The race to UIL basketball gold begins this week for seven Denton-area boys teams while the Ryan and Argyle are the only two area girls teams still alive in the third round of the state playoffs with regional tournament berths on the line Tuesday night.
The girls basketball playoffs are set to resume tonight as four area teams were crowned bi-district champions earlier this week.
Halee Van Poppel spent most of her high school career looking up to the senior leaders who helped turn Argyle into a dominant state title contender. Whether it was Katy Keenan in 2014 or the dynamic combo of Eighmy Dobbins and Alexa Bass a year later, Van Poppel had every opportunity to learn from the best.
ARGYLE — When a team shoots 9 percent from 3-point range and still wins by 30 points, plenty more went right. That was the case for Argyle on Friday. Despite obvious struggles from downtown, the two-time defending Class 4A champion got 20 points from Madison Ralston and 17 from Vivian Gray while holding fellow ranked team Bridgeport to nine points in the second half of a 52-22 win in the District 9-4A opener for both teams.
FORT WORTH — Jalen Wilson led Guyer with 21 points, but no shot was more important than his 3-point basket late in the fourth quarter that sealed the Wildcats’ 75-73 win over Garland Lakeview Centennial in the Orange division championship game of the Whataburger Tournament on Friday.
BRIDGEPORT — Aubrey advanced to the final of the Bridgeport tournament after defeating the host team 68-51, but fell short of the title as Class 5A Birdville dominated the Chaparrals 84-39 in Thursday’s finale.
FORT WORTH — Three Denton-area teams picked up first-round wins to open the Whataburger Tournament, as Guyer blew past Richland 76-59, Ponder scraped by Liberty Christian 66-59 and Argyle edged Wall 44-37.
Argyle got off to a hot start and used a 30-point effort in the third quarter to coast to a 68-21 win over Marshfield (Mo.) in the first round of the Pink & White Lady Classic.
ARGYLE — For Brock, it wasn’t pretty. Argyle senior Nathan Priddy scored 11 of his game-high 30 points in the second quarter to lead the Eagles to a convincing 59-44 win against Class 3A Brock on Monday.
PILOT POINT — The Pilot Point Lady Bearcats tipped off district play with a win, defeating Callisburg 57-50 on Tuesday night.
In a clash of styles, the Denton Broncos faced a similarly high-octane offense in Argyle on Tuesday with the Eagles boasting a well-balanced, 3-point shooting attack compared to Denton’s run-and-gun transition game.
SAINT JO — The Calvary boys took home a tournament title Saturday after defeating Ryan 61-41 in the final of the Saint Jo tournament.
Denton-area volleyball players were represented well on their respective all-district teams. The select players are chosen by district coaches, who consider their performance during district play.
DUNCANVILLE — The top-ranked Argyle Lady Eagles wasted little time in showing their superior play against another ranked team Saturday in the Thanksgiving Hoopfest, knocking off Frisco Liberty 46-32.
MINERAL WELLS — Offense hadn’t been an issue for the Argyle Eagles as they scored 63 points and 49 points in their two playoff wins. But against the defensively dominant Abilene Wylie Bulldogs, the Eagles met their match.
The Argyle Eagles don’t celebrate for very long. Following its 63-7 destruction of Lubbock Estacado in which the offense put up its second-highest point total of the season while punting just one time, Argyle took the two-hour bus ride home from Burkburnett to reflect on its success.
BURKBURNETT — Argyle skated its way to a commanding bi-district win over one-win Snyder to kick off its Class 4A Division I playoff campaign last week. Facing a more competent challenger in Lubbock Estacado in the area round, the Eagles figured to have to up their game. On Friday at Bulldog Stadium, the Eagles did so by putting on an immaculate show.
GARLAND — Allison White turned in a masterful performance Friday afternoon and Argyle was its usual self while making quick work of Geronimo Navarro in the Class 4A state semifinal at the Curtis Culwell Center.
ARGYLE — The year was 1999 and Clark Oberle stood in front of a group of wide-eyed girls who would ultimately become Argyle High School’s first volleyball team. As he introduced himself, Oberle asked two questions he assumed were surefire icebreakers.
MESQUITE — All great streaks eventually come to an end. But some are more stubborn than others. Argyle found itself struggling in Saturday’s Class 4A Region II final against a Carthage team that had its sights firmly planted on knocking off the defending state champ. Carthage almost pulled off the upset, too.
MESQUITE — For the second year in a row, district rivals Argyle and Krum advanced to the Class 4A Region II tournament knowing they could end up facing off for the right to go to state — provided that both teams could win their respective semifinal matches Friday. Once again, that would-be encounter will not happen.
GRAHAM — Drawing a one-win Snyder team for the opening, bi-district round of the Class 4A playoffs, the Argyle Eagles wanted to get their postseason started on the right note. Their offense struggled temporarily to start the game, but once the Eagles got their engine revved up, they rolled to a 49-14 win Thursday to advance to next week’s area round.
When a state title winning program loses seven seniors, among them two Division I signees, the end result typically is to fall into rebuilding mode the following year.
The Guyer girls golf program saw three of its players sign their national letters of intent to play college golf on Wednesday afternoon.
Argyle’s Vivian Gray could have gone anywhere to play college basketball. She just redefined anywhere. Gray, one of the nation’s most coveted high school basketball recruits, whose suitors include Texas, Baylor, Rice, Oklahoma State and others, confirmed Tuesday she will sign this afternoon with Fort Lewis College — a Division II program in Durango, Colorado — on the first day of the early signing period.
Five Denton-area volleyball teams, three from District 9-4A, remain alive in the UIL state playoffs as teams head into the second round of games. Four area representatives will be in action tonight, while the Ryan Lady Raiders play their area-round game Friday.
Eight Denton-area teams have their focus squarely set on a championship run when the UIL state volleyball playoffs begin this week.
WICHITA FALLS — The Argyle Eagles were nearly their own worst enemy Friday night against Wichita Falls Hirschi. Dane Ledford scored two of his three touchdown runs in the second half, Don Williams rushed for 199 yards and also scored twice in the second half, and Dylan Sadler kicked four field goals as the Eagles pulled away for a 47-14 District 4-4A victory at Memorial Stadium.
In the final district game of the season, Argyle was on the brink of a historic moment on Tuesday night, and it wouldn’t have been a good one.
The Argyle Eagles offense may get most of the attention, but on this Friday night, credit their defense for getting a big District 4-4A victory against Sanger. Junior running back Don Williams rushed for 173 yards and one touchdown on 31 carries, and Dylan Sadler added a critical late field goal, but it Argyle’s defense that made the difference with two crucial stops, one with 1:16 left, to lead the Eagles to a 27-21 win.
ARGYLE — As good as Krum is, Argyle is better. In a rematch of state powers Tuesday, No. 6 Argyle got 25 kills from Halee Van Poppel and 14 more from Allison White — who also chipped in five service aces and three blocks — to fend off No. 8 Krum in a wild 25-13, 25-16, 24-26, 25-19 win that was practically a mirror image of last month’s four-set Argyle win.
GAINESVILLE — The score may have reflected an easy win for Argyle, but the Eagles have some areas to clean up, especially with Sanger coming to town next week. Dane Ledford threw for 209 yards and three touchdowns, two to Casey Harper, and Dylan Sadler returned a punt 52 yards for a touchdown to lead Argyle to a 48-20 District 4-4A victory against Gainesville.
SANGER — Sanger has all the necessary pieces to make another deep postseason run and, barring a wild mishap, should be one of the four playoff teams coming out of District 9-4A.
DECATUR — Argyle’s Dane Ledford showed zero signs of rust Friday in his first start at quarterback in six weeks. The Tulane commit rebounded from a wrist injury he suffered in the season opener with 289 passing yards and four touchdowns, and with a steady run game in tow, powered No. 2 Argyle to a 64-35 win against Decatur in the District 4-4A Division I opener for both teams at Eagle Stadium.
ARGYLE — No Dane Ledford. No problem. Playing without its starting quarterback for a second straight game due to injury, Argyle again turned to a trio of backups led by sophomore Hayden Clearman and promptly scored on four of its first five possessions while rolling up 348 total yards in a 43-14 win at Eagle Stadium.