District 12-3A Superlatives, All-District honors announced

The Edgewood Bulldogs were the last Van Zandt County team standing in this year’s UIL Basketball playoffs, following up its District 12-3A campaign with bi-district and Area round crowns before falling in the Regional Quarterfinals.

With all District 12-3A teams now done for the season, coaches released their list of Superlative and All-District honorees.

Edgewood and rival Grand Saline each took home multiple honors through the voting process, with the Bulldogs claiming two Superlative and numerous All-District recognitions and the Indians placing players on both the All-District First and Second Teams.

Superlative honors included:

-District MVP: Trey Erwin, Edgewood

-Co-Offensive Player of the Year: Kane Johnson, Kemp; Josh Laney, Scurry-Rosser

-Defensive Player of the Year: Kourtland Sinches, Mineola

-Newcomer of the Year: Sean Dennis, Mineola

-Freshman of the Year: Jace Reid, Quitman


Lady Mustangs advance to State Final with 58-50 win

(Photo by Christine Davis) The Martins Mill Lady Mustangs team will take on Panhandle in the UIL 2A State Championship game beginning at 1:30 p.m. March 4. A win would give the Lady Mustangs program their fifth state title overall, joining championships won in 2006, 2008, 2013 and 2015.

It was a clash of titans in San Antonio Friday morning as the Martins Mill Lady Mustangs, State Champions in 2015, hit the court for a game against the defending champion Weimar Lady Cats at the Alamodome in the Class 2A Semifinal.

Martins Mill struggled to find the range in the spacious Alamadome throughout the game in hitting just 15/54 shots from the field. Free throws, clutch shooting late and a dominant defensive stretch in the fourth quarter proved to be a great equalizer for the Lady Mustangs as Martins Mill rallied from a 10-point fourth quarter deficit to score a 58-50 win over the Lady Cats.  

Neither team could get much going offensively in the first quarter as the two teams combined to go just 10/32 from the field. A 5-0 run by Martins Mill late in the frame would give the Lady Mustangs a 14-8 lead before a short jumper by Emma Holland cut the lead down to 14-10 after eight minutes of play.


Lady Mustangs punch return trip to State Tournament

Photo by Christine Davis The Martins Mill Lady Mustangs covered familiar ground March 1, making a return trip to San Antonio for the UIL State Basketball Playoffs. Under the direction of head coach Tommy Cross and assistant coach Missy Camacho, team members and support staff making the trip included Briley Moon, Leah Morgan, Sarah Dillard, Eve Morrow, Jocie Bennett, Abbie Orrick, Landrey Rodgers, Rachel Alvis, Hadley Perkins, Calli Camacho, Hailey Celsur, Taylor Sparks, Kenzie Cross, Mollie Daniel, Jada Celsur, Paige Gaines, Kylee Cross and Lydia Burns.

The Martins Mill program entered the Regional Tournament last week having already reached the UIL State Tournament in 1987, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016.

The Martins Mill Lady Mustangs added yet another chapter to what has been a staggering run of consistency and excellence over the past 12 years, booking another trip to the UIL Basketball State Tournament by breezing past a pair of state-ranked teams in the Regional Semifinals and Finals last weekend.

The last two steps to add 2017 as a State Tournament year were crossed Feb. 24-25 with the Lady Mustangs knocking off Windthorst and Era in consecutive games.

Windthorst provided little resistance to the Lady Mustangs, falling behind early and never gaining ground in a 68-36 Martins Mill win. The Lady Mustangs dominated first quarter play, jumping all over the 7th ranked Lady Trojans to take an 18-8 lead.


Mustangs hang on for 7-5 win

Martins Mill looked to be well on their way to a runaway win on Tuesday night, building up a 6-0 lead over North Hopkins on the road.

The final two innings proved to be a rollercoaster ride with the Mustangs surrendering five runs late but still hanging on in what would eventually become a 7-5 win.

The Mustangs got on the scoreboard quickly in the top of the first inning, capitalizing on an error, a walk and a 2 RBI double by Marshall Davis for a 2-0 lead.

Martins Mill added a run to their lead in the top of the third on an RBI ground out by Dakota Lanning, and three more runs in the top of the fifth on an error, and two RBI single by Zant Perkins.

North Hopkins cut their deficit in half in the bottom of the sixth inning, scoring three runs to pull to within 6-3.

The Mustangs countered the North Hopkins with an insurance run in their portion of the seventh inning, scoring on an RBI groundout by Zant Perkins.


Lady Indians sweep through Brownsboro Tournament

Photo by David Kapitan Grand Saline climbed to 5th overall among all 2A softball teams in the state according to the most recent Texas Girls Coaches Association State Poll.

The Grand Saline Lady Indians made a strong statement in their first tournament appearance of the young season, sweeping their way through the Brownsboro Tournament to climb all the way to 5th in the most recent Texas Girls Coaches Association Weekly 2A State Poll.

Grand Saline finished the tournament with a perfect 5-0 record, allowing just eight runs over the three-day event.

Powered by Emma Elliott's three-inning no-hitter Feb. 16, the Lady Indians dominated Big Sandy 16-0 in their tournament opener.

Paytton Stanley helped to lead the way offensively for Grand Saline, going 2/3 at the plate with 4 RBI and two runs scored. Emma Elliott helped her own cause at the plate by going 1/3 with 2 RBI and three runs scored, Sarah Elliott finished 2/2 with 2 RBI and three runs scored, and Mallory O'Donnell finished 1/2 with 2 RBI and a run scored.


Edgewood, Martins Mill move to Area round

Photo by Christine Davis Karson Godwin outjumps a pair of Merit Bland Tigers during the Mustangs 59-51 bi-district round win Feb. 21 at McKinney North.

Van Zandt County basketball teams were well represented during the bi-district round of the playoffs on Tuesday night, with Edgewood, Fruitvale, Martins Mill, Van and Wills Point all in action. The District 12-3A champion Bulldogs and District 14-2A runner-up Mustangs each lived to play another day, knocking off Dallas Life and Merit Bland respectively.


The Edgewood Bulldogs basketball program kept pace with the accomplishments of its football program earlier in the school year, following up a district winning regular season with a bi-district title.

The Bulldogs took on Dallas Life Oak Cliff Feb. 21, capitalizing on a big offensive night from junior post Trey Erwin and a late surge in the fourth quarter to register a 54-46 win over the Lions. Dallas Life got the better of Edgewood in the first quarter, overcoming eight points from Erwin to take a 12-10 lead.


Lady Mustangs run on to Regional Semifinals

Photo by Christine Davis Junior Briley Moon escapes the Honey Grove Lady Warrior press attempt during playoff action at North McKinney High School.

Former district rivals Fruitvale and Martins Mill became the standard bearers for Van Zandt County basketball last week, adding bi-district championships to their respective resumes while advancing to the Area round of the playoffs. 

With both Area and the Regional Quarterfinals now in the rearview, only Martins Mill remains left among county girls teams with an opportunity to reach San Antonio for a potential shot at another state championship.


The Fruitvale Lady Cats entered the 2017 playoffs on a high-note, having secured a district championship and bi-district round bye. The Lady Cats were finally able to take the court Feb. 17, taking on a tough Bellevue team that had upended Tioga 51-33 in their playoff opener.

A lenghty playoff run was not to be for Fruitvale this season as the Lady Cats came up just short in an exciting back and forth contest, 48-41.


Bobcats set to begin playoff run

The Fruitvale Bobcats hit the court twice last week, wrapping up District 24-1A play with games against Avinger and Yantis. The Bobcats earned a split in those two contests, defeating the Indians 49-35 before falling to Yantis 54-37.

Against Avinger Feb. 10, Fruitvale started slow before surging late to pull out a 14-point victory.

The Bobcats were led by Jonathon Sheppard with 22 points, Gavin Sulc with 14 points, Preston Thompson with six and Payton Thompson with five.

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Eight among TSWA 4A All-State Team honorees

A good football season continued to get even better for the Wills Point Tiger and Van Vandal athletic programs, with the announcement of this year’s Collin Street Bakery/Texas Sports Writers Association Class 4A All-State Team.

Two Wills Point players were honored with three separate positions by the TSWA. Sloan Rodberg, already a double All-State honoree by the Texas Associated Press Sports Editors, pulled off the same trick once again according to the TSWA by being named a Second Team All-State linebacker and an Honorable Mention All-State tight end.

Tyriq Burnett, an All-State honoree following both his sophomore and junior seasons, made it three All-State nod in as many years by being recognized as an Honorable Mention performer at defensive line following his senior campaign.


Bulldogs earn District 12-3A title

Photo by Faith Caughron Quinton Locke shoots and scores in the fourth quarter of the final Edgewood home game of the year against Eustace.

The Edgewood Bulldogs entered the 2016-’17 season with plenty of expectations, being tabbed by many as the team to beat in District 12-3A. The Bulldogs have more than lived up to the hype so far, defeating both Alba-Golden and Eustace over the past 7 days to add another district championship trophy to the resume of the Edgewood athletic program.

The Bulldogs made short work of the Panthers Feb. 10, outscoring Alba-Golden in every frame to close out the away portion of their district slate with a 68-36 win.

Edgewood scored six of the Bulldogs’ seven first quarter points against the Panthers to help build a 7-2 lead.

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