Boys’ Area Basketball
By Will Johnson
EAST TEXAS – As the calendar turns to February, several area boys’ basketball teams are starting to look ahead to the playoffs and a shot at playing for the state championship in San Antonio.
While the playoff picture is becoming clearer, the 1-4 seeds in Class 4A – 2A and 1-3 seeds in Class 1A need to be determined before the teams start making their reservations for the River Walk.
Starting with District 19-2A, the Kerens Bobcats are now in first place with a 5-1 record. The second, third and fourth place teams, however, are still jumbled up. Currently, the Cayuga Wildcats and Cross Roads Bobcats are tied for second with 4-2 records while Itasca and Italy are tied for fourth with 3-3 records. Frost is bringing up the rear with a 0-6 mark.
Beginning on Friday of last week, the Cayuga Wildcats fell out of first place with back-to-back losses. First, they lost to Itasca by the slimmest of margins, 47-46. Still smarting from that loss, the Wildcats fell to Kerens on Tuesday by a final of 50-40.
Both Kerens and Italy helped themselves tremendously as they both went 2-0. Last Friday, Italy defeated Frost, 55-46, and Kerens handled Cross Roads, 48-38. On Tuesday, Jan. 25, Italy pulled out a 55-52 win over Itasca, Cross Roads took down Frost, 58-63, and as previously mentioned Kerens defeated Cayuga.
Moving to District 20-2A, the race for the crown has been whittled down to two teams: Grapeland and Lovelady. The Sandies remain in first place with an unblemished record of 8-0. Lovelady sits in second – just a game behind – at 7-1. Slocum at 4-4 and Groveton at 4-5, are battling it out for the third and fourth seeds from the district.
It may be a stretch, but Leon sitting at 3-6 along with both Centerville and Latexo at 2-7, all three teams still have a shot at slipping into the third or fourth seed by the time district play comes to an end in less than two weeks.
Last Friday, the Sandies played a non-district opponent in the Celeste Blue Devils and pulled out a 61-44 win. Lovelady hammered Slocum, 84-50. Groveton outlasted Centerville, 55-50, and Latexo fell to Leon, 52-47.
On Tuesday, Jan. 29, Grapeland returned to district competition as they pummeled the Leon Cougars, 89-36. Lovelady defeated Groveton, 89-56, and Latexo picked up a much-needed 67-62 win over Centerville.
In Class 3A, it appears the Crockett Bulldogs like the scenery at the top of District 20-3A as they have an 8-1 record with three games left in district. The Teague Lions are right behind the Bulldogs with a 7-1 mark. Their one loss, however, came at the hands of Crockett.
Having lost two of the last three, the Buffalo Bison have fallen to third place with a 6-3 record. The battle for the fourth and final playoff spot is going to be interesting. Westwood has a 3-5 record while Elkhart is 3-6. Frankston still has a shot at 2-6 while Groesbeck is still mathematically in it.
Last Friday, Crockett feasted on the Groesbeck Goats, 81-41, while Frankston defeated Westwood, 46-32, and Buffalo edged Elkhart, 35-33.
Tuesday saw Crockett handle their business against Frankston, 58-47 while Teague took down Buffalo 58-45, and Elkhart defeated Groesbeck, 61-53.
At the Class 4A level, the Palestine Wildcats are perched atop District 19-4A with a 5-0 record. Fairfield is in second at 3-1, with their one district loss coming at the hands of Palestine. Madisonville and Mexia are tied for third with 2-3 records while Rusk sits at 0-5.
On Friday, Palestine defeated Fairfield, 62-47, while Mexia demolished Rusk, 102-38. Friday saw Palestine beat Mexia 70-59 and Madisonville took out Rusk, 65-52.
Shifting to Region IV, LaPoynor leads the pack in District 28-1A with an 11-1 record. Neches and Laneville are hot on their heels with 11-2 marks, while Oakwood is in fourth with an 8-4 record. Chireno is 6-6 while Kennard, Apple Springs and Wells sit at 3-10. Little Centerville has a district record of 0-12.
On Friday, Jan. 25: LaPoynor defeated Wells, 64-49; Oakwood defeated Kennard, 53-37; Laneville defeated Chireno, 77-69; and Neches took down Apple Springs, 63-33.
Last Tuesday’s games showed: Laneville defeating Little Centerville, 108-42; Wells getting by Kennard, 61-49; Oakwood demolishing Apple Springs, 93-39; and Neches beating Chireno, 64-42.
Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at email@example.com.