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Around the Rim – The Push for the Playoffs

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Area Girls’ Basketball

By Will Johnson
Messenger Reporter

EAST TEXAS – As the basketball season for the area girls’ teams hits the midpoint of district play, several squads are beginning to separate themselves from the pack as they make a push for the postseason.

In District 19-2A, it appears as if the #20 Kerens Lady Bobcats are the class of the district as they lead the league with a 5-0 mark. The Itasca Lady Cats are in second with a record of 4-1, while the Cayuga Lady Wildcats are in third with a 3-2 mark. The Frost Lady Polar Bears are in the fourth spot with a 2-3 record, while the Cross Roads Lady Bobcats are 1-4 and the Italy Lady Gladiators are 0-5.

Last week’s action saw Kerens drop Itasca 60-29. They also dropped Italy on Friday night by a final of 89-42. Itasca bounced back from the defeat against Kerens on Tuesday to knock off Frost by a score of 43-35. Cayuga picked up a pair of wins last week as they defeated Frost, 50-29 and Cross Roads, 50-8. Cross Roads and Italy also played last week as Cross Roads moved out of the basement with a 31-29 win over the Lady Gladiators.

In District 20-2A, the #12 Grapeland Sandiettes are starting to pull away from the field as they are in first place with an 8-0 record. They are two full games ahead of the second place #19 Lovelady Lady Lions who have a record of 6-2. The Centerville Lady Tigers sit a half-game back of the Lady Lions with a mark of 5-2.

It looks as if the battle for third and fourth will go down to the wire as the Leon Lady Cougars and Slocum Lady Mustangs are tied for the fourth and final playoff spot out of District 20-2A with identical 3-5 records. The Groveton Lady Indians are just a game behind at 2-6 while the Latexo Lady Tigers are 0-7.

Last week, the Sandiettes picked up a win over the Lady Mustangs, 61-25, and a win over the Lady Indians by a final of 85-12. The Lady Lions went 2-0 last week as they defeated Leon 48-33 and then got a little payback with a win over Centerville, 34-26. In somewhat of a surprise, the Lady Cougars defeated the Lady Mustangs 41-38 while Groveton defeated Latexo, 62-40.

As it stands right now, if the playoffs began on Jan. 21, the Grapeland Sandiettes would face the Frost Lady Polar Bears in Bi-District. The Lady Lions would face Cayuga, Centerville would take on Itasca and probably Slocum would face Kerens.

Moving to Class 3A, the #10 Buffalo Lady Bison are in the driver’s seat in District 20-3A with an 8-0 league mark. The Frankston Maidens and Teague Lady Lions are tied for second with 5-3 records while Crockett sits a game behind in fourth with a 4-4 mark. Westwood is just a game behind Crockett at 3-5 while Groesbeck is 2-5 and the Lady Elks from Elkhart are 0-7.

Both the Lady Bulldogs and Lady Bison were 2-0 last week. Crockett took care of business against Westwood, 63-33, and on Friday they shocked Teague with a 44-39 win to stay in the playoff hunt.

Meanwhile, Buffalo took out Frankston, 48-32, and Westwood, 48-26. In other games last week Teague defeated Westwood, 65-22, and Frankston squeaked by Groesbeck, 45-44.

Given the current standings, the Lady Bison would face either Lexington, Troy or Rogers in the Bi-District round of the playoffs. Giving the edge to Teague as the second seed out of District-20-3A, the Lady Lions would face the third seed out of District 19-3A  – either Lexington, Troy or Rogers.

The Frankston Maidens would face the second seed out of District 19-3A, Little River Academy. Even though the Lady Bulldogs could move up to the second seed, as of right now they would face the Franklin Lady Lions in the first round of the playoffs if they started on Monday, Jan. 21.

At the 4A level, the Fairfield Lady Eagles are atop District 19-4A with a 4-0 record. Palestine, Mexia and Rusk are all tied for second with 2-2 records while Madisonville is in fifth with a mark of 0-4.

Last week the Lady Eagles were 2-0 with wins over Mexia and Madisonville. The Lady Wildcats from Palestine split, 1-1, as they defeated Madisonville, 47-31, but lost to Rusk 55-48.

If the postseason started now, the probable teams from District 19-4A are Fairfield, Palestine, Rusk and Mexia. They would play the playoff qualifiers from District 20-4A: Huntington – 4-0; Jasper – 2-2; Carthage – 2-2; and Center – 2-2.

Moving to Region IV and Class 1A, the #6 LaPoynor Lady Flyers look to be headed to another district title as they sit atop District 28-1A with a 9-0 record. The Chireno Lady Owls are in second with a record of 7-2 while the Neches Lady Tigers are in third with a 7-3 mark. The Little Centerville Bulldogs are fourth with a 6-4 mark and are on the outside of the playoffs, looking in.

Other teams in District 28-1A include: the Oakwood Lady Panthers at 3-5; the Kennard Lady Tigers at 2-7; the Wells Lady Pirates at 1-8; and the Apple Springs Lady Eagles at 0-9.

Last week’s action saw Neches defeat Wells, 42-19, and lose to LaPoynor, 40-38. Little Centerville defeated Kennard 41-27 and Chireno defeated Apple Springs 77-11. On Friday, Oakwood defeated Wells, 43-26.

If the playoffs were to begin today, La Poynor would have a first round bye. Chireno would face either Mount Calm or Milford while Neches would take on Coolidge.

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

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