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Sandies Off to 3-1 Start


Grapeland Takes Third in Central Heights Tourney

By Will Johnson


NACOGDOCHES – With not even a week of practice between the end of football season and the start of basketball season, the Grapeland Sandies dribbled their way on to the courts in Nacogdoches for the Central Heights Hoops Fest.

The Sandies were ranked at #4 in the preseason Texas Association of Basketball Coaches pre-season poll and showed – even with limited practice – their ranking was spot-on.

In Grapeland’s first game of the 2018-2019 season, the Sandies took on the Jacksonville Indians (Class 5A) and whooped ‘em by a score of 70-40. Next up for the Sandies were the Peaster Greyhounds, the Class 3A #18 ranked team in the state. Once again, the Sandies were up to the challenge as they took care of business by a score of 74-69.

The win moved Grapeland into the Championship Bracket wherethey faced the Nacogdoches Dragons, another 5A team. Try as they might, the Sandies couldn’t get past the Dragons and fell by a final of   49-36.

The Sandies’ loss moved them into the third place game against the Laneville Yellowjackets, #15 in Class 1A.

The Sandies looked a little sluggish at the start of the game and fell behind by five points at the end of the first eight minutes of play. Deco Bryant and BJ Lamb both connected on a pair of threes while Keizion Ashford dropped in two as the Sandies found themselves trailing 19-14.

The Jackets’ points came from: Corniceon Walker with six; Brantley and Keon Davis with four apiece; Demarcus Holsome with a three-pointer and Ricardo Pereles with two.

As the second quarter began, Grapeland began to work the ball inside to Rick Frauenberger who delivered eight points. Lamb added five more and Bryant hit his third three of the half as the Sandies shaved a point of the lead heading into halftime.

Beasley kept Laneville in the lead as he drained three shots from behind the arc for nine points. Davis added four and Pereles chipped in two which made the score 34-30 at the break.

Following intermission, Grapeland came out of the locker room with a renewed defensive intensity as they held the Jackets to nine third quarter points. Brantley knocked down four of those points while Pereles had three and Davis added two from the charity stripe.

Meanwhile, the Sandies defensive prowess forced Laneville into turnovers not seen in the first half. As a result, Grapeland turned the four-point halftime deficit into a four-point lead by the time the third period expired.

Lamb and Javion Joseph both netted six in the quarter while Ashford hit a big three-pointer and Tyrin Wiley chipped in two to give Grapeland a 47-43 lead with eight minutes remaining in the game.

The Sandies continued to outrun and out-hustle the Jackets in the final period of play as they held Laneville to only 12 points. Brantley and Pereles tried to keep the Jackets close with five apiece. Aside from a Walker two, however, those were the only points Laneville could muster.   

Lamb and Joseph helped put the game away for Grapeland as Lamb dropped in eight and Joseph netted four. Wiley added two and Bryant made one of two from the line to close out the game, giving the Sandies the victory by a final score of 62-55.

On the game, the Jackets were led in scoring by Dameon Brantley with 22. Ricardo Pereles dropped in 12, Keon Davis had 10, Corniceon Walker went for eight and Demarcus Holsome hit a three to round out the Laneville scoring.

The Sandies were led by BJ Lamb with a game-high 25 points. Deco Bryant and Javion Joseph both had 10, while Rick Frauenberger powered his way to eight. Keizion Ashford added five and Tyrin Wiley netted four to closeout the Grapeland point production.

Grapeland was on the road once again on Tuesday, Dec. 11 as they traveled to Nacogdoches for a re-match with the Dragons. As of press time, however, the final score was not available. 

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