COPPELL — A determined defensive game plan and hot shooting lead the Ponder Lions to a 60-44 win over Kemp in the area round of the Class 3A Region II playoffs Friday.
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.
FRISCO — The Ponder Lady Lions had only three players on this year’s team who played in last season’s playoff game, and on Monday, it looked as if their inexperience might catch up to them in their bi-district playoff match against Leonard.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
LITTLE ELM — Ponder’s Chase Harris poured in a team-high 25 points against Little Elm on Friday night, but it was the Lobos’ leading scorer RJ Hampton who sealed the outcome.
FRANKLIN — Ponder entered Thursday with an unblemished 8-0 record, and added to that mark with two more victories to win Pool C at the Franklin tournament. The Lions defeated Iola 54-35 in the first game of the day, and then knocked off Fairfield 65-58.
SAINT JO — The Calvary boys took home a tournament title Saturday after defeating Ryan 61-41 in the final of the Saint Jo tournament.
SANGER — Sanger, Ponder and Aubrey got back to work at the Sanger tournament, and all three walked away Friday with big wins. Ponder started it off with a 77-52 win over Denison led by four players in double digits. Senior Chase Harris scored 17 points, juniors Dean Akins and Tye Schluter each added 16 and junior Ryan Waldo dropped in 10.
SANGER — Ponder used a high-flying attack to score 93 points in its opening game of play Thursday at the Sanger tournament against Gainesville, and the Lions won 93-48. Aubrey was on the lower end of the scoring scale against Denison, falling 50-44.
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.
Shane Scott, second from left, signed last week to play baseball at Central Missouri, a Division II powerhouse. Scott will pitch and play in the infield after starring on the mound for Ponder and playing quarterback for the Lion football team. Ponder baseball coach Mark Low is pictured standing behind Scott and his parents, Trina and David Scott.
ALEDO — Ponder did not play with a lack of effort, just a lack of experience.Led by a suffocating defense and a big-play offense, Clyde — which is in the midst of a four-year playoff run — outgained Ponder 265 to 30 in the first half, then put the pedal to the floor in the second half en route to a 42-6 win in a Class 3A Division I Region I bi-district playoff contest at Aledo’s Bearcat Stadium on Friday.
McKINNEY — After senior Kaylee Buell fired away at Sunnyvale one final time Tuesday night, the four-year starter had some inspirational words for herself as she walked back to the service line. For Buell, what Ponder accomplished Tuesday might’ve seemed like a dream not too long ago, but with the Lady Lions’ four-set victory over Sunnyvale at McKinney, Ponder is going to the Class 3A Region II tournament in the program’s first playoff appearance.
PRINCETON — Ponder won the first playoff match in school history Monday, but first-year coach Stormi Lancaster and the Lady Lions wasted no time celebrating the win. The team advanced and made quick work of Scurry-Rosser on Thursday night, claiming a Class 3A area championship with a 25-21, 25-17, 25-13 sweep.
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.
BRECKENRIDGE — The Ponder Lions used the combination of ball control and a stingy defensive effort and capitalized on five Breckenridge turnovers Friday night to take a 13-0 victory against the Buckaroos to clinch a playoff spot out of District 4-3A.
PONDER — A powerful rushing attack from the Ponder Lions and the Sadler S&S Consolidated Rams kept the game close, but one spark of brilliance from Ponder senior running back Jonathan Aguilar set the teams apart. With 2:15 left in the game, Aguilar bounced off a tackle and reached for the end zone from 9 yards out to give the Lions a 35-31 win on his only touchdown of the night.
After two weeks of practice, the Braswell Bengals will hit someone other than one another. The Bengals will host Fort Worth Western Hills at 10 a.m. Saturday in a scrimmage at C.H. Collins Athletic Complex. It will be an exciting moment for Braswell, whose coaching staff is trying to fit all the puzzle pieces together heading into the team’s inaugural season.
Ryan coach Dave Henigan may very well have an easy road ahead. With 15 starters back, the Raiders are experienced, star-studded and among the favorites to compete for a Class 5A state championship.
PONDER — The Ponder Lions shot out to a fast start in the first two innings Friday and led 2-0, but that lead quickly fizzled when Howe discovered its offense and tallied 17 hits and 11 runs in four innings.