Just tell basketball season to wait.
Stick it in the corner, or put it way up in the bleachers — or tell it to jump on the bandwagon with the rest of Kerens, a green and growing bandwagon that’s rolling along just like the volleyball team.
It’s the same kids, same girls, same stars who play basketball, but this is different. This is new and groundbreaking, never-before earth-shattering stuff.
Call ‘em The History Makers. That’s what they are, this scrappy, tough and talented high-flying group that’s marching through the playoffs for the first time like never before. That’s what happened Thursday night in the Teague gym, where Kerens beat Mart (that’s right district champ Mart) in four sets (26-28, 25-20, 25-17, 25-21) to win the Area round in the Class A1 playoffs and advance to the region for the first time.
“This is the first time in the school’s history we have gotten past the area round,’’ said Coach Kristen Lynch, who was as proud of her kids for their tenacity as the win on Thursday. Kerens looked in trouble early in a tough first set that saw the teams fight through 14 ties, including 25-25 and 26-26 before Mart won 28-26. Kerens looked tentative and a bit nervous.
But then those 26-5 Lady Cats, who have worked all year to get here, stormed back, and never trailed again, sweeping the next three sets.
“It says a lot about their character,’’ said Lynch, whose team will play Milano next week in the regional. “We played one of the worst games of the season, but it’s something to say about your team when you can come back and pull out a win. We’ve been in the situation before and the thing about them is they never quit. They’re always fighting, always fighting’’
And always believing.
Just ask Taylor Ames or Marqueshia Kelly, a couple seniors who helped lead the comeback.
“Whenever the team is down, those two are the ones who pick us up,’’ Lynch said. “They talk to the other kids and get us going.’’
Kelly left Mart with nightmares. She was amazing at times and was dominate at the net, where she crushed one shot after another, blocked shots like a
border patrol, and then drove Mart crazy with dinks and taps and pushes that landed softly but with the impact of a right cross to the chin.
And when Kelly wasn’t killing it, Breanna Baxter was. Once again, Baxter, who had 16 kills and 14 blocks to go along with seven digs, was brilliant, slamming home her point time and time again. The Kelly-Baxter combo ripped off 28 kills and 23 blocks to control the net, and Ames, Emmanuella Armant, Cambree Betts, Tinesha Tolliver and Kayla Kilcrease were taking care of just about everything else.
Betts was priceless at the service line, where she not only went 18 for 20 with three aces, but she seemed to deliver just when Kerens needed it most.
“She made the crucial serves,’’ Lynch said.
Betts also had five blocks and six assists, and Armant had her moments serving as well, going 17 for 18 and three aces with two kills, five blocks and six digs. Tolliver was solid and (12 for 14, 1 ace, 1 kill, 8 digs), Kilcrease (12 for 12, 1 ace and 15 digs) was diving all over the floor to save slams with some digs that killed Mart’s momentum, and Ames was Ames. In many ways she’s the heart of the team and had another heartfelt night — 24 for 27, six aces, eight blocks, seven digs and an amazing 30 assists on a night when every one meant something.
“We don’t care about basketball right now,’’ Ames said. “We’ve never been here before. It’s our first time to win area, and it feels great.’’
Kelly, who had 12 kills and nine blocks) was even more emphatic, talking about history and how sweet it felt to make it.
“It was a tough first set,’’ she said. “We just had to feel them out, but then we got going. The seniors had to step up. We made history, and now we just have to keep it going . We’re determined to keep going. We’re ready.’’
Basketball can wait ...
Just tell basketball season to wait.
GC Softball: Playoff Time
There were some bumps on the road and slides in the standings and a few bruises along the way, but five Golden Circle teams have reached the softball playoffs that begin with first round games on Thursday.
For Corsicana it was a wakeup call during the second half of district play that gave the Tigers the push they needed, and for Mildred it was the culmination of yet another splendid season as the Lady Eagles made the playoffs for the fifth straight season. Blooming Grove is back again, a regular in post season play with a chance to make a run, and Hubbard begins its quest to get to the state tournament and Austin with a one-game playoff on Thursday against Itasca in Italy.
Navarro Softball: Bulldogs split with Kilgore, win final home game
Kristen Ahearn was mad, steaming.
Even her peanut butter and jelly sandwich that she ate between the doubleheader games didn't taste good. Nothing fit. Nothing was in sync. Nothing felt right or even tasted right.
Then Ahearn found the cure.
Simple enough: Just go out and blast a three-run homer.
That's the short version of what happened Tuesday at Navarro College, where Ahearn's three-run bomb ignited the Bulldogs in the second game against Kilgore and Navarro went on to win 8-5 to close out its regular season with a bang and a smile from Ahearn.
GC Baseball: Kerens beats Cayuga 5-1, wins first district title since 1981
The wait is over.
And it came just in time for Brett Anderson, who left it all on the mound Tuesday night at Kerens, where he pitched a masterpiece to lead the Bobcats over Cayuga, 5-1, and help the program win its first baseball district title since 1981.
“I've got no gas left. I'm out,'' said Anderson, a senior lefty who stopped Cayuga cold, holding the three-time defending district champs to just three singles while striking out 14.
GC Basebal Roundup: Corsicana blasts Jacksonville; BG wins huge district game
The Corsicana Tigers wrapped up district play with a dominating 9-0 win over the Jacksonville Indians behind Trevor Nolen, who shut out the Indians and allowed only one hit over 6 1/3 innings. Donovan Fields came on to retire the final two hitters. The Tiger pitchers limited the Indians to only 25 plate appearances in the game and no runner to reach third base.
Rodeo: Navarro County Derrick Days -- Burton is back
Professional rodeo entertainer Ronald Burton returns to the Navarro County Exposition Center April 25-26 to entertain the crowd at the 2014 Navarro County Derrick Days Pro Rodeo.
Huggins to call shots at Derrick Days Rodeo
West Huggins will serve as the announcer for the 2014 Navarro County Derrick Days Pro rodeo. The Gardendale native is the reigning three-time United Professional Rodeo Association Announcer of the Year.
Dill gets 300th win in Navarro baseball sweep of Bossier Parish
Navarro baseball’s weekend in Louisiana was significant on a number of fronts. On one hand, coach Whoa Dill notched his 300th win. On the other, and perhaps more importantly, the Bulldogs simply continued to play well. The Bulldogs swept Bossier Parish to move 14-11 in Region XIV East Zone play, and 27-17 overall.
Mildred sending five to regional track meet
Sasha Ballard set a school record in the 800 meters and paced a contingent of five Mildred thinclads heading to Stephenville for the regionals later this week.
Kerens boys grab four gold medals at area track meet
Tavion Hall and Jalon Moss each snared a pair of gold medals as Kerens boys finished second at their area track meet last week with 88 points.
Area schedule for the week
Here's a look at this week's schedule for Golden Ciircle teams and Navarro College. The schedule does not include upcoming bi-district playoff games in softball because times and sites have yet to be determined.
- More Sports Headlines
- GC Softball: Playoff Time