Art Prevost’s message was pretty clear.
He stood in the Ennis gym Monday night after watching his kids, the Corsicana girls basketball team, lose to Seguin 47-35 in the bi-district round of the Class 4A playoffs, and had nothing but praise for his players -- and Corsicana.
After all, his kids had made some history, becoming the first girls basketball team in 21 years to reach the postseason, and that’s what Prevost wanted to talk about.
“We lost tonight to a real good team, but we let people know Corsicana is here. Corsicana has arrived,” he said. “They know who Corsicana is! You can go to the Metroplex now and they know who Corsicana is.
“I am so proud of them, proud of Corsicana and this crowd tonight,’’ he said. “We must have had 1,300 or 1,400 people here. I’m proud of our fans and proud of Corsicana. Anyone who came to this game saw a quality basketball game. We came up short, but we gave a great effort.”
The Corsicana fans were loud, louder and loudest all night. They outnumbered Seguin 15-or 20-to 1 and almost completely filled the home side of the Ennis gym, turning the place into Corsicana North and gave the game an electric atmosphere all night. They were dressed in blue and gold and most were on their feet including the wacky Krush Krew student section, throughout the game.
The Lady Tigers might have been on edge earlier in their first dance in postseason play, and Seguin 23-9 and a constant playoff team that went to the regionals last year, made the most of it, building an early lead that was fueled by an aggressive defense that forced 13 first half turnovers and out-rebounded Corsicana 17-6 in the first half. The Lady Cougars took a 25-16 lead into halftime, but after the break nothing was the same.
Corsicana flipped everything and started forcing turnovers and crashing the boards and out-rebounded Seguin in the second half 15-6 while forcing nine turnovers while turning the ball over eight times in a second half that saw the Lady out-hustle Seguin on the boards and scramble for every lose ball.
Kennady Betts was a force inside in the second half and Erica Melendez and Briana Biltz all hit the boards -- and the floor hard.
“Kennady Betts really grew up tonight,’’ Prevost said of his sophomore post. “Kennady Betts stepped up and Alexis Baston handled the pressure all night.’’
Baston, a sophomore guard, had a brilliant night and fought off Seguin’s unrelenting pressure all night and finished with 12 points to lead Corsicana.
Seguin’s pressure never did let up and both teams put on a defensive show of force and heart, and the officials let them play a very physical hard-fought game.
“No doubt, they are the best defensive team we played all year,” Prevost said. They are a mirror of us.”
The game looked tat way and played that way, but Seguin’s early lead and the poise down the stretch by the Lady Cougars sent them to the Area round of the playoffs.
Corsicana (21-9) never let up and when Betts hit an inside shot with 6:47 left, the Lady Tigers were down by five -- 35-30. But Corsicana hit a cold spell and couldn’t find the basket, and didn‘t score again until Baston hit a pair of free throws with 1:49 left to close to 43-32.
“We went through a real low and we couldn’t score for four or five minutes, but we fought and we fought and we fought,’’ Prevost said. “This team showed so much heart, coming back and never giving in tonight. That score doesn’t tell you what kind of game this was -- it was a lot closer than the score. We played everybody. I could have not played everyone and we might have cut it down to six or five points at the end, but these kids have worked so hard this year. They deserved to have a chance to get on the court.‘’
Betts and Melendez both finished with seven points each, and Sha Sha Taylor and Ariel Bartee scored five points each while Destini Lunsford added two points in the defense-first, low scoring game. Alarie Mayze, a 5-11 junior, led Seguin with 16 points and the Lady Cougars’ leading scorer all year, Laurynn McGowen, finished with 13.
Art Prevost’s message was pretty clear.
GC Track & Field: Area meet Roundup
Corsicana's Gilfillan wins 4A area pole vault title; Frost girls win 1A area team title, Frost boys finish second
GC Baseball: Mildred falls to Riesel, 9-0, on the road
Mildred managed a hit and struck out 12 times in a 9-0 loss on the road that could have given the Eagles some cushion in the 23-2A standings. They are now 5-6 with a game at league-leading Teague Tuesday.
CHS Soccer: Tigers boys and girls top off season with strong showing on All-District teams
That tough and gutsy style of play sent both the boys and girls teams into the playoffs and on Thursday the Tigers were rewarded again for their fine seasons as two boys won special honors,four boys were named to the All-District first team and two girls earned first-team honors.
Michael Roman, who did a little of everything — and did it well — was named the District 28-4A Utility Player of the Year, and sophomore defender Jesus Barreto was named the district's Newcomer of the Year.
GC Basketball; Kerens' Ames signs with Cloud (Kan.) Community College
There's nothing quite like signing day, and Taylor Ames was all smiles and beaming about her future Wednesday when she signed a letter-of-intent, accepting a basketball scholarship to Cloud County Community College in Kansas in front of family, friends and coaches at Kerens, where Ames leaves a legacy like no other.
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.
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