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Preseason TGCA Basketball Rankings Released

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Sandiettes Ranked in Top 5

By Will Johnson              

Messenger Reporter

GRAPELAND – While the Sandiettes are eying a playoff spot in volleyball, another sport is about to tip-off its season.

That sport is basketball and with the way the Sandiettes finished last year’s hoops action, big things are expected from the team.

With the release of the Texas Girls Coaches Association (TGCA) preseason poll on Tuesday, Oct. 15, it appears other people around the state are also expecting big things from the Grapeland basketball program.

The TGCA has the Sandiettes ranked at #4 in Class 2A heading into the season and why not? Grapeland only lost two players to graduation. Granted those two players – All-State guard Hannah Chipman and defensive/three-point specialist Ragan Bowie – will be tough to replace.

However, the Sandiettes still have arguably the best player in girls’ Class 2A coming back in Teira Jones. Jones will be joined by teammates Tatiyana Bowie, KeKe Harris and Kenya Woods who all started for Grapeland last year.

Also expected to make major contributions to the team are: JaMiyah Bowie; Aerianna Granderson; Christi Shepherd and Tori Woodford.    

It’s a pretty formidable returning group that finished as Class 2A Runners-up last year. With the continued growth and maturity of the Sandiettes – under the guidance of new Head Coach Robert Payne, along with assistant coaches/former Sandiettes Shundrea Butler and Sherri Kendrick – it would not be a great surprise to see Grapeland playing on the first weekend in March of 2020.

The Sandiettes’ season opens with a bang as they take on the preseason Class 3A #1 Mt. Pleasant- Chapel Hill Lady Tigers on Thurs. Nov. 7. After games against Class 4A Brownsboro and the always tough La Poyner Lady Flyers, Grapeland will face the Class 3A #5 Woodville Lady Eagles.  

Grapeland also has games scheduled against St. Agnes – Houston, a Class 6A TAPPS school and Midlothian Heritage, a Class 4A school.

In addition, the Sandiettes will take on the Lipan Lady Indians, the Class 1A #4 team on Tuesday, Nov. 26 in Glen Rose. Grapeland will also have games against Class 4A Canton and Class 3A Emory-Rains before they open district play on Dec. 17 against the Slocum Lady Mustangs. 

The complete TGCA Top 10 is as follows: 1. Martin’s Mill – 2019 Class 2A State Champions; 2. Panhandle – 2019 State Semi-Finalist; 3. Timpson; 4. – Grapeland – Class 2A Runners-Up; 5. Mason – 2019 State Semi-Finalist; 6. Woden; 7. Gruver; 8. San Saba; 9. Kerens; and 10. Marlin.

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