Summer vacation officially ended Tuesday for high school volleyball players when they reported for their first preseason practice. During a fast-paced workout in the CHS gym, Crockett Lady Bulldogs Coach Karla Calhoun put her players through a number of drills designed to sharpen their skills. After just three practices, Coach Calhoun's squad will host a scrimmage match with Grapeland on Friday, Aug. 4 starting at 2 p.m. Crockett opens the season on the road against Latexo on Aug. 11.
Dea’Junique James records a season-high 38 points.Crockett Lady Bulldogs toppled undefeated district leader Coldspring 55-49 in a Monday night road game, putting them in a four-way for first place.
Coldspring, New Waverly, Anderson-Shiro and Crockett all sit atop the District 21-3A standings with just one loss.
"We pulled off a huge victory," said Lady Bulldogs Head Coach TaNesia Johnson. "We struggled in the first half. We were getting looks, but just couldn't get anything to fall. Then after the break we turned on the switch, got fired up, picked up the intensity, and played our style of ball!"
Coldspring had no answer for junior Dea'Junique James' 38-point performance, especially her 24 -point outburst in the fourth quarter. "Dea'Junique stepped up big offensively," said Coach Johnson, who noted this was a season high for James and equalled the career high she recorded last season against Elkhart.
Johnson added, "Mercedes (James) did a tremendous job on defense to stop their point guard."
Coldspring led 11-10 lead after the first quarter, which ended with a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by Dea'Junique James.
The Lady Trojans went up 21-12 midway through the second during a 10 to 2 run in which only Shelby Corry managed to get a shot to fall. A bucket by James and two by Jaida Lockhart finally got Crockett back within three points, only to have Coldspring go up 24-18 at halftime.
The Lady Bulldogs would get within four points several times in the third quarter, but found themselves trailing 34-27 heading into the fourth.
Crockett then dominated the final stanza 28-15 to seal the victory.
Rounding out Crockett's scoring were Lockhart with 6, Tynaisha McKnight and Mercedes James with 4 apiece, and Corry with 3. "Coldspring is a really good well-rounded, well-coached team. They made us earn everything, and I LOVE games like that!" added Johnson.
The Lady Dogs (4-1) got a much deserved rest Tuesday with a district bye as they prepare for a home game Friday against Anderson-Shiro to wrap up the first half of district.
The District 20-2A girls race got underway Friday night with Lovelady, Grapeland and Centerville posting opening night victories.
Lovelady easily defeated Groveton 50-22 on its home court, Grapeland handled Dallardsville Big Sandy 45-27 at home, and Centerville edged Latexo 58-43 on the road.
Two of the district's teams boast lofty state rankings. Centerville (17-5) is ranked No. 17 in the TABC state poll and tied for No. 25 in the TGCA rankings. Grapeland (21-5) is ranked No. 24 by the TABC.
Tuesday's schedule had Latexo at Lovelady, Grapeland at Groveton and Centerville at Big Sandy.
On Friday, Grapeland hosts Lovelady, Latexo hosts Big Sandy for its homecoming game, and Groveton faces Centerville.
Crockett Bulldogs took control early in the game and kept the pressure on Trinity to win 59-38 at home Tuesday night.
The Bulldogs (1-1) came out with their foot on the gas pedal and raced to a 16-7 lead after a quarter. They extended it to a 32-12 halftime advantage and 50-26 heading into the final frame.
"Defensively, I'm pleased with what we did. I have to find a way for my shooter B.J. (Anderson) to get to the basket on an off-night, but I thought defensively we made up for it. We got turnovers and we got stops when we needed them," said Bulldog Head Coach Kadrian Bryant. "We want to keep teams in the 50-under range and we did that tonight."
Jurmond Wooten paced the Bulldogs with 14 points, in addition to collecting 5 rebounds, 2 steals and 4 assists.
Tyress Anderson canned 10 points (1 trey), along with recording a team-high 6 deflections, 4 rebounds, 1 block, and 2 assists.
B.J. Anderson booked 6 points (2 treys), along with getting 3 rebounds, 2 deflections, 1 steal and 1 assist.
Lucky Daniels scored 6 points (4 of 4 free throws), while also logging 6 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 deflections.
Scoring 5 apiece were Drew Corry with 1 trey and 1 rebound, and Harvey Stewart, who had 3 rebounds and 2 assists.
Tossing in 4 apiece were Marcus Shedd, who had 2 rebounds, and Alton Owens, who had 3 rebounds, 3 steals and 1 deflection. Ahmad Brown scored 3 points, pulled down 6 rebounds, and had 1 steal.
Keshaun Smotherman chipped in a free throw, along with getting 6 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 assists.
Derrick Sherman had a free throw, 2 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal. Marcus Smith had 1 rebound, 1 deflection and 1 assist. The Bulldogs, who made a trip to Coldspring on Friday, have a bye on Tuesday. They'll get back to business Friday, Jan. 13 when Anderson-Shiro visits The Hop.
"If we find a way to put the ball in the basket, move the ball and finish around the rim, I think we can make a run for the district championship," added Bryant.