Bulldogs seemed shocked by the quickness of the Sandie defense and the presence of Rick Frauenberger in the middle. Frauenberger had two big
blocks and altered several other shots as Grapeland opened up a 21-8 lead by the end of the first quarter.
The Marlin points came from La’Zarion Coleman with four while TyDarren Harris and Isaac Kelly both had two.
The Sandies were paced by Cadarian Wiley with seven points and Frauenberger with six. Keizion Ashford worked inside for four while Deco Bryant and Tyrin Wiley both knocked down a shot from the field to help give the Sandies a double-digit lead after the first eight minutes of play.
The second quarter saw the Grapeland defense tighten up while the Marlin shooting grew frosty. The Sandies opened the second period on a 15-3 run as they held the Bulldogs scoreless for the first six minutes of the quarter.
Coleman drained a three-pointer for the Bulldogs and Tydae Mays added two, but that was all the offense Marlin could muster.
Grapeland saw T. Wiley get loose for six points while Ashford drove inside for four. C. Wiley had three while
both Frauenberger and Keriaun Davis added two apiece to help push the Grapeland lead to 38-13 by the time the first-half came to a close.
Following the break, Grapeland kept up the pressure on the defensive end and effectively quashed any hopes of a comeback from Marlin. Coleman scored five third quarter points for the Bulldogs while both Harris and LaTravius Johnson had two.
- Wiley and T. Wiley put in six apiece while Ashford had three and Josh Ackley added a two as the Sandies lead had swelled to 33 by the end of the third quarter
The fourth quarter was a formality as Marlin was spent. The Bulldogs did manage to put up 16 points, however, on five apiece from Braylen Fisher and Travis McGee, along with three form Coleman, two from Jamorian Benjamin and one from Keyshawn Smith.
Grapeland saw Ackley, As
hford and C. Wiley all put in four points while Bryant and Davis added two apiece to round out the Grapeland scoring.
On the game, the Bulldogs were led by La’Zarion Coleman with 15 points. Braylen Fisher and Travis McGee both had five while TyDarren
Harris added four. Four Bulldogs – Jamorian Benjamin, LaTravius Johnson, Isaac Kelly and Tydae Mays – all had two while Keyshawn Smith added a free throw to close out the Marlin point production.
The Sandies were led by three players in double figures. Cadarian Wiley paced the offensive attack with 20 while Keizion Ashford poured in 15 and Tyrin Wiley netted 14. Rick Frauenberger put in eight points from down low while Josh Ackley added six. Deco Bryant and Keriaun Davis chipped in four apiece to account for the Grapeland point production.
Following the game, Coach Cannon Earp spoke about his team’s performance.
Starting with the defensive play of Frauenberger, Earp said, “He allows us to do what we do defensively. We can pressure a little bit and gamble sometimes – we’re going to end up with some one-on-ones – but when he’s down there to contest a shot, nothing comes easy.”
Commenting on a pair of crazy shots that dropped for the Sandies, the coach said, “It was a little bit ugly, to be hones
t. They (Marlin) are an athletic bunch and they force you to get out of your rhythm. It’s like I told the guys, it was ugly but it was still a good win.”
The Sandies’ second quarter also started with an awkward looking shot from Cadarian Wiley that somehow found the bottom of the net. When reminded of this, Earp laughed.
“He’s not the smoothest cat in the world,” the coach smiled, “but I love him. He hustles and he’s going to be around every loose ball. He’s just so long. His offensive rebounding tonight was off the charts. We rebounded well all around, but he was a difference maker for us tonight.”
The coach was also questioned about a scary moment in the third quarter which sent Frauenberger to the bench.
“Rick and their player (TyDarren Harris) were both going for a pass and they hit. Rick got dotted under his eye, but I believe he should be OK. He’s going to have a little shiner under his eye, but I kept him out the rest of the game as a precautionary measure. We were up by a pretty good margin when it happened,” he said.
Frauenberger was replaced by Josh “Bear” Ackley in the post and the head coach said “… he gives up about five inches to Rick but he does the little things like blocking out and getting rebounds for us.”
The Sandies next opponent will be in the Regional Quarterfinals as they will play the winner of the Kerens Bobcats / Chilton Pirates game held on Friday, Feb. 22. As of press time, the score for that game was not known.
Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.