By Will Johnson
GRAPELAND – In what has started to become the norm, the Grapeland Sandies hosted a Saturday game as they welcomed the Aggieland Panthers to town for a non-district contest.
It was the Sandies’ final tune-up before District 20-2A competition began and if the results of the Jan. 2 game are of any indication, Grapeland looks primed to capture the team’s 13th consecutive district title.
Grapeland simply dominated every phase of the game as they exploded for 38 points in the first quarter and never looked back on their way to a 114-40 shellacking of the Panthers.
The Sandies opened the game on a 15-2 run in the first 3:15 of the game as the Grapeland defense forced numerous turnovers which led to several easy layups.
Keizion Ashford led the Sandies’ scoring attack with 16 points in the opening quarter. BJ Lamb connected on a trio of three-pointers while Riley Murchison dropped in eight points. Cadarian Wiley worked inside for four and Michael Dancer added a basket as the Sandies opened up a 38-10 lead after the first eight minutes of the game.
The Panthers were led in scoring by Chuck Cunningham with six points and John Call with four.
Coach Blake Doughty went to his bench early in the second quarter and the reserve players responded as they scored 22 of the Sandies’ 26 points in the period.
Omarian Wiley led the way for Grapeland with nine points while Johnny Lamb knocked down a pair of threes and Cole Goolsby had five. Lekerian Smith dropped in two while Dancer and Murchison accounted for the other four points as the Sandies took a 64-17 lead into the locker room at halftime.
While the first quarter was bad for Aggieland, the second quarter was even worse as they only managed seven points. Bob Novak had three while Cunningham and Jack Call both had two to close out the Panthers’ first half scoring.
With the game well in hand, the Sandies slowed down the pace of the game after the break. C. Wiley dropped in eight points during third quarter action while O. Wiley went for four. Smith knocked down a shot from behind the arc and Ashford added two as Grapeland pushed its lead to 81-28 with three periods of play in the books.
Aggieland saw Chuck and Dave Cunningham score four apiece while John Call hit from behind the arc.
The fourth quarter saw the Grapeland bench heat up once again. O. Wiley poured in another nine while Goolsby had eight. Ashford dropped in six more as five other Sandies – Dancer, J. Lamb, Murchison, Smith and C. Wiley – all had two apiece as Grapeland waltzed to the 114-40 win.
On the game, the Panthers were led in scoring by Chuck Cunningham with 16 points and John Call with seven. Jack Call and Steve Hilland both had five, Dave Cunningham netted four and Bob Novak scored three to account for the Aggieland point production.
Every player on the Grapeland team scored at least six points as the Sandies had five players score in double-digits. Keizion Ashford led the Sandies with a game-high 24 points. Ashford also had four rebounds, four assists and seven steals.
He was joined in double figures by Omarian Wiley who poured in 22 points and pulled down 12 boards while older brother Cadarian worked inside for 14 points while also grabbing 12 rebounds. Cole Goolsby netted 13 and dished out two assists while Riley Murchison dropped in 11 points and had four rebounds.
BJ Lamb had nine points, 10 assists and six steals. Johnny Lamb had eight points and two assists, Lekerian Smith put in seven and snagged five rebounds while Michael Dancer scored six points and pulled down six boards.
Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at email@example.com.