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Offensive spurts are nearly enough

Cari Wiggins makes a play on the ball during a long fight for possession between both teams. (Staff photo by Albert Trevino)Cari Wiggins makes a play on the ball during a long fight for possession between both teams. (Staff photo by Albert Trevino)

by Albert Trevino, Enterprise Staff

The Onalaska Lady Wildcats were defeated 45-30 in Friday's game against the visiting Buffalo Lady Bison.

Another strong effort helped Onalaska stay in the game through the third period, but Buffalo's tough defense prevented the Ladycats from closing the gap. Onalaska was kept to single-digit scores across all four periods.

The Ladycat offense had a fast start, matching scores with Buffalo during the first few minutes. Katrina Leahy and Annye Todd both hit three-pointers in addition to a free throw by Todd. However, Onalaska's early offensive success ended as the Lady Bison found a way to grab quick rebounds and drive to the basket for easy shots.

The second period played out similar to the first. The Ladycats trailed 14-7 to start, but managed to swiftly cut the lead to three points, thanks to an offensive effort from Brianna Cougot and Dani Mitschke. Buffalo answered back with a seven-point streak to extend their lead to 23-16 at halftime.

"We get into spurts about every quarter, just enough to get back in the game." said Wildcat Head Coach Kendall Todd.

Onalaska's best performance came in the third period as Leahy, Cari Wiggins and Kailand Hodge each made it to the free throw line, connecting on all of their six total baskets. Despite cutting the lead to three points, the Ladycats suffered three costly turnovers in the last minute of the period and were not able to recover.

Buffalo extended to a comfortable lead in the final minutes of the game. Onalaska's offense slowed down and was kept to just five points in the fourth period.

"The pressure they applied to us was something we hadn't seen in a while," Todd said.

"It's hard for us to beat people like that when we give up steals and layups."

The Ladycats look to bounce back and will play again this Friday at home against the Elkhart Lady Elks.

A tale of two halves

Deion Rains led the Livingston defense in pressuring the ball Tuesday night. The Lions held Rudder to 37 points in three quarters. (Staff photo by Brian Besch)Deion Rains led the Livingston defense in pressuring the ball Tuesday night. The Lions held Rudder to 37 points in three quarters. (Staff photo by Brian Besch)

by Brian Besch, Enterprise Staff

The Livingston Lions opened their home portion of District 18-5A action Tuesday falling to the Rudder Rangers, 66-54.

The Lions took a 10-9 lead at 2:06 in the first and held on to the margin until a buzzerbeating field goal gave the Rangers a 13-12 advantage into the second quarter.

It took one minute for the home team to regain the lead by one. A Rudder technical foul 30 seconds later gave Jay Cooper two easy free throws. Still holding possession, junior JerMichael Harrell hit a jumper to extend the margin to 18-13.

"JerMichael is great around the basket," Livingston Coach Brian Coffman said. "With his attitude and what he has is infectious. If he's up, we are all up. Sometimes his heart starts beating a hundred miles per hour and it goes out of control. He is excitable and once he gets it going, he's going to be a phenomenal player. I need him to drive in and follow his shots. Jake Cooper has been shooting a lot more and driving in. He knows what we need from him and he can nail down those threes. He just didn't put them up. Dillon Welsh started to pick it up a little bit more. Cameron Merchant is still giving me good time. When these bench players come in, we're not losing anything. You want to continue the momentum and those guys coming off, they're giving us all they have."

A solid half of basketball put the Lions out in front 27-19 when the half's buzzer sounded. If Livingston fans went home at this point, it was with a smile.

"I thought the first half compared to what we did with Satch (an eight-point victory in the holiday tournament)," Coffman said. "We were playing with a chip on our shoulder like we had a lot to prove to people, which we still do."

A Rudder team with a different demeanor showed increased hustle, getting defensive stops and hitting open shots. A game tied at 35 became a five-point advantage in 20 seconds. Ronzarian Taylor finished the scoring with an old-fashioned three-point play. The Rangers added pressure on defense and the Lions struggled.

The Ranger press forced turnovers, bad decisions and bad shots.

Rudder took the game's momentum to end the quarter, 48- 39. They put 10 more points on the board in the third than they had in the first half.

"When you give up 29 in the third quarter, you're not going to win. We came out in the third quarter relaxed, thinking we've got this made. Then, we gave up 29 points in the third quarter. You do that, you are never going to win a game giving up almost 30. After the third quarter, I told them we have to have that chip back. We have to play with some aggression and some attitude, and prove a point."

A 15-2 Ranger run in the game's final frame did not improve the Livingston hope.

What was a good half of play for the Lions, was reversed in the third and fourth. In a little over 13 minutes of game time, Rudder commanded the contest 44-14.

"Last year being so down — this year, people look at us like they are going to walk on top of us. Right now, we have to prove to everybody that we're not going to be that team that you're going to walk on. I think three quarters out of it, we're doing a good job. We just need to put four quarters together. I think our head wasn't in the game when they went to a full court trap on us. Our offensive press break, we take our time and we're real methodical about it. They just panicked a little bit. With them putting bodies right in our face, which they hadn't done the whole game, took a lot of my kids back by surprise. You could see that up-tempo mentality that we had the first half kind of slipped away. We got it back in the fourth quarter, but we have to put it all together."

Third quarter effort allows Boys Harbor to sail past Hornets

BY LINDA JACOBS

Enterprise staff
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GOODRICH—Hunter McCaig and Keith Evanswalley combined for 39 points to guide the Boys Harbor Rams over the Goodrich Hornets 56-41 in a non-district contest Tuesday night at Hornet Gym.

Jamarcus Fisher (21) jumps high to grab a rebound for Goodrich during action against Boys Harbor Tuesday night. Fisher scored 19 in a 56-41 loss to the Rams.  (Staff photo by Linda Jacobs)Jamarcus Fisher (21) jumps high to grab a rebound for Goodrich during action against Boys Harbor Tuesday night. Fisher scored 19 in a 56-41 loss to the Rams. (Staff photo by Linda Jacobs)The young Hornet team of head coach Lester King is comprised of seven freshman and one junior. They are a work in progress and show a lot of desire and strong potential.

After a decent start in the first half and down by just eight at the break, the Hornets let the game slip away in the third when the Rams outscored the home team 16-9 to stretch their lead to 15 going into the final frame.
Coach King is expecting a lot better defense from his team as they head into district play, which begins Friday, Jan. 16 at Chester. "With young kids you've got to stress defense. We're going to have a lot of practice where it's just defense, defense and defense," said King. "They're going to dream about defense, because we're going to play some.

"If you can play defense, steal the ball, you're going to make a layup or get fouled and make a free throw. That's what they were doing to us, scoring a bunch of layups. We've got to get to the rim and learn to protect the rim," said King.

"We've also got to learn to block out and rebound, Young kids want to out jump everybody.
"The free throw line didn't help us tonight either, we missed 10 (9-of-19) and they made 10-of-13, but with young kids you've got to learn to block out and rebound."

Despite their youthfulness, Coach King is expecting this group to compete for one of three playoff spots that will be up for grabs. Teams competing in the district race, along with Goodrich, are High Island, Chester, Leggett, Burkeville and Spurger.

"I expect us to be there," said King. "We want to try to get into the rat race."
Junior High Hornets

Coach King's junior high Hornets had little trouble disposing of Boys Harbor in the first game of the evening. The 7-0 Hornets ran off with a 50-22 win over the Rams.

The Hornets were led by Ryan Harrell with 22 points, followed by Javoris Garrett and Tyrese Harrell with nine points apiece and Isaih Garzon with seven points.

"The junior high is a real hard working group," said coach King. "We have four boys coming out of 8th grade that can help us next year, but right now I'm not looking at next year, we're looking at district which starts with our next ballgame."

First half
Hunter McCaig scored the first of four first quarter hoops to get the Rams off to a 2-0 lead with 7:28 on the clock. McCaig would lead the Rams with 25 points and teammate Keith Evanswalley would tally 14 in the win.
Goodrich tied the game 2-2 on an assist from Zyan Henderson to Davante Hughes at the 5:37 mark. Hughes would finish the game with nine points.

The Hornets tied the game twice more in the first frame, at 5-all with 3:01 on the clock and later 9-9 with 1:21 left. Jamarcus Fisher led the Hornets in the opening quarter, scoring five of his game high 19 points.
The Rams went to the free throw line with six ticks left in the quarter and hit the first one. McCaig rebounded the second missed freebie and scored as the buzzer sounded to give the Rams a 12-9 lead.

The Hornets kept the game at three points twice in the second quarter. Fisher scored inside with 6:24 on the clock for a 14-11 deficit. Goodrich cut a seven point deficit to three again (18-15) at the 2:55 mark, courtesy of two Fisher free throws and a Fisher basket on an assist from Henderson.

The Rams went on an 8-3 run in the final two minutes to close out the first half with a 26-18 advantage.
A sluggish start by Goodrich allowed the Rams to jump out on an 8-0 run to quickly stretch their lead to 16 points in the first two minutes of the third quarter, 34-18. They finished the 8-minute frame with a 16-9 advantage to extend their lead to 15 points entering the final frame, 42-27.

Fisher was limited to four points in the third. Teammate Jordan Landers tallied three points and Henderson added two points for the Hornets.

The Rams opened the fourth with a fast break layup to lead by 17 points, which would be their largest lead of the quarter. The Hornets would slice the deficit to 11 points at the 2:51 mark following a 6-0 run. Davante Hughes got a steal and layup for the Hornets and Fisher scored inside plus tossed in two foul shots for a 48-37 margin with just under three minutes to play.

Hughes would lead the Hornets with six points in the fourth, followed by four points each from Fisher and Landers.

The Rams outscored the Hornets 8-4 in the final 2:37

Black student-athlete conference to feature ex-Longhorns

AUSTIN, Texas — The Division of Diversity and Community Engagement and two of its units will host the Black Student-Athlete Conference at The University of Texas at Austin on Jan. 7-9.

The three-day conference will cultivate important dialogue around the athletic and academic experiences of black student-athletes at institutions of higher learning. Discussion topics will range from the early days of integration to the current platform athletics have become for underserved students.

UT's African American Male Research Initiative and the Longhorn Campaign for Men of Color will also be hosting the event

"By bringing together students, professionals, scholars and athletes, we hope that innovative new solutions can be found to positively address the issues that black student-athletes face," said Gregory J. Vincent, UT Austin vice president for diversity and community engagement.
Vincent said the conference will also serve to launch UT Austin's Longhorn Campaign for Men of Color, through which the university is convening local, state and national community partners to support the development of young men of color.

Conference highlights include: discussions of black student-athletes at predominantly white institutions; the experience of students at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs); mental health of black athletes; the experiences of black female student-athletes, and academic excellence; a panel discussion about the history of integration at UT Austin with the school's first black All-American, Roosevelt Leaks and retired women's basketball coach Jody Conradt; a Q and A with former UT running back and Heisman Trophy winner Ricky Williams; a session with student-athlete academic support directors from across the nation.

The conference will open at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 7, with a special evening session and reception that is free and open to the public. It will include a keynote from Daron Roberts, director of UT's new Center for Sports Leadership and Innovation who is a former UT Austin student body president and assistant coach in the NFL, and the panel discussion featuring Conradt and Leaks.

Conference sponsors include The Texas Program in Sports and Media of UT's Moody College of Communication, the Longhorn Campaign for Men of Color, the Bell National Resource Center on the African American Male of The Ohio State University, and Wisconsin's Equity and Inclusion Laboratory (Wei LAB).

For more information or to register for the conference, please visit http://ddce.utexas.edu/blackstudentathleteconference/.

Lady Hornets trap Hull-Daisetta in road test

Denedra Taylor gets out front on a fast break against Hull-Daisetta. Taylor had nine points total, including two three-pointers in the first quarter.   (Staff photo by Brian Besch).Denedra Taylor gets out front on a fast break against Hull-Daisetta. Taylor had nine points total, including two three-pointers in the first quarter. (Staff photo by Brian Besch).

BY BRIAN BESCH, Enterprise staff
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A successful trip to Liberty County saw the Goodrich Lady Hornets further preparation for district play with a 49-29 victory over the Hull-Daisetta Lady Cats Friday night.

Hull-Daisetta and Goodrich traded buckets for much of the first quarter, which ended with an 11-8 count in the road team's favor. Denedra Taylor hit two shots from three-point range to pace Goodrich early on.

Jamariyaa Harrell entered off the bench and immediately improved the Goodrich rebounding. Her defensive presence caused the Lady Cats to take outside shots. Harrell's long wingspan and height advantage allowed the Lady Hornets to continue driving the lane and drawing fouls, while Hull-Daisetta kept out of the paint. The young post player also contributed four points in the quarter.

"She is one of my freshmen and I try to tell her, 'you take up space by being out there," Goodrich Coach Ursula Hill said. "They have to guard you, because if you're wide open, we'll give it to you. In the paint, you have to utilize that body, because we need it.'"

A 15-5 stretch was the result of improved play in all facets of the game.

The third quarter brought much of the same as the second, with half-court traps and the Lady Hornets taking advantage of Hull-Daisetta's lack of ball control.

Kristian James did her best work offensively in the game's middle two quarters, scoring nine in each.

"When we went in at halftime, I said, 'just give me a good half of defense, get some stops on the press and it'll get us some easy buckets.' That's exactly what I feel like they did in the second half. They definitely put a lot of pressure on them. I said, 'get after them; they don't want it. If you're in your area and you cover your spots, you'll get a stop and we're on the other way to score."

James led all scores with 27, while Taylor had nine. Two freshmen, Harrell and Jada Henderson, each added six.

Hill is pleased with the progress her young squad is making, but is preparing to wipe the slate clean when the calendar turns over. The coach also has a specific area that she wants improvement.

"Rebounding, but we are going to get better on it. We were getting ready for January tonight. Jan. 9, we're 0-0 and I try to put that in their head. All these other games are just practice. It's then that we've got to get to business. Ready or not, we've got to put on our suit and get ready. We open up district at Leggett on Jan. 9."

Goodrich contest decided in final ticks

A mishandled half-court pass that landed out of bounds ended the Goodrich  hopes Friday night. They will next be in action Dec. 29-31 at the Woodville tournament. (Staff photo by Brian Besch).A mishandled half-court pass that landed out of bounds ended the Goodrich hopes Friday night. They will next be in action Dec. 29-31 at the Woodville tournament. (Staff photo by Brian Besch).

BY BRIAN BESCH, Enterprise staff
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Misfortune struck at the most crucial of moments in the Hornets' 55-53 loss at Hull-Daisetta Friday.
With the game tied in the final seconds, Goodrich threw an errant pass that ended in the hands of a Bobcat defender. A few moments later, Hull-Daisetta drove to the bucket, crashed the boards, and scored with just one second remaining.

After a timeout, Goodrich tossed a lob pass to just over half court, where it was bobbled and time had run out.

"The kids played hard, we just had a few key turnovers," Goodrich Coach Lester King said. "Down there on the last play, we didn't get that key rebound. We should have gotten it and we would have been fine. On the interception, we just panicked and tried to dribble. If we would have just held it, we would have probably been fouled. But, you're talking about young kids."

Hull-Daisetta came out shooting well in the game's opening quarter. Shedric Deblanc, who would lead the Bobcats, opened with eight in the first period.

Goodrich controlled the scoring in the second and third periods, holding Hull-Daisetta to just nine and eight points, respectively.

Javarius Nickelberry led his squad with eight points in the second quarter, which was the best stint for Goodrich on the night. A 16-9 quarter made for a 29-24 Hornet lead at the half.

"They are listening better and we are getting there. They are seeing things whenever you tell them instead of saying, 'I'm going to do it on my own.' They're saying, 'coach is right and I should have done it this way. When I do it this way, it works out fine.' But, the kids played a good game and we had little lead at one time of about six or eight points. We were playing hard and they kept coming back. Then, one of my guards fouled out, but we're getting ready for district."

Jamarcus Fisher, who led the Hornets in the scorebook, poured in 12 of his team's 13 points in the final frame. However, the performance would be overshadowed by Hull-Daisetta, which saved their best for last. The 23-point output, led by Deblanc's 11, would be just enough for a Bobcat victory.

Deblanc finished with 24, ending two shy of game-high. That would go to freshman Hornet Fisher, who poured in 26. Nickelberry contributed 13, aided by his big second quarter performance.

King said for his group of mostly freshmen to achieve what is possible this season, the intensity in practice and on game nights would only increase.

"The practices are getting harder, because if they don't get harder, we're going to get out there and just run baseline to baseline. Everything is picking up and as close as we're getting to district, this is what we always do. We're going to turn the intensity up and work a little harder in practice. If you are not working hard or don't want work a drill hard and at full speed, then we'll get on the baseline and run horses at full speed. They get it. It takes a while, but they get it. Not working in the summer got us kind of behind, but we're catching up."