HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL / UIL PLAYOFFS

Cardinals one win away from regionals

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Throughout the history of its basketball program, Sabine High School has had a few glorious moments.

Are we building to another?

The Sabine Cardinals, who have played strong for most of the season (including an early-season tournament against mostly state-ranked teams), are moving on to round three of the University Interscholastic League’s Class 3A playoffs.

The Cardinals, coached by Colby Carr, were to face 12th-ranked Mount Vernon on Tuesday night at Lindale High School, a regional quarterfinal contest, a game to be played after the deadline for this issue of the News Herald. The winner moves on to the 3A Region II tournament at Rockwall Heath, to face either Commerce or Kemp on Friday.

See kilgorenewsherald.com now to find out how Sabine did against Mount Vernon.

On the top end of the regional bracket are Edgewood, Chapel Hill, Van Alstyne and Troup. A Sabine-Troup rematch at Rockwall Heath this weekend is a possibility, if both can get to Heath.

In a second-round game over the weekend, Sabine edged Daingerfield, 57-54, on Friday night in Gladewater.

Eylan Goodwin had a massive showing, netting 29 points and had nine rebounds. Will Shawn had eight points and also had eight rebounds, two assists and two blocked shots.

Tray Oliver had seven points and five rebounds; Nate Willis had seven points and four rebounds; T Taylor scored six, and had two rebounds, and also took two charges; his brother Scottie Taylor played solid defense, as did Jackson Lutz, Glenn George, and Braden Ford.

Daingerfield elected to try and guard Goodwyn one-on-one. Mistake. Goodwyn scored with five seconds left on a drive to the basket. He was fould and hit the free throw, which ultimately gave Sabine the win.

Shawn had a big play late, a blocked shot that allowed Sabine to keep the game tied before Goodwyn’s heroics.

Sabine fans have long loved their basketball – they have a couple of state titles from the early 1980s that are cherished seasons. Late coach Carl Allen led the Redbirds to back-to-back state titles at the 1A and 2A levels in 1979-80 and 1980-81, respectively. In that 1980 tournament, Sabine beat Archer City in the state semifinals, then knocked off Bartlett, 69-68, in the state championship game.

A year later, the Cardinals had a rematch with Bartlett, this time in the state semifinals, and won that, too, 65-51. In the championship game, Sabine routed Shallowater, 62-43.

The Cardinals also went to the state tournament in 1982-83’s season and in the 1985-86 season. In ’83, Sabine lost in the semis – to Bartlett – and in the ’86 tournament, the Cardinals lost to Dripping Springs, 55-48.

Sabine also had a state tourney appearance way back in 1943 in Class 1A. The opponent: none other than Mount Vernon. Sabine lost that game, 28-17.

But there have been regional tournament teams and other beloved teams along the way, too.

Already this is Sabine’s deepest playoff trip since the Cardinals were in Class 2A’s playoffs back in the 2008-09 season. Sabine, led by coach Tim Davis and players like Lie’quan Byrd, Jacob Kenna and Colton Kirk, won their district championship and had a first-round bye that year, then beat Frankston, 52-36.

The Cardinals knocked off Hearne, 66-53, and then beat Newton, 67-57, at Tyler Junior College’s Wagstaff Gymnasium in the first game of the regional tournament.

In the regional finals, though, Sabine slipped, losing a 27-26 contest to number one-ranked New Waverly – New Waverly infamously stood there holding the ball throughout the third quarter, running the clock off to slow Sabine down.

The Cardinals finished 31-8 that season.

New Waverly advanced to the state tournament and lost to Ponder in the finals.

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