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Big district games on tap this week in East Texas basketball

By Jack Stallard
Jan. 10, 2017 at 4 a.m.


Sabine's Will Shawn and Gilmer's Belynda Ray earned ETvarsity.com/Best Preps Player of the Week honors on Monday for their performances on the hard court in games played Jan. 2-7.

Shawn, coming off a huge tournament performane in Tenaha following the Christmas break, helped lead Sabine to a non-district win against Overton and a District 15-3A victory against Troup. In the win against Overton, Shawn scored 17 points to go along with five assists, seven rebounds and three steals. He came back three nights later to score 28 points and add five assists, six rebounds and two steals against Troup.

Sabine finished fifth in the Tenaha Tournament two weeks ago, and Shawn had 57 points, 22 assists, 11 steals and 15 rebounds in four tournament games.

Ray, meanwhile, opened the week with 24 points, 10 rebounds, an assist and a steal in a 61-57 win over Pleasant Grove and then added nine points, seven rebounds, an assist and two steals as Gilmer opened District 15-4A play with a 41-39 win over Bullard.

In other outstanding performances last week (nominated by coaches):

BOYS

Pine Tree freshman J.J. Sparkman had 20 points, 21 rebounds and two blocks in a 71-64 win over Greenville.

Spring Hill's Blake Zeilinger scored 27 points in a 69-60 win over Big Sandy and had 23 points in a 69-60 win over Alto.

Elysian Fields' Sharay Ratliffe scored 33 points and added five steals in an 84-46 win over Harleton.

Beckville's Taylor Hightower had 24 points, connecting on six 3-pointers, and added four assists in a loss to Ore City.

Jefferson's Grayson Early had 21 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks and scored the game-winning bucket against White Oak. He added 17 points, 13 rebounds, three blocks and seven assists against New Diana in a win. Teammate Dee Mitchell finished with 13 points and five assists against White Oak and added 21 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists against New Diana.

THE WEEK AHEAD

Girls: Longview's girls will visit Heath tonight and host Mesquite on Friday in District 11-6A play.

In District 16-5A action, Pine Tree hosts Hallsville tonight and is idle on Friday, while Hallsville plays host to Marshall on Friday. Marshall entertains Greenville tonight.

Spring Hill is on the road against Gilmer tonight and Bullard on Friday in District 15-4A action.

In District 16-4A, Tatum hosts Carthage tonight and visits Rusk on Friday, while Henderson visits Hudson (non-district) tonight and hosts Center on Friday.

The District 16-3A schedule has Beckville at New Diana, Waskom at Jefferson, Elysian Fields at White Oak and Ore City at Harleton tonight, while on Friday it's New Diana at Waskom, Jefferson at Elysian Fields, White Oak at Ore City and Harleton at Beckville.

Boys: The Longview Lobos are at home tonight against Rockwall-Heath and will visit Mesquite on Friday in District 11-6A action, while in District 16-5A it's Pine Tree at Hallsville, Marshall at Greenville and Texas High at Mount Pleasant tonight and Hallsville at Marshall and Mount Pleasant at Sulphur Springs on Friday.

Spring Hill is idle tonight and visits Bullard on Friday in District 15-4A. Also on Friday, Chapel Hill is at Kilgore and Gladewater visits Gilmer.

In 16-4A tonight, Atlanta is at Tatum, and on Friday Tatum visits Rusk.

The District 16-3A schedule has Elysian Fields at white Oak, Beckville at New Diana, Ore City at Harleton and Waskom at Jefferson tonight, with Harleton visiting Beckville, White Oak at Ore city, New Diana at Waskom and Jefferson at Elysian Fields on Friday.

ORANGE OUT

If you're a Kilgore High School fan, or if you don't follow a team on a regular basis but want to watch some basketball and want to help a good cause, Kilgore's annual Orange Out game is set for tonight when the Lady Bulldogs and Bulldogs host Gladewater.

The event honors the life of former Kilgore athlete Lynzee Ford, and money raised will benefit the I Love Lynzee Project to fund scholarships in honor of Ford, Pa'Sha Williams and Samantha Watkins.

A door raffle will be held, with several businesses in Kilgore, Longview and Tyler donating gift cards as prizes.

Games begin at 5 p.m., with the Lady Bulldog freshmen and varsity teams playing Gladewater and the varsity boys playing Henderson.

TABC RANKINGS

Girls: Sulphur Springs is ranked No. 21 in Class 5A in the latest Texas Association of Basketball Coaches poll released on Monday.

Other ranked East Texas teams include Tatum (5), Brownsboro (15), Gilmer (16) and Canton (22) in 4A, Mount Vernon (7) and Mount Pleasant Chapel Hill (14) in 3A, Martin's Mill (2), Tenaha (3), La Poynor (4), Woden (10), Chireno (13), Evadale (19) and Grapeland (24) in 2A and Slocum in Class A.

Top-ranked team for the week are Nazareth in Class A, Claude in 2A, Canadian in 3A, Argyle in 4A, Amarillo in 5A and Duncanville in 6A.

Boys: Center (8), Paris (17) and Athens (21) in Class 4A and Mount Vernon (19), Central Heights (22) and Jefferson (25) in 3A head up the list of East Texas teams listed in this week's TABC poll.

Other ranked East Texas squads include Clarksville (4), Tenaha (8), Kerens (9), La Poynor (10), Grapeland (15), Cherino (18) and Shelbyville (19) in 2A and Laneville (11) in Class A.

Top-ranked teams this week are Lipan in Class A, Muenster in 2A, Dallas Madison in 3A, Silsbee in 4A, Dallas Kimball in 5A and Klein Forest in 6A.

(Follow Jack Stallard on Twitter: @lnjsports).

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