Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas


January 31, 2014

GC Basketball: Corsicana boys hold on to win a thriller, girls lose on shot at the buzzer to Jacksonville

Corsicana — Maybe the best way to look at this game is the way Ralph Watts saw it.

“It was nerve-wracking,’’ Watts said. “You can be nervous, but you can’t play nervous.’’

 Maybe that’s what won this one in the end, this 65-64 hang-on-to-anything-you-can-grab Corsicana win over Jacksonville Friday night.

It’s a game the Tigers had to have and they had just enough to win it.

They didn’t even score a basket in the fourth quarter and turned the ball over 11 times in the final eight minutes, but they made it — just like they made those clutch free throws to put away Jacksonville, which came back from a 15-point deficit to get on everyone’s nerves.

Cana still led 61-54 with 1:20 left before the Indians explode for a 7-2 run that included 3 by Raybon Ragsdale, who led Jacksonville with 20 points, with 1:20 left, a steal and drive by Dayton Thompson and a tip-in by Ragsdale with 35 seconds left to close to 63-61.

But the Tigers, who were living on the free throw line, stayed alive when Watts hit a free throw with 33 seconds left and hit an even bigger one with 11 seconds left to lift Corsicana to a 65-61 lead.

Jacksonville flew down the court and Datavion Thacker busted a 3 with 0:03 on the clock to make the final a one-pint game.

You could almost hear the Tigers say a collective, “whew,’’ when it ended.

Cana made 12 of 18 free throws in the fourth and finished the game making 27 of 47 from the line.

“It was pretty exciting,’’ said Mike Lewis, who scored 17 points and grabbed six rebounds to go along with two blocks and a pretty emphatic dunk. “It had my adrenaline going but at the same time we had to stay focused and we made most of our free throws, which surprised me.’’

Lewis made 5-of-6 free throws in the fourth.

“Coach told us that they had to foul us because they didn’t have any time outs,’’ Lewis said. “And we stepped up. We were focused on getting this win.’’

The Tigers (15-10) almost had to have it. They started the night at 2-4 in the District 16-4A race, tied for the fourth spot, and the top four teams make it to the postseason.

“It meant a lot,’’ Lewis said. “We want to improve ourselves and get the third spot going into the playoffs. We knew we were 2-4 and they were 4-3 and we were focused on getting the win.’’

Watts said it meant lot and called it a, “motivator.’’ He said they had to have it.

“We put too much work into it not to get anything out of it,’’ said Watts, who led everyone with 21 points. “We wanted this win. We played harder than them. We didn’t make our free throws to start, but we made them when we had to.’’

That’s what this team is growing into — a clutch group that is learning how to win close games.

“You can tell we haven’t been in a lot of close games,’’ Coach Don Newton said. We’ve played well, but we always don’t get the horse in the barn.

“We needed that win,’’ h said. “This league is very balanced. The fifth and sixth teams have beaten the first and second teams. We’re tied for fourth and we want that third spot. The fourth team in this district will play (top-seeded) Lancaster, the No. 3 team in the state.’’

The idea is avoid that showdown. Jonah McKissack had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds and he also blocked a shot. Danair Martin scored seven points and Jamaal Evans dropped in six.  

Corsicana — and especially Lewis — came out like it was do or die and ripped off a 9-0 lead before the Indians (20-9) knew what hit them. Lewis scored six of Corsicana’s first 11 points and had a rim-shaking dunk to put the Tigers ahead 11-3 after Ragsdale got Jacksonville on the board.

“Coach has been telling me I need to step up,’’ Lewis said.

He did. Ad so did the Tigers, who built their biggest lead of the night to 15 points (48-33 late in the third) before Ragsdale hit back-to-back 3s to close to 48-39. Lewis took a touchdown pass on a fastbreak and scored to end the third, up 52-39.

But that was Corsicana’s last basket.

“I felt our effort was superior most of the night,’’ Newton said. “They came back, but when the game was on the line we had some guys step up and make some free throws. The kids played hard.’’

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