Grapeland Defeats Woodville, 56-52
By Will Johnson
SLOCUM – If you’re a fan of girls’ basketball – or basketball in general – the Slocum Lady Mustangs played host to four very competitive games in the Second Annual Slocum Showcase, earlier this week.
The Showcase featured four games between seven state-ranked teams (1A-3A) and one 4A team just on the outside of the rankings.
The first game was a matchup between the Class 4A Huntington Lady Red Devils and the #16 Class 2A Centerville Lady Tigers. The Lady Tigers took care of business as they thumped the Lady Red Devils by a score of 53-36.
Game Two saw the #8 Class 2A Grapeland Sandiettes taking down the #17 Class 3A Woodville Lady Eagles by a final score of 56-52.
Game Three was a matchup between the #22 Class 1A Slocum Lady Mustangs and the #19 ranked Class 2A Timpson Lady Bears. The game was close until the final moments as Slocum pulled away and then hung on to win by a final of 48-42.
The final game of the Showcase was between the #1 ranked Class 2A Martins Mill Lady Mustangs and the #2 ranked Class 2A Woden Lady Eagles. Martins Mill opened up a sizable lead over Woden and then withstood a furious comeback to win by a score of 47-41.
In game two of the showcase, the Sandiettes speed and defensive prowess helped propel the Grapeland girls to the 56-52 win over Woodville.
The game opened up with Grapeland’s Teira Jones and Hannah Chipman on fire from the field. Jones knocked down 12 while Chipman added nine as the Sandiettes took a 21-17 lead over the Lady Eagles, after the first eight minutes of play.
The Lady Eagles were led by Jordyn Beatty’s eight points in the opening period. Telia Jackson added four, Eveona Williams knocked down a three and Jayda Argumon had two.
The second period saw Tatiyanna Bowie break into the scoring column with five points. Chipman had four and Kenya Woods dropped in two as the Sandiettes took a 32-29 lead into halftime.
Woodville was led by Argumon and Brittany Sells with three apiece. Jackson, Shannon Whitehead and Shayla Williams all had two for the Lady Eagles to cut the lead to three as the teams headed into their respective locker rooms during the break.
As the second half got underway, Woodville trimmed Grapeland’s lead to two. Kayla Merchant poured in seven for the Lady Eagles while Argumon dropped in a three to end the third quarter with the score 41-39 in favor of Grapeland.
The Sandiettes were led by Jones with seven points in the third quarter while Bowie netted two to help Grapeland maintain their slim lead as they headed into the fourth quarter.
The two evenly matched teams battled it out through the final eight minutes of play and very easily could have sent the game into OT, if not for a technical foul called against Woodville as the clock ran down.
On the tech, Chipman was grabbed first on the arm and then pulled by her jersey to prevent her from receiving the inbounds pass. The result was two free throws and possession of the ball for Grapeland. Chipman made one of two from the line and the Sandiettes took advantage of the ensuing possession to put the game just out of reach for the Lady Eagles.
Chipman scored seven in the quarter while Bowie added four. Jones and Keke Harris added two apiece to help give the Sandiettes a 56-52 win.
The Lady Eagles were led – in the fourth quarter – by Merchant with six, Beatty with four, Argumon with two and Whitehead with one.
For the game, Woodville was led by Kayla Merchant with 13 and Jordyn Beatty with 12. Jayda Argumon dropped in 10, Telia Jackson had six and a trio of Lady Eagles – Brittany Sells, Shannon Whitehead and Eveona Williams all had three. Shayla Williams rounded out the Woodville scoring with two.
The Sandiettes were led by Teira Jones with 21 and Hannah Chipman with 20. Tatiyanna Bowie went for 11 while Keke Harris and Kenya Woods both had two.
After the final buzzer, Sandiettes’ Head Coach Anthony DeCello commented on his team’s performance.
“That was a big win,” DeCello said. “We knew it would be a good game. They’re a lot like us in that they’re very athletic. They were a little bigger than us inside and it gave us some problems. But, we were able to adjust.”
He added, “Both teams played well and it was a competitive game. It was also a good game for us to win because we have lost some close ones where we didn’t execute at the end. We executed at the end of this game and it was nice to see.”
Commenting on the play of his leading scorers, DeCello said he was pleased with the play of Tatiyanna Bowie.
“I thought that was Tat’s (Tatiyanna) best game of the year. I thought she did great on defense. She was undersized in the middle and on the offensive end, she came through for us with some big plays. I’m so happy about that. She’s been wanting to play well and has been working so hard in practice, she just hasn’t been able to find her touch in the games. This is definitely a good sign,” DeCello said.
Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.