Youth is holding the Kilgore High School boys basketball team down a bit, but head coach Jeff Coleman has seen this before.
And Sabine’s Lady Cardinals? While everyone else is Christmas shopping, they’re winning district games.
Kilgore: The Bulldogs were in a 29-year playoff deficit when Coleman arrived in Kilgore the first time, back in 2011. He not only guided them out of the playoff doldrums and back to the postseason – the Bulldogs were in the regional tournament in spring 2014.
Coleman left for a while, coaching at Tyler Lee and at Gladewater, before returning to KHS originally as girls coach, and then sliding back into his comfortable position a year ago. He left the girls in the very capable hands of Trushundra McGill, and Coleman is back in charge and holding court on the bench. He coached hard, as the Bulldogs played hard, but came up short to Jacksonville Tuesday night, 50-42.
Jake Thompson led the Bulldogs with 13 points; Thomas Hattaway scored seven and Rowdy Rieke and Bryson Parker each had six. C.J. Ingram chipped in five points, and Jaylon Guice had four.
The Bulldogs were to play at home Friday against Mount Pleasant, a game that was played after the print deadline for this issue of the News Herald, and then they’re off then until competing in the Paris Holiday Tournament, beginning the day after Christmas.
District 16-4A play starts Jan. 3 at home against Gilmer.
McGill’s Lady Bulldogs have been off this week, but had a big one Friday night: at Henderson to start the district schedule.
Sabine: Blaire Kaufman and Mikinzi Cantrell each had 18 points as the Lady Cardinals held off Harmony on Tuesday, 61-59.
Sabine (8-4 overall) got a big win in the district opener for both teams. Harmony battled, and fell just short even after outscoring Sabine 22-10 in the second quarter.
Mallory Furrh added 10 points for coach Sara Cantrell’s team. Aubree McCann had five; Halyn McKenzie had four; Mercedes Willett had three; and Maddie Furrh had two.
The Lady Cards were to continue the district schedule Friday at West Rusk.
Sabine’s Cardinals, coached by Colby Carr, were scheduled to play at Edgewood on Friday, and then are off until Dec. 26, when they’ll play in a tournament in Tenaha. Sabine’s girls are in the girls tournament in Tenaha next weekend, as well.
Overton: Things didn’t go as well Tuesday for the Overton High School Lady Mustangs, who dropped their District 16-2A opener to visiting Beckville, 38-20.
The Lady Bearcats’ defense held Overton to no points in the opening period, and to just one point in the final frame.
Overton was also cold at the free throw line, hitting only 8-of-19 shots. Haley McMillan was Overton’s leading scorer, with 11 points. That’s the same number that Beckville’s Haley Straubie and Miranda Mize each got, 11.
Beckville’s JV also won, 26-24.
Overton was scheduled to visit Union Grove Friday for another 16-2A contest. After that, the Lady Mustangs are off until Dec. 27, when they’ll host the Longview Heat.