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  • Coming back to win

    IMG 4067BRIAN BESCH | PCE

    By Brian Besch

    The Goodrich Lady Hornets staged a fourth-quarter comeback to pull off a 49-41 upset over rival Leggett Tuesday night. 

    Leggett had an impressive shooting performance in the third quarter. The visiting Lady Pirates hit five shots from behind the arc to take a 34-25 advantage going into the final period. 

    "We had to go man because we were letting them shoot too many threes," Goodrich coach Khadijah Carter said. "I told them that we have to play tight defense. Once we get the ball on offense, get the ball inside and just go."

    They Lady Hornets did just that. The defense never let up, and the team used a size advantage to rebound and collect points near the rim.

    "Size made a huge difference," Carter said. "I told them if we could get the ball inside, they cannot stop us. No team can really stop us inside, but we've got to get the ball inside first."

    Goodrich went on a 12-1 run to open the fourth quarter and take their first lead of the contest at 37-35 with 3:55 remaining. 



    "In the second half, we got too relaxed and there was a big swing," Lady Pirate coach Terri Barlow said. "Goodrich wanted it more than us. We had too many turnovers and we really weren't in it.

    "Rebounding killed us, it gets us every time with the inside game. We really can't stop the inside game."

    Goodrich was led by Brionna Passmore, who was tops in the game with 24 points. Latrina Morgan had 11. Erika Hansen was the high point for Leggett, scoring 20. Kylie Valderez had nine points on three long-range jumpers.

    This marks the third district win for Goodrich, with the first two coming over Burkeville. The first-year coach said it is the biggest win of her young career to this point.

    The loss knocks Leggett down to fourth place in district. The Lady pirates we'll need to win their in their final three games over Chester, Burkeville and High Island to have a shot at the postseason.

    "When we got down going into the fourth, that kind of made me nervous," Carter said. "Even though we missed a lot of free throws and a few careless passes, I feel like this may be our best game."

  • Completing series sweep (VIDEO)

    IMG 4148BRIAN BESCH | PCE

    By Brian Besch

    The Leggett Pirates scratched out an early lead and maintained an advantage in their annual road game at Goodrich, winning 53-39 Tuesday. 

    Behind a 29-point performance from Chase Parrish, the Pirates played well on both ends of the court. The Hornets struggled to consistently score, ultimately failing to keep pace with the defending district champs.

    "We played good, I am proud of our team and we played good team ball," Leggett coach Sean Edwards said. "We played fundamentally sound and we are blocking out a little more to get rebounds. We kind of let up a little bit and gave up some cheap fouls later.

    "We are playing more team ball and limiting our turnovers a little bit more. We're going inside and drawing some more fouls. It is the second half of district, so we will be alright."

    Pirate Garrett Francois had 10 first-half points and 11 for the game, while Varian Flournoy added six. For Goodrich, Joacxi Garzon had 19 points and Isaiah Sapio had eight.



    After a lone 3-pointer in the first period, Parrish filled the stat book over the next three frames.

    For Goodrich, the year has been a struggle. There has been inconsistencies in team chemistry and a lack of experience. 

    They did improve as the game progressed. Totaling just 13 points in the first half, they scored 10 and 16 points in the third and fourth quarter, respectively.

    "You've got to rebound and play defense," Goodrich coach Lester King said. "We have had a hard time all year long scoring. The game was kind of good at the beginning, but they just out-hustled us and they wanted it more than we did. We didn't want it.

    "The only difference between them and us tonight was they played defense and hustled when we didn't play any. You can't win like that."

    If the Pirates win their remaining games, it could cause a three-way tie with Chirino and Zavala.

    Edwards said he believes his team can run through the rest of the district schedule unscathed.

    "I think we can. I believe in my guys and they are helping me out. I always get feedback from the kids and they always know what's going on when they are on the court. They tell me what we need to do. I think we can win the next five games. We are finally improving and we are peaking. We are getting better and better."

  • Fast start, press lifts Big Sandy

    IMG 2454BRIAN BESCH I PCE Alexis Thompson of Big Sandy drives to the basket. She had 22 points Friday.

    By Brian Besch

    LEGGETT - The Big Sandy Lady Cats established a large early lead and coasted to a road victory Friday night, beating the Lady Pirates of Leggett, 83-15.

    The Wildcats grabbed a 33-0 lead before Leggett was able to connect on a free throw late in the opening period. The first quarter was a festival of layups off of turnovers. The Big Sandy press smothered Leggett, robbing them of most possessions before the Lady Pirates could set up an offense.



    “We get in a rush when they start pressing,” Leggett coach Terri Barlow said. “We get in a rush and just throw the ball away. It is just simple little mistakes that we keep making over and over. I feel like we are going to be OK during district. These are tough teams that we are losing to like this.”

    Leggett has scheduled non-district games versus schools as big as Class 4A to prepare for district. They are currently 1-5, but have yet to play a school from Class 1A.

    To this point, Barlow said she likes the speed that her team possesses, but says they struggle with turnovers.

    “I told them to hold their heads up and not to worry about it and keep playing hard,” Barlow said. “It is an important game, but the most important games are the district games. I don't mind getting beat, but I just told them to not give up and keep working. When you quit on me, that is when you are a loser. If you keep playing hard, you are still a winner.”

    Erika Hansen led the Lady Pirates with seven points. For Big Sandy, sophomore Alexis Thompson had 22 points and freshman Faith Geller had 20. Savanna Poncho added 14 points, Baili Mitchell had 12 and Savannah Hoffman scored 11.

    “I thought early in the game we came out and played well,” Big Sandy coach Ryan Alec said. “We tell the kids when the ball is tipped, you have to play well early. You have to set a precedent in the beginning of the game. Our press had a lot to do with that. As the course of the game progressed, I thought our decision making wasn't as good. I think a lot of that was probably from fatigue. In the first half we did a good job of executing on offense and finding open people. We got turnovers and capitalized on those turnovers and was able to get some layups out of it.”

    Big Sandy has performed well of late, though fighting to keep a consistent roster for various reasons. The Lady Cats were only able to suit up seven girls Friday.

    “Defensively, I felt like we could have done a better job of keeping their best player in front of us,” Alec said. “We had a plan of trying to get the ball out of her hands and I thought at times we were successful in doing that. Other times, we let her split us and get to the basket. It was good preparation for us because once we get into district, we have Broaddus that has good guards and West Sabine.”

  • Leggett basketball in postseason once again (VIDEO)

    IMG 4685BRIAN BESCH | PCE Varian Flournoy fights through traffic to the rim.

    By Brian Besch

    The Leggett Pirates punched their ticket to the playoffs Saturday night with a 78-69 triumph over Burkeville at The Summit in Woodville. 

    The neutral-site game was for the third seed of District 28-1A. 

    Leggett began the contest on a 7-0 run and held a 26-8 lead after the first period.

    However, the Mustangs regrouped, pouring in 24 second-quarter points. The difference was just three at 30-27 with 2:30 in the second quarter.

    Leggett extended that seven at 39-32 at the half and would hold a lead from the first bucket to the final buzzer.

    "We got hot -- real hot -- and everything was good," Leggett coach Sean Edwards said of the first period. "They came back in the second quarter. I liked how we hustled and we played team ball. We grabbed the ball a little more and played with effort and heart."
     

    Edwards said he felt like the team did not play with the same intensity in the second and third quarter.

    "We just let the crowd get to us and everything. We've got to be ready for a playoff atmosphere with Kennard (the next opponent) being tougher."

    Chase Parrish led all scores with 28 points, Varian Flournoy had 21, Josh Perkins had 12 and JaColby Sells had 11.

    The win pushes the Pirates into a Tuesday night bi-district matchup with Kennard, the champions of District 27-1A. 

    "It's been a weird season with Covid and the weather. But, if we just take it day by day and game by game, we can make it to regionals and eventually state," Edwards said. "We just have to take it game by game. There is a tough test that we are going to have with Kennard though, they are pretty good and have a 6-4 guard and a good slasher. They are pretty good and have a good coach over there that just came from Latexo. He knows what he's doing."
  • Leggett tackles state-ranked Kennard

    IMG 4923BRIAN BESCH | PCE

    By Brian Besch

    The bi-district round of the playoffs was not easy, but the Leggett Pirates outlasted state-ranked Kennard 39-36 in Huntington Tuesday.

    Down 30-26 in the fourth, Kennard received contributions from five different players and outscored Leggett 10-9. However, a heave from behind the arc in the final second did not fall and allowed the Pirates and their fans to celebrate.

    Leggett coach Sean Edwards felt that Tuesday's performance over the No. 17 team in 1A was the most complete of the year.

    "I told the kids that you have to think about 10 years down the road -- any regrets or what you should've, could've, would've (done)," he said. "It is just representing your school, your family and everybody that was at Leggett before you. It is starting to jell and they know it is playoff time. I see serious on their face."

    The game was the first competition in over a week for Kennard.

    "We were very rusty," Tiger coach Cory Carden said. "We came off of almost a week and a half of no basketball. It really kind of put a dent in what we're doing. They got to play on Saturday and we could say excuses for all of that, but it came down to who wanted it more. I think they got more loose balls and they were scrapping too. They came out and won the first couple of minutes and I think that's kind of what kept their momentum the rest of the game."

    Leggett established an early lead, but the Tigers would quickly recover. Hitting a 3-pointer to close the first quarter, Kennard held an 8-7 advantage.

    Down 20-15 at the half, the Pirates went to work in the third. They began a 15-3 run to go up 12 until a Tiger 3-pointer from Dylan Cole ended the period.

    "We got in foul trouble and we had to slow it down and play a half-court game," Leggett coach Sean Edwards said. (Our plan) was to press and run them. They broke it and they were banging us inside and they were physical at first. We had to change some stuff up in the second half and come with it."

    Edwards agreed that the offense was able to relax a bit after ditching the full-court press.

    "We play different types and different styles. We can play slow or fast, but we have to go with what gets us the win that night."

    Leggett's JaColby Sells finished with 18 points, tops on the night. Teammate Chase Parrish added eight and Garrett Francois hit an important bucket and free throws in the final quarter. Kennard's Cole led the Tigers with eight points, while Jacob Catoe and Okoye Smotherman each had seven.

    The Tigers finish the 2020-21 season with a district championship and plenty of individual accolades.

    "We had a great year and I hate that it went down this way," Carden said. "We've played a lot better than this. We came out tonight, I think a little overconfident and rusty, but we had a great season. We topped at 17th in the state and I'm going to have an all-district MVP and I'm going to have first team all-district players. We had a great year, it is just that tonight was not our night. Games like this when it is playoff time, that one night is going to cost you. The playoffs are not forgiving at all."

  • Leggett, Livingston face off to begin schedule (VIDEO)

    legg and livBRIAN BESCH | PCE Livingston took a 60-44 home win over the 1A powerhouse.

    By Brian Besch

    LIVINGSTON - The Leggett Pirates and Livingston Lions did not exactly ease into the season with cupcake games. The two Polk County schools squared off against each other Saturday, with Livingston taking a 60-44 home win over the 1A powerhouse.

    Leggett actually began the contest with a 7-0 lead, as the Lions needed a few minutes to adjust to the game's speed.

    "It started out real good, but we just have to do a better job of protecting the paint and matching up with other teams," Leggett head coach Sean Edwards said. "Coach (Calvin) Phillips knows what he is doing over there and they are going to be OK. Livingston is going to be competitive this year. He even has three guys that he is missing, so he is even going to be better.”

    Even though the Lions were missing a few due to football, they were able to show off a deep bench. Eight of the nine players dressed for the game contributed points.

    Jeston Kowis led all scores with 16 points for Livingston, newcomer Adyn Stewart had a dozen and Gage Morris had nine. For Leggett, Varian Flournoy had 12, Chase Parrish had 10. Both Jacoby Sells and freshman Josh Perkins finished with seven points.

    Just as last year’s team, Livingston possesses plenty of size, even adding some for the latest version.

    That proved to be a difficult task for the smaller Pirates.

    “We are small this year and my 6-5 post got hurt, and for medical reasons, he can't come back and play," Edwards said. "We had another guy move to Splendora, but it is what it is. We are small this year and we are going to have to out-quick them, but sometimes you run out of gas.”

    State-ranked Leggett may not have the offensive firepower as they have the past few years, but the team will still be able to collect plenty of wins on the 1A level.

    “It is going to be defense,” Edwards said of keys to success. “We have to control the tempo, it is simple and easy. We are not going to be scoring 95 or 100 this year. We have to play defense and take it possession by possession. Of course, I'm
    going to coach to what I have, so that's what we have to do.”

    The Lions may have a few different ways to earn victories in the 2020-21 season. Their size should prove to be an asset both on defense and in rebounding, but they will also receive an injection of speed now that football season has come to an end.

    "It's going to let us do what we want to do," new Lion head coach Calvin Phillips said. "The press with Julian (Gardner) and Izzy (Enard), that is going to be our quicks up front. We can play a lot more man-to-man in full court like I want, but it all depends on what we see, how we break down film and see what works best for us. I'm not trying to be a big entertainer; we just have to get some wins. (The additional players) will give us some more shooters too."

    Phillips said aggression has been a big key and something emphasized in practices. Once the team regained its footing Saturday, aggression made the difference in the outcome.

    “We started off kind of slow and we were a little bit soft and backing off, but once the aggression came around and we started hitting the floor and started getting turnovers, I thought that was the difference in the game right there," Phillips said. "We got some breakaway shots and Coach (Stephen) Seaback works transition every day. Overall, every phase of the game was OK, but we still have a lot of work to do. I was impressed with the half-court game. We went to a zone, which really helped us a lot. It wasn't bad for the first game, considering who they (Leggett) are, because they play hard.”

    After allowing 16 points in the first quarter, the Lions held Leggett to single digits in both the second and third period to slowly distance themselves.

    Livingston was consistent on offense each quarter and outscored the Pirates in all four frames.

    "Seaback and I both are always working something as far as some kind of
    shooting drill," the Lion coach said. "Our pet peeve is defense and we have to stop people. It isn't going to do any good to go out there and score 100 points and
    let them score 100 points. I like the fast game and I like the man-to-man defense, but you have to pick your poison. We had to fall back and play more zone than I wanted to play, but it worked out for us. All I want is a victory and get that first victory in my belt."

  • Winter weather slams through Polk County

                                   PHOTOS BY JASON CHLAPEK AND PAM NOBLES I PCE Winter weather made driving conditions treacherous for a Toyota pickup truck and an 18-wheeler earlier this week.

    By Jason Chlapek

    Like the majority of the state of Texas, Polk County was not spared by Mother Nature this week.

    A winter storm came through most of the state Sunday night and Polk County was one of the storm’s destinations. The storm left snow on the ground, which prompted schools and some businesses to close its doors because of adverse travel conditions.

    Polk County Judge Sydney Murphy called a declaration of disaster from Sunday to Wednesday. The northern portion of the county received 4-6 inches of snow, while Livingston received 3-4 and the southern portion received 1-2.

    Temperatures did not go above freezing (37 degrees) and are not projected to until Friday when the high is supposed to be 43. Temperatures dropped to as low as 4 Tuesday morning.

    Truck 1

    As of press time, the Polk County Office of Emergency Management reported that approximately 2,600 homes were without water and 292 were without electricity. A second cold front was projected to sweep through the county Wednesday afternoon, which would make driving conditions treacherous again.

    All six county school districts – Big Sandy, Corrigan-Camden, Goodrich, Leggett, Livingston and Onalaska – either closed or performed virtual learning Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. C-CISD is closed for the remainder of the week, Goodrich is closed today and the other districts didn’t make a decision about today or Friday as of press time.

    The Polk County Office of Emergency Management can be reached at 936-327-6826, or visit the website at http://www.PolkCountyOEM.com/ . Other agencies that can be reached during winter storm emergencies are the Polk County Sheriff’s Office (936-327-6810), Department of Public Safety (936-327-6806), Livingston Police Department (936-327-3117), Onalaska Police Department (936-646-5676), Corrigan Police Department (936-398-2551) and the Alabama-Coushatta Police Department (936-563-1200).