There was a time when Spencer Sanders was not his team’s first option at quarterback. He wasn’t even the second. Sanders, a Ryan junior and Oklahoma State commit, said he was the third-string QB for his select football team when he was about 8.
LITTLE ELM — Braswell played the best basketball it has played all season, but when facing a Ryan squad that is undefeated in district play, it’s tough to notch a win. The Lady Raiders have been on a tear through District 5-5A, adding their eighth consecutive victory with a 62-45 win at Braswell on Friday night.
The basket went in the scorebook for Chase Harris’ 16th point of the game — one of hundreds of buckets the senior guard has scored for Ponder over the last four seasons. But on this day, the senior guard had just broken a hallowed record.
Ryan hosted Denton on Tuesday. And of course the game went into overtime. What else could be expected from a game that featured crosstown rivals who not only were overdue for a district showdown — neither have been in the same district since the 2011-2012 season — but also were battling for the top spot in the standings.
SANGER — Sanger needed a spark, and coach Tracy Sykes took the leap of faith to sub all five of her starters after a dismal start. It paid off, and the Lady Indians evened their District 9-4A record to 2-2 with a narrow 37-34 win against Krum at Sanger on Tuesday night.
PONDER — The Ponder Lions combined the accuracy of their 3-point shooting with the strength of their bench play to totally overwhelm the Pottsboro Cardinals 98-49 Tuesday night.
Playing each other for the first time, Denton’s experience won out over Braswell’s youth as the Broncos trapped the Bengals all Friday night in a 64-52 victory to stay perfect in District 5-5A.
The Guyer boys basketball team entered this season carrying a significant burden. The Wildcats faced sky-high expectations as the sixth-ranked team in the state and opened the season Nov. 15 in front of a crowd that rivaled any in the program’s decade-plus of existence.
Ryan and Denison had a back-and-forth game going Tuesday — then came the second half. Ryan kept scoring and the Lady Yellow Jackets, well, didn’t.
WHITESBORO — The No. 3 Ponder boys used a big game from Chase Harris and Tye Schluter to improve to 3-0 in District 9-3A with a 50-41 win over Whitesboro on Tuesday.
KELLER — Guyer used a late goal by Ashley Quintero to even things up and take home a 1-1 tie against Keller Central.
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.
PONDER — Chase Harris had 16 points to lead the No. 5 Ponder boys to a 105-56 win over Callisburg on Saturday, and the senior guard became the all-time leading scorer in Ponder history with 2,189 career points. Harris also broke the school’s 3-point field goal record with 312.
Ryan defensive tackle Earnest Brown IV can count on one hand the number of times he’s been beaten on a play this week during U.S. Army All-American Bowl practices. If that’s the case, Brown, a Northwestern commit, clearly is holding his own among the nation’s top college recruits invited to play in the prestigious high school All-America game. Kickoff is slated for noon today at the Alamodome in San Antonio.
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.
The Guyer football program was dealt a significant blow Thursday when star running back Noah Cain announced he is leaving the school to attend IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. Cain, a 5-11, 205-pound sophomore, is 247Sports’ top-rated running back in the national class of 2019 and already has 15 offers from programs such as LSU and Oklahoma after two phenomenal seasons at Guyer.
PROSPER — Ryan’s Ricardo Betanzos scored a unassisted goal in the 75th minute and goalkeeper Dallton Bunselmeyer held the Sherman boys scoreless as the Raiders scored a 1-0 victory Thursday in the opening round of the Prosper Showcase.
Guyer coach Grant Long had a mental checklist for what his team needed to do Tuesday to score a win over the 11th-ranked team in the state. To beat Allen, Guyer aimed to limit the damage from the Eagles’ prolific outside shooters and break a consistent press defense. Both ended up being keys to the No. 7 Wildcats’ 82-71 win over Allen.
Ryan coach Bryce Overstreet long has worried about his team’s ability to consistently score points in bunches. As Tuesday’s game against Sherman wore on, those concerns were nowhere to be found. The Raiders had four players score in double figures, and nearly added a fifth to that list, while breaking open what was otherwise a back-and-forth battle with a 20-point fourth quarter en route to a 64-50 District 5-5A win at Billy Ryan Gym.
Holding Denison to 44 points, the Denton defense had its usual swagger Tuesday at home, but offensively the Broncos took it to a whole other level. Hitting shots from all over the court while running the Yellow Jackets up and down the floor, every Bronco that made it into the game scored as Denton destroyed Denison 101-44.
ARGYLE — Ponder had its chance at redemption after falling 48-32 to Argyle less than a week ago, but the Eagles again had the upper hand in a 50-41 win Tuesday night.
LITTLE ELM — In a midday matchup with Carrollton Newman Smith, the Braswell Lady Bengals were right in the thick of things at halftime, down just 20-19 thanks to some strong outside shooting. But a change in defensive scheme by the Lady Spartans ended Braswell’s hot shooting and kept its offense in check for the second half, and Newman Smith emerged with a 40-33 victory Friday.
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.
PONDER — Opening the game with a lights-out shooting performance and suffocating defense, the Ponder Lions walked away with a satisfying win against Lubbock All Saints Episcopal on Tuesday afternoon.
KRUM — After losing to Whitewright by 21 points earlier in the season, Krum bounced back to knock off the Lady Tigers 47-42 on Tuesday afternoon.
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.
FRISCO — In its final game before Christmas, Argyle improved to 17-1 on the year by knocking off Frisco Lone Star, 43-34.The game was a physical battle from the opening tip, and Lone Star took a 20-18...