Sandies Open Season With Win
Grapeland Defeats Chireno, 73-51
By Will Johnson
GRAPELAND – The 2016-2017 Grapeland Sandies had a season to remember as they advanced to the State Semi-Finals last March. With all five starters from that team graduating in May, no one knew exactly what to expect from the 2017-2018 Sandies as they took the court for their first game on Tuesday, Dec. 5.
In addition, a deep playoff run in football limited the preparation for this year’s basketball season to all of one practice. One – that’s it. After football season ended on Friday, Dec. 1, the Sandies laced up the high tops for the first time this year on Monday, Dec. 4 and then welcomed the Chireno Owls to Grapeland the next day for their season opener.
It would have come as no surprise had the Sandies been blown out. However, what did come as a surprise was how well Grapeland played as they defeated Chireno by a final score of 73-51.
The game’s opening minutes saw each team trying to size the other up. It appeared the Sandies figured out what they needed to do first as they opened up a 10-point lead after the first period of play and never looked back.
BJ Howard dropped in eight for Grapeland while Dameion Smith added four. Josh “Bear” Ackley and Tyrin Wiley both drained a three while Dacorian Bryant and Rick Frauenberger netted two apiece to help give the Sandies a 23-13 lead after the first quarter.
The Owls’ points came from Hunter Matteauer with six, David Gilcrease with five and Zach Butler with two.
As the second quarter got underway, the Sandies showcased their defense as they held the Owls to four points on two pointers from G. Reagan and Butler.
Meanwhile, the Sandies pushed their lead out to 16 before the halftime break. Ackley and Bryant both hit from behind the arc while Howard and Smith added two apiece to give Grapeland a 33-17 lead as the two teams headed to the locker rooms.
Following the intermission, the Owls attempted to make a comeback and whittled the Grapeland lead down to seven by the end of the third quarter. Butler led the way for Chireno with nine points. Both Matteauer and Reagan drained a pair of three-pointers, while Gilcrease along with Rylee Bennett chipped in two apiece.
The Sandies maintained their composure, however, as the Owls made a run and scored 16 points in the third to take
a 49-42 lead into the final eight minutes of play. Bryant scored five for Grapeland in the third, Frauenberger had four, Howard nailed a three and both Ackley and Smith chipped in two.
The third quarter run by Chireno seemed to take the steam out of the Owls as the final period got underway. Matteauer had five while Butler had four. That was all the Chireno cagers could muster, however.
Grapeland put the game away on 12 points from Howard and six from Bryant. Case Boyd, Frauenberger and Wiley all had two for the Sandies as they debuted the 2017-2018 season with a 73-51 win.
For the game, Chireno was led in scoring by Zach Butler and Hunter Matteauer with 17 points apiece. G. Reagan dropped in eight, David Gilcrease had seven and Rylee Bennett closed out the Owl scoring with two.
The Sandies were led by BJ Howard with 26 and Dacorian Bryant with 16 points. A trio of Sandies – Bear Ackley, Rick Frauenberger and Dameion Smith – all had eight, while Tyrin Wiley netted five and Case Boyd had two to round out the Grapeland point production.
Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at [email protected].
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