The Lady Wildcats were tested by the Sterling Rangers on Friday and they passed with flying colors, coming from five points down in the fourth quarter to win a well played and exciting game, 45 – 44. Humble looked to bounce back from a tough defeat at the hands of Port Arthur last Tuesday, in what was only their third district loss on the season.
“Defense was the key to our win tonight,” said head coach Blair Redmon, who has seen the difference in her team over the past months. “I’m so happy with the way we stepped up at the end of the game tonight and how we did it as a team. When the season began, I don’t think we would have kept our composure like we did tonight. We’ve matured.”
From the opening tip both teams applied full court pressure and the Wildcats handled it well, going up 6 – 5 early. Freshman Darnetta Jackson was all over the court in most of the first quarter, creating havoc on the boards. Her put-back score after a rebound with just over two minutes left in the first had Humble up 13 – 9.
Humble went into the second period ahead 15 – 12, when LaQuetta Moore nailed a jumper with just 51 seconds left in the first and the Wildcats kept the pressure on the Lady Rangers throughout the entire first half. Jessica Hines was a catalyst for Humble early in the second, first by feeding Jakeita Baxter for a score early and then scoring on two consecutive possessions that allowed Humble to keep a 21 – 19 advantage with 3:21 left in the second. Jackson sank a beautiful hook shot at the end of the first half and Humble went in at halftime with a one point lead.
The Lady Rangers came out strong from the start of the third and momentum swung their way, taking a 31 – 27 lead in the first two minutes of the second half. Coach Redmon called a time out to regroup her squad with 5:35 left and Hines came out of the break firing away scoring twice in 13 seconds.
But as Sterling had done at the start of the third, they came out on fire from the beginning of the fourth quarter, too. The Rangers took a quick five point lead early, but once again Humble fought back and to stay within striking distance thanks to scores by Hines, Jackson and key baskets by Katrice Price.
With the game tied at 42 – 42, Price drove to the hoop for a score and a foul with 1:40 left in the game, sinking the free throw to give Humble a three point lead. The Rangers hit two free throws with 1:01 left to get to within one, but two critical steals in the final minute by Hines and White sealed the Lady Wildcats one point victory and their eighth 21-5A win on the season.
“We have to take it game by game the rest of the season,” said coach Redmon, who has her Cats playing their best ball of the year currently. “I think that we have the toughest schedule than anyone else in our district from here on out and we are going to have to step up and play big. If we keep playing as a team, as we have been doing lately, the sky is the limit for us.” Humble will take on rival Atascocita on Friday at 7 p.m.
Let it be known that the boys of the Atascocita High School basketball team love the spotlight. The AHS Eagles took on the Kingwood Mustangs at Kingwood High Friday night in a locally televised game. It is safe to say the Eagles were tuned in and at the final buzzer Atascocita claimed victory by the score of 52-49.
Many young stars emerged in this game including seniors Mick Hoffman and T.J. Shaw. Hoffman brought the house down with lights out shooting from the outside, and Shaw forced himself through the Kingwood defense all over the court.
After the game, Hoffman could hardly contain his emotion.
“We are going crazy right now and absolutely loving it – especially winning over Kingwood – it feels great,” an exhausted Hoffman said before heading to the locker room.
The game began optimistically for the Eagles. They held the Mustangs to only five points in the first quarter, and a driving lay-up by senior power forward Austin Nickell set the tone for a historic night. By the end of the first the visiting Eagle fans were already flying high as their team led 12-5.
However, a former district champion does not go down too easy. The Mustangs fought back in the second quarter. For a while the Eagles’ shooting went cold and Kingwood took advantage. With just over a minute left in the half Kingwood tied the score at 20. After exchanging a pair of baskets they looked to play for the last shot and head into half time with the lead. Atascocita had other plans. With eight seconds remaining the Eagles stole the ball, ran down the court, and threw down an easy basket to head into the locker room with a two-point edge and momentum.
“Tonight we really came together. We had good team chemistry and we didn’t fall apart,” Hoffman stated.
The Eagles broke away in the third quarter. After Kingwood kicked off the scoring with a spectacular lay-up, the Eagle firecrackers started flying. Atascocita decided to have a 3-point shooting contest with senior Shawn Toran, Hoffman and Shaw all hitting bombs from beyond the arc. The night belonged to Atascocita and they would not give it up.
Toran and Hoffman led the way in the final quarter as the Mustangs tightened the score. The Eagles tried to eat up time on the clock as Kingwood climbed back to within three by the final minute. Kingwood played their way into the final possession. The whole game came down to one final three-point attempt, but the Atascocita defense was too much. The shot missed and the visiting crowd went wild. When it was all said and done, Atascocita could have just witnessed the biggest basketball victory in their young history.
“Our last two games have been very strong. Our future is looking great and we’re feeling good,” Hoffman said.
After this huge win over a major district rival like Kingwood, it would be hard for any Eagle fan to disagree.
Freshman Everett Pleasant hits a jumper in the biggest win of their young history, out-dueling Kingwood, 52-49. Photo by Ken Cobbley
The Humble Wildcats racked up their sixth straight district win by whipping
Baytown Lee 43 – 34 to remain at the distrtop in 21-5A. Even though the Ganders were winless in district, it was far from a cakewalk for Humble. In the fourth quarter the Ganders crawled to within three of the Humble lead in the final four minutes, but clutch ‘Cat free throws down the stretch and terrific defense allowed the Wildcats to pull out the important victory.
“We showed a lot of character again tonight,” said Humble head coach David
Martinez, who has seen his team grow by leaps and bounds so far this season.
“We have learned how to finish games and that has come from experience
and sticking to our game plan.” The Wildcats pounced on Lee after the opening tip-off thanks to the play of Dwayne Rogers, who sank a couple of free throws and stole a Gander inbound
pass for another score to put Humble up 8–1 early. Lee quickly nailed a 3-pointer to inch closer, but scores by Rogers, Vincent Cavalier and Darius Tubbs gave Humble a 11–4 advantage at the end of the first quarter. Humble’s center Terry Hines made his presence felt early in the second
quarter with a beautiful assist to Rogers for a score and then a 3-pointer at the 4:47 mark of to give the Wildcats a comfortable 16 – 4 lead. The Ganders went on a 7 – 0 run to finish the second and closed the gap to 18 – 11.
Although Baytown tried to play more of a physical game in the third quarter, Humble was not phased and stuck to what had earned them key wins all season.
A Carlos Naylor 3-pointer went down with just under six minutes to go and gave the Wildcats a 24 – 11 lead. Hines added to the Humble lead with free throws and a hoop after a terrific spin move inside for another score, but the scrappy Lee team fought back.
Three straight steals by the Ganders led to easy scores tightening the game up in the final minutes of the third as they pulled within five with less than two minutes left.
After a time-out to regroup, Cavalier drove to the basket and was fouled with just one second left. Cavalier missed the second free throw, but John Walker snatched the rebound and hit the putback shot to give Humble a 31 – 23 lead going into the final period.
A sense of urgency dictated the fourth and scores by Hines and Rogers
put Humble up by 12. Two consecutive Lee 3-point baskets quickly cut the lead down to three points with 4:26 left.
Hines came up big once more for the Wildcats, when he blocked a Gander shot on the defensive end of the court and then fed Walker on the other end, to give the ‘Cats a 38 – 32 with 2:50 left in the contest. Rogers and Cavalier nailed big free throws in the final minutes of the game to earn the Wildcats another district win and keep them atop 21-5A.
Two tough games await against Port Arthur and Sterling, before their final district game of the season against Kingwood, which should be one of the most exciting match-ups seen in years of this longstanding rivalry.
Dwayne Rogers (No. 4) glides to the hoop against Lee in the Wildcats' sixth straight 21-5A win to remain undefeated is district play. Photo by Terry Teros
For the last number of years the Kingwood Mustangs boys basketball team has been the power house of district 21-5A. Despite their recent losses to Baytown Sterling and Humble, head coach Royce Huseman declared the Mustangs the team to beat.
Unfortunately for Kingwood fans, the Atascocita Eagles found a way to do just that.
Before a packed house at the Kingwood High gym, the Mustangs could not get past the Eagle defense often enough to bring home their fifth District win this season. Instead the loss took Kingwood to 4-3 in district play this season (17-8 overall).
Things began rough for the Mustangs as the Eagles’ defense limited them to only five points in the first quarter. Many open shots were attempted from the outside, but could not find the bottom of the net.
By the second quarter Kingwood appeared ready to take control. The home crowd had a quiet confidence that despite the deficit their team was in control. The Mustangs began the quarter with that confidence and a stalwart defense. They held the Eagles in check and ran off an 11-2 run that brought them back to a 16- 14. Unfortunately, that would be their only lead of the night.
Atascocita could not miss from anywhere on the floor, even hitting an unlikely layup at the buzzer, retaking the lead.
The third quarter saw strong play from Jordan McGowen, who led the Mustangs with 15 points. Rob Singletary had a strong presence under the goal drawing a foul and Kingwood tied the game at 30-30 with 4:30 left in the quarter. Atascocita quickly took the momentum away landing big shots and keeping the Kingwood offense on the ropes. At the end of the third the Eagles
had the lead 41-34.
Amir Eskafyan opened the fourth with a huge 3-pointer, but Atascocita responded immediately with a three of their own. Hot shooting by Tevin
Svihovec helped bring the Mustangs back to within one at 44-43 with six minutes remaining in the game. However, the game belonged to the Eagles. Kingwood could not close within four points until Svihovec hit a huge jump shot with 15 seconds remaining. The boys fouled Atacocita to help them set up the final shot of the game. The Eagles hit one of two free throws and Kingwood had one final shot to tie. Hunter Martin’s shot of the night
hit off the rim and the Eagles faithful celebrated.
The Mustangs next hit the road against Baytown Sterling and return home on
Jan. 25 against Baytown Lee.
After the Lady Panthers shut down Liberty in their match-up, the boys took the court with the idea of duplicating the same success. They didn’t disappoint after jumping out to an early lead and riding their defense to a 59-39 win.
Kingwood Park’s tenacious defense and interior scoring punished Liberty. The visiting Panthers did not help their cause by scoring more points from the free throw line then from the field.
“Our defense in our strength,” Kingwood Park head coach Dominic Amorosa said.
The highlights were plentiful from the home team Panthers starting when Tyler Nichols raced toward the basket on a fast break, took the baseline past two defenders and went up-and-under for two of his game-high 16 points. Nichols led the way to Kingwood Park’s 18-7 first quarter lead.
“Tyler is a real play-maker and can create for the whole team,” Amorosa said praising his guard.
Jordan Quillan built on his two first quarter points by scoring the first three points in the second, extending the lead to 21-7. The Panther defense denied any access to the basket and forced turnovers on what seemed like every possession.
Kingwood Park had their fair share of turnovers, as well, in the second allowing Liberty to climb back to within 11 points as the half closed out, 29-18.
Liberty opened the third quarter as it played most of the game, by turning over the ball. Jake Powell picked up the loose ball and passed it on to Kolby Chandler for an easy bucket and two of his five points. Powell ruled the paint for the Panthers grabbing multiple rebounds and scoring 11 points of his own. Kingwood Park’s motion offense began to take its toll, wearing out visiting Liberty as the Panthers pulled away 41-24 by the end of the third quarter.
“We work our offense inside-out. We are not a good outside shooting team, so we have to work really hard to find the open shot,” informed Amorosa. “Every pass we make gets guys in the right position to help our team.”
With a victory practically in hand, play slowed down to a crawl in the fourth quarter with multiple turnovers and multiple fouls, including a technical on Liberty’s head coach for arguing calls.
Despite his pleas to the referees, Liberty continued to make things worse for themselves as they were unable to make good on any of the few open looks they had at the basket.
Quillan benefited from the transition offense those missed baskets created by adding four more points to his game total of 11 late in the fourth quarter as Kingwood Park closed out the game on a 10-4 run and a 20 point victory.
Panther guard Tyler Nichols works over Liberty’s defense scoring two of his game-high 16 points as Kolby Chandler awaits a possible rebound. Photo by Ken Cobbley
Kingwood Lady Mustang stand-out Brittney Wood has signed on to further her volleyball career on a scholarship at San Jacinto Junior College. Wood tried out for several area colleges, but chose the Ravens for their coaching staff, facilities and immediate need for a player at her position. Wood, a transplant from Hurricane Katrina found her new place on the courts of Kingwood High School helping them to playoffs in consecutive years. Pictured with Brittney are her father, Barry Wood, mother Carol Wood and Raven coach Sharon Nelson (standing). Photo by Wesley Orton-- for more on the signing, check out www.ourtribune.com.