She had to think for a minute then it was a slam-dunk conclusion.
“Yes it is,’’ said Kerens senior Marqueshia Kelly, who had just helped her team beat Hubbard 63-47 Tuesday night in the Kerens gym. “It is a rivalry. It’s definitely a rivalry.’’
It may not be as old as dirt or as bitter as lemons, but this dance between the Hubbard girls and the Kerens girls on the basketball court is shaping up to be a little better every time they play.
Folks say it can’t be a rivalry until both teams win, and the Kerens kids have owned the district basketball race and this part of Texas for years, so technically it may not fall under the rivalry category.
Just don’t tell the players.
“It’s a rivalry because of the way they talk on the court,’’ Kelly said. “I knew they were going to bring it, and we had to bring it tonight. We had to be ready. We had to be more ready tonight.’’
Hubbard, which is ranked No. 5 in the Texas Girls Coaches Association state poll, now has two losses this season, and both are to Kerens. The 17-2 Lady Jaguars were upset after losing to Kerens in the Kiwanis Tournament, and Hubbard coach Kendall Cotten pointed out correctly that the real games would be in January when the teams met in the District 18-1A D-I race.
He was right and the Kerens, ranked No. 10 in the same poll, took care of the first of two district games Tuesday, winning Round 2 of what will at least be three games between the two state powers.
“I think the difference was our conditioning. I think we’re in better shape,’’ said Kerens coach Denise Lincoln, whose team built on a 25-22 halftime lead to win going away. “And we have the experience. We play big schools and we have been in a lot of big games.
“They (Hubbard) play hard,’’ she said. “He (Cotten) has done a great job there. He’s taken them to another level. We needed it. We need tough games in our district. When you walk through district, you’re not ready for the playoffs, and this was a real good game.’’
Lincoln said she knew her team would have to travel to Hubbard (on Jan. 31) and expects another dogfight later this month.
But Kerens hasn’t lost a district game in more than three years and the LadyCats know what it means to keep that streak alive.
“I think we have heart,’’ Lincoln said. “I think we wanted it more. I’m not saying they (Hubbard) didn’t want it. I’m just saying I think we wanted it more.’’
They had to earn it.
“It was an intense game,’’ said Kerens junior Breanna Baxter, who led everyone with 25 points, including 16 in the second half when Kerens took over after leading 25-22 at halftime. Baxter also pulled down 13 rebounds and had five steals. “The second half is our half. We knew we had to take it to another step, another level.’’
Baxter and Kelley combined for 42 points and 26 rebounds as Kelly dropped in 17 points, including a 3-pointer, and had 13 rebounds. Kelly had amazing game on defense, blocking eight shots. Tinesha Tolliver came off the bench and gave Kerens a solid inside game, scoring five points and grabbing four rebounds.
Hubbard came out strong and led 10-9 before Kerens ended the first quarter with a pair of fast breaks from Baxter and Cambree Betts, who finished with eight points. But Nakaila Banks, who led Hubbard with 15 points, opened the second with a 3 to knot things at 13-13, and the two teams fought through 13-13, 15-15 and 17-17 ties before Kerens went on a 7-0 run before eventually taking a 25-22 lead into halftime.
Banks sat out almost the entire third with foul trouble and Kerens (16-4, and 4-0 in the District 18-1A race) built the lead to 44-28 in the third on back-to-back drives by Taylor Ames, who finished with eight points. But Hubbard’s Tia Parks hit an outside shot with a minute left and Kate Saucke hit a 10-footer just before the buzzer to close to 44-32.
Banks opened the fourth with a 3 and Hubbard closed to within seven in the fourth, before Kerens pulled away. Tia Parks finished with eight points, Saucke finished with five and Jasmine Parks had a big game inside for Hubbard with eight points and 13 rebounds.
“When we cut it to seven in the fourth I was thinking, “This is going to be our night,’’ Cotten said after the game. “Then just as I was saying that we threw the ball away.’’
Cotten said he was frustrated.
“Our girls played hard. We just missed too many easy lay-ups. We missed too many shots,’’ he said. “You can’t miss easy lay-ups against a great basketball team.’’
She had to think for a minute then it was a slam-dunk conclusion.
Former Cowboy Keith Davis delivers motivational speech
Keith Davis believes in dreams.
He lived his.
That was one of the messages Davis, a former Dallas Cowboys safety, delivered to a standing-room-only crowd of youngsters Tuesday at the Boys & Girls Club, where he spoke with enthusiasm and energy about life inside and outside of the NFL.
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Mildred's Shimonek transferring from Iowa, will walk on at Texas Tech
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The Cowboys started training camp the same week that Robert Newhouse died.
In a way, that’s very unfortunate for Jerry. Thinking back to the “Human Bowling Ball” and the teams of that era might lead to the inevitable comparisons to today’s product on the field.
GC Football: Blooming Grove's Williams expects to win
His father was a head coach for years at Pecos High and his brother-in-law is the head football coach at DeSoto, but Lawrence Williams Jr., a man who loves coaching football, never had any ideas about being the head man.
“I love coaching,'' said Williams as he sat at his desk in Blooming Grove, where he became the Lions' head coach this summer. “I just never thought about being the head coach and I never applied to be a head coach. With this job I can still coach.''
Outdoors: Kevin Reese: Summer time means summer tracking
With only two months before opening day of archery season you should already have your bow maintenance complete, be shooting daily and chomping at the bit for our favorite day to arrive!
Let’s face it, few animals turn our rotors like whitetail deer.
All-State Baseball: Corsicana's Harlan and Wolver honored on TSWA/Collin Street Bakery 4A All-State Baseball team
Corsicana junior Brady Harlan and sophomore Layton Wolver were honored on the Texas Sports Writers Association/Collin Street Bakery Class 4A All-State Baseball team that was announced Tuesday night.
Gymnastics: Kaylana Dickson celebrates national title with fans and her uncle David Hawthorne
Kaylana Dickson got the name Bebop on her way to winning a national title in gymnastics this summer, and boy did it catch fire.
Kaylana, a Corsicana native, picked up fans from all over the country and many bought Bebop T-shirts to help pay her expenses to Spokane, Wa., where she won the 8-and-under title in the double-mini trampoline event and finished third in floor exercise.
More than 100 of her friends, family members and fans showed up at the Corsicana YMCA on Saturday to celebrate the national title and be on hand for a drawing for an autographed New Orleans Saints football jersey from David Hawthorne, a star defensive lineman for the Saints and Kaylana's uncle
All-State Baseball: TSWA/Collin Street Bakery All-State 3A baseball team is announced
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