Don Enis didn’t say a word.
He didn’t have to.
“They knew,’’ said Enis moments after his Kerens Bobcats had beaten Wortham 70-55 Tuesday night.
It wasn’t just a big win for Kerens. It was one the Bobcats had to have to force a tie at the top of the District 18-1A DI race.
Wortham beat Kerens in the district opener at Wortham, 52-50, and was 5-0 and alone in first place in the 18-1A DI race. Entering Tuesday’s game the Bobcats were right behind the Bulldogs at 4-1 and hoping for a chance to move into a tie.
That’s why Enis didn’t need a pregame speech.
“I didn’t have to say anything,’’ Enis said. “They have been in the trenches before. They knew what to do. Nobody needed to say anything.”
Brandon Ward could have given a speech, but he didn’t have to say anything either. He did all his talking on the court, where he poured in a career-high 26 points and lifted Kerens early and often.
Ward not only scored the first four points of the game to help spark a 14-9 first-quarter lead for Kerens, he came out firing in the second half, scoring Kerens’ first nine points of the second half and giving the Bobcats a 44-21 lead with a putback with 6:00 left in the third.
Wortham ran off a 8-3 run to close to 47-29 and then Ward busted another 3 — his second in the first three minutes of the second half — and Kerens led had a 21-point lead, 50-29.
And no one had to say anything
He has really been coming on lately,’’ Enis said of Ward, a senior who had the game of his life. “I don’t think he has ever scored 20. He’s been shooting the ball real well. It gives us another weapon.’’
Kerens already had plenty of weapons, including Nate Betts, a junior who has led the team for two years and is having a season that could merit an All-Golden Circle Player of the Year award. But that’s miles away right now — just like this district race.
“We’re tied with them and if we end in a tie we will have a playoff game,’’ Enis said. “But there are four games left and this is not an easy district. Most of the games are really tight.’’
Enis was happy with his team’s fast start, especially after falling behind early in Wortham and then storming back to lose by two.
Kerens started fast and kept putting pressure on Wortham, something Enis was looking for in the rematch .
“We mentioned about having a good first quarter and we did,’’ Enis said. “And we played much better defense than we did down there. Defense set the tone tonight.’’
If Wortham coach Brian Coffman was disappointed in anything it was his team’s defense that never seemed to be able to slow down Kerens. The Bulldogs, who were led by Daniel Trantham, who scored 14 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, and Witty Busby, who dropped in 13 points, including 10 in the second half. Le’Dharius Freeman, who had been scoring 18 points a game, finished with nine points, and Kenneth Freeman scored nine points for Wortham. Rudy Miller scored seven.
Wortham closed the score to 11 points — 58-47 — with 4:56 left in the game and had enough time to make a run, but Kerens answered with a 10-2 run that was capped by a 3-pointer from Betts, who finished with 14 points, grabbed eight rebounds and had four big blocked shots Tuesday.
Dustin Jock scored seven points and Shelton Sayles added seven for Kerens. Hunter Green had six points and DeQualylon Bivins scored five and Jake Moss scored four.
“We really needed this one,’’ Enis said. “We were really disappointed in the way we played down there. I think we proved we were a better team than that tonight. They knew what they had to do.’’
Kerens LadyCats 56, Wortham Lady Bulldogs 33
The LadyCats clinched their fifth district title in a row with a one-sided win over Wortham, which is trying to finish strong without one of its best players, Kierra Busby, who is out for the rest of the year with a knee injury.
The LadyCats are now 8-0 in District 18-1A DI and have a three-game lead on everyone in the district with two games left.
Kerens, which is 21-4 and ranked No. 3 in the latest Texas Girls Coaches Association’s state poll, sprinted out to a 20-4 lead, and just kept coming. Cambree Betts scored all 15 of her points in the first half to get Kerens going. The LadyCats shot 57 percent (13-of-23) from the floor and 50 percent (4-of-8) from beyond the arc in the first half to take a 38-17 lead into the locker room.
By the time it was over, Taylor Ames had chipped in with 12 points and Breanna Baxter had added 10. Neither scored in the fourth quarter. Marqueshia Kelly, who opened the game with a 3, scored eight points, grabbed eight rebounds, made four steals and blocked two shots for the Lady Cats, who got five points from Emmanuella Armant and four points and six rebounds from Tinesha Tolliver, who both came off the bench.
sWortham, which is now 4-4 in the district race and still in the playoff hunt, was led Kamarie Freeman points, who scored nine points, Kameron Rhodes (7), Sara Sessions (6), Courtney Chasteen (6) and Elisha Libhart (2).
GC Basketball: The Kerens boys beat Wortham to forge tie at top of 18-1A; The Kerens girls clinch title
Don Enis didn’t say a word.
Navarro Softball: Bulldogs get ranked, split with Paris
Minutes after Navarro split a doubleheader with Paris on Wednesday, Navarro softball Coach Jessica Karenke was told her Bulldogs had just been nationally ranked and are now No. 16 in the NJCAA national softball poll.
She had no idea.
And she didn't care.
Karenke is worried about what happens on the diamond, and she had some concerns after Navarro made four errors in the second game that opened the door for Paris to pull off a 7-2 win after the Bulldogs and Ciara Luna controlled the first game with a 4-1 win.
GC: Mildred's O'Sullivan and Bland chosen to play in FCA All-Star games
Mildred’s Devin O’Sullivan and Callie Bland have been selected to play in the FCA’s All-Star games on June 1.
CHS Baseball: Lindale haunts Tigers again with critical 4-0 win
Lindale has been poison to Corsicana all year.
The Eagles won a bizarre game in Lindale to keep the Tigers out of the football playoffs and ruined the boys basketball season with two gut-wrenching wins in the final week of the season.
They did it again Tuesday, beating the Tigers 4-0 at Price Field to take over second place in the District 16-4A race.
Lindale (6-2) had one big inning to hand Corsicana (5-3) its second loss in a row.
GC Volleyball: Kerens' Kelly signs with Paris Junior College
She prayed about it. She lost sleep about it. And she prayed about it some more.
That's just a glimpse of what Marqueshia Kelly went through before deciding to turn down a half dozen basketball scholarships and accept a scholarship to play volleyball at Paris Junior College.
The journey might have been a little sleepless, but in the end it wasn't that tough for Kelly, who is a multi-sport star at Kerens.
“I followed my heart,'' she said on Tuesday just moments after signing a letter-of-intent to play volleyball at Paris in front of family, coaches and friends.
CHS Tennis: Tigers play well in powerhouse region
Corsicana's tennis team finished its season with a strong showing in the Class 4A Regional Tournament at UT-Arlington before falling to some powerhouse players from Dallas.
GC Baseball/Softball: Roundup -- Blooming Grove edges Mildred 1-0 (Adds Dawson-Hubbard baseball)
Blooming Grove kept its baseball playoff hopes alive, winning a pitcher’s duel, 1-0, in Mildred Tuesday night. Dalton Blake struck out 11 and scattered five hits in a well-pitched game that took an hour and a half to complete.
Navarro Softball: Bulldogs sweep Bossier on Sophomore Day
From a one-sided laugher to a hold-your-breath finish, Navarro’s softball team celebrated Sophomore Day on Saturday in front of its largest crowd of the season.
The Bulldogs ripped Bossier 14-1 in a five-inning romp and then had to fight for their lives in the second game, finally winning 2-1 in the bottom of the seventh with a squeeze bunt that brought home Caitlin Moerbe, who ended the day with a dust-filled slide at the plate.
GC Softball: Hubbard, Curtis shut out Axtell 3-0
For Hubbard’s Olivia Curtis the magic number was 15 -- as in 15 wins and 15 strikeouts.
But don’t stop counting now. There’s plenty left for Curtis and her Hubbard teammates who have made the most of their stretch run in the district race, and capped off a huge week with a 3-0 win over Axtell on Friday.
GC Baseball/Softball: Roundup -- Kerens' Anderson pitches perfect game (ADDS Dawson baseball)
Brett Anderson threw a five-inning perfect game Friday at home to lead Kerens over Neches 11-0 in a key district game that leaves the Bobcats in first place with a two-game lead.
CHS Baseball: Tigers lose to Nacogdoches 4-1
In a battle for first place in the District16-4A race, Nacogdoches and pitcher Brigham Hill stopped Corsicana’s Tigers 4-1 Friday to take over the lead in the district with a 6-1 record. The Tigers are now 5-2 and face Lindale, which is also 5-2, at Price Field on Tuesday night to try to gain ground in a tough district race.
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- Navarro Softball: Bulldogs get ranked, split with Paris