Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas


February 27, 2013

Common denominator: Kerens and Frost on the same stage Friday

Both teams playing in the regional tournament in Tyler

— Kerens and Frost will be on the same stage Friday, both playing in the regional tournament at Tyler Junior College. Kerens in Class 1A Division, Frost in 1A Division II.

The two teams you’ll see carry a common denominator — they’ve taken on the personalities of their coaches.

The Bobcats, while intense, are calm and collected, especially at the end of games, just like their coach, Don Enis.

The Polar Bears are hard-nosed and tough, just like their coach, Eric Blenden.

Character carried both teams in their regional quarterfinal victories on Tuesday night.

Kerens never panicked despite being down 45-37 with 1:50 left in the third quarter. The Bobcats up to that point had seemed a little sluggish, weren’t winning the 50-50 balls and were relying too much on two guys to score, Nate Betts and Tobyus Thomas.

Reserve point guard Brandon Ward changed that. His 3-pointer cut LaPoynor’s lead to five and Thomas’ 3-pointer as the third-quarter horn sounded tied the game at 47-47.

Another bench player, Dustin Jock, hit a 3-pointer to give Kerens a 52-47 lift early in the fourth quarter, another huge lift and another example of how the Bobcats as a team don’t blink, and that has to go back to Enis’ even-keeled demeanor.

Of course, it shined through most in the final six seconds of Tuesday’s game with Kerens and LaPoyner tied at 57-57. The Flyers were playing great — it was going to take a big play under pressure to beat them.

The Bobcats produced it. Tobyus was trapped in the corner, so much so that Enis came close to using his final timeout as the clock ticked under seven seconds.

“I was ready to call the timeout,” Enis said. “But then Tobyus dribbled out of trouble and found KT.”

KT is Kevin Townsel, the Bobcats’ senior point guard, who like so many of his teammates won four playoff games last year and made it to the school’s first state tournament.

Not only did Townsel do a great job getting open on a back cut, he made a great decision, with three seconds left, of passing the ball instead of shooting it.

“I was worried my shot might get blocked,” said the 5-9 Townsel said.

Townsel, in his team’s most pressure-filled moment of the season, dumped the ball off to 6-2 Nate Betts, who was poised for any easy layup. LaPoynor had no choice but to foul Betts, an excellent leaper.

The rest is well documented. Betts calmly made two free throws with 1.7 seconds left, sending Kerens on to the regional semifinals.

Frost advanced to regionals because the Polar Bears used their style of play, lock-down defense, which focuses back on Blenden’s tough, hard-nosed style, to take control of the game in the third quarter.

Trailing 24-21 at the half, Frost went on 15-2 run to start the third quarter. Huckabay, a team that had lost four games and scored 75 points in the area round, scored a basket in five minutes.

For the game, Huckabay scored 44 points. The goal Blenden gave his team before the game? Hold Huckabay to 45 points or less, and we win. Looks like the Polar Bears went with less.

I guess it should come as no surprise. Blenden has the magic touch this year. Someone help me remember the last time a head coach took his team four rounds deep in the playoffs in football and basketball.

This is unreal. And the players deserve a lot of the credit. It’s basically the same group. Danial Steels was always a good player, but he’s a dominant player now. He’s put up 21 and 27 points in two playoff games.

Stroder. Worley. Bruce. Jackson. Clayton. Worley. And on and on and on. All of these guys have contributed big moments in both football and basketball.

But it’s that edge that Blenden has, combined with the calmness that Clark Moore brought before him, that has made these Polar Bears believe they can win on any night, anywhere.

Think back to football. The only thing that stopped Frost against Tenaha was one fluke play that wouldn’t happen the next 99 times the Polar Bears tried to push one in from 2 yards out.

The story of this Golden Circle sports season, without a doubt, is that a group of kids in Frost that they’ll fight like heck for a win, and they’ll get it most of the time.

It’s something their counterparts at Kerens know all too well, make three regional tournaments in a row.

When you believe you can do it, when you learn to handle the pressure, good things tend to happen.

It’s exactly why the basketball seasons in Kerens and Frost will continue on Friday in Tyler.

Text Only
  • 7-30-14 Davis.jpg 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.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-30 web Wortham TTBA picture.jpg TTBB: Wortham takes second at state tournament

    The Wortham Bulldogs made an impressive run at the Texas Teenage Baseball Association High School Eligible State Tournament in Buffalo and took second in the state.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-29-14 tiger sharks.jpg Tiger Sharks make splash at state meet

    There are leaps and bounds, and then there's what the Corsicana YMCA Tiger Sharks did over the weekend at the Lone Star state swimming meet in Frisco.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-27 Shimonek all-star.jpg Mildred's Shimonek transferring from Iowa, will walk on at Texas Tech

    Former Mildred quarterback and Golden Circle Del Thrash Player of the Year Nic Shimonek is leaving the University of Iowa after one red-shirt year and transferring to Texas Tech because of Iowa's pro-style offense.

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • RON MORGAN.jpg Morgan; Remembering House and a better era

    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.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • weights.jpg 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.''

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Kevin Reese mug.jpg 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.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • 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.

    July 22, 2014

  • 7-23-14 Kayana.jpg 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

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • All-State Baseball: TSWA/Collin Street Bakery All-State 3A baseball team is announced

    The Texas Sports Writers Association/Collin Street Bakery Class 3A All-State Baseball Team was announced Tuesday.


    July 22, 2014