Ryan coach ejected while on probation
Ryan boys basketball coach Bryce Overstreet was suspended for the Raiders’ next three District 5-5A games and placed on probation for three years, the University Interscholastic League ruled Wednesday.
He also will be given a public reprimand in the UIL publication The Leaguer.
The ruling was handed down by the UIL’s state executive committee. Overstreet received the punishment after being ejected from a game against McKinney on Jan. 4. The ejection violated a one-year probation given by the UIL for his Jan. 31, 2012, ejection in a win over Denton.
Overstreet declined Tuesday to comment on the situation and could not be reached Wednesday.
The suspension begins Friday when the Raiders (13-10, 0-4 district) face Hebron in the last of three consecutive road games. Overstreet will be eligible to coach against Flower Mound on Feb. 5.
Ryan assistant coach Brett Edwards is expected to take over during Overstreet’s three-game absence.
Overstreet, who led Ryan to its second state tournament in 2012, picked up two technical fouls in quick succession, McKinney coach Wes Watson said.
Watson said Overstreet argued a call but said he wasn’t sure which call Overstreet was questioning. The Lions coach said he was surprised when the referee whistled Overstreet for a second technical.
Watson said the second call was made as one of his players was getting ready to shoot the free throws for the first technical foul.
“Coach Overstreet had made a comment about being in his coaching box, and then the second technical was assessed at that point,” Watson said. “That’s pretty much it.”
Overstreet said Tuesday that he has received only two ejections in his 10 seasons as Ryan’s head coach.
Against Denton last season, Overstreet objected to a no-call at the end of the third quarter when he thought one of his players was fouled on a half-court shot as time expired.
The last Texas coach to be in a similar situation was Little Elm girls coach Derrick Osborne, who was suspended for two games last season and put on two years’ probation for being ejected while already on probation for the same offense.
Overstreet went before the UIL executive committee along with Ryan football coach and athletic director Joey Florence. Florence was not required by UIL rules to appear.
Florence said the meeting took approximately 15 minutes, and he called Overstreet an outstanding coach whom he has a lot of respect for.
“The good thing for Bryce is that he admitted he made a mistake, he’s going to learn from it and not repeat it, and that’s what the process is about,” Florence said.
Watson echoed Florence’s sentiments about Overstreet.
“I felt bad for coach Overstreet when it happened,” Watson said. “He’s a friend and is someone I have a lot of respect for. What he does for a living he’s passionate about doing. He’s the kind of guy I would want my kid playing for, so you hate to see that happen to a good guy.”
Ponder gains momentum
When District 9-2A’s most explosive offenses met Tuesday night, Ponder needed a big win against Brock to maintain hopes of earning at least a share of the district title.
In a battle of two teams ranked among Class 2A’s top 10 by the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches, it was Ponder’s defense that fueled a commanding 16-point win.
Ponder not only avenged a 12-point loss to Brock in its district opener, but it set the tone for the Lions’ remaining six district contests.
“This is the time of year where you want to try to stack quality wins on top of quality wins,” Ponder coach Jude Stanley said. “That’s definitely a quality win for us.
“You’re always trying to look for that one signature win, and I think this is one of them.”
The Lions (22-8, 6-1) also picked up a win against No. 10 Collinsville earlier in the season.
Ponder started the week at No. 9 and Brock is ranked third. Both teams have shown a knack for producing points. Brock leads the district with an average of 71.7 points per game, while Ponder averages 65.4 points a contest.
Ponder’s been paced by junior Clay Morgan, who netted 24 points Tuesday. The Lions are without senior guard Tanner Yeager, who tore his ACL during football season.
Stanley said that one of his team’s goals is to be playing when the postseason rolls around in March.
With Tuesday night’s win, Stanley said, his team is brimming with self-assurance.
“It gives your kids confidence that they can play with anybody, and not only play with anybody, but they can also beat anybody on a given night,” Stanley said. “It gives you that kind of confidence.”
BEN BABY can be reached 940-566-6869. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org .