Jesus Flores practices shooting free throws on the new Judge Vernie McWhiter Court in Boggess Park at Saint Jo. Flores said he has been playing on the court regularly since it was finished late in June. (Photo by Eric Viccaro)
Looking back at pre-season expectations for 2017-2018 Bowie boys basketball
During the rest of 2022, The Bowie News will be celebrating its 100th anniversary. There will be many activities throughout the year.
Sports Rewind will offer up a few sports headlines from the past 100 years of Bowie News coverage including its predecessor The Bowie Booster.
This month, with basketball season in full swing, I decided to look back at the beginning of the season of the most recent state champion basketball team.
The 2017-2018 Bowie Jackrabbits team is now five years ago so it’s long enough to now look back with nostalgia even though for many it feels like yesterday.
Oct. 21, 2017, the Bowie News
Headline: Bowie reigns supreme (Jackrabbits top TABC Class 3A poll)
The Bowie High School boy’s basketball team is gearing up for the upcoming season, which they will enter as the top-ranked Class 3A team according to the preseason polls released Monday by the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches.
High expectations don’t seem to phase Bowie Head Basketball Coach Doug Boxell, who is instead focused on the hard work and dedication being put forth by his team.
“Expectations are high, a lot of our starters are returning from last year, but it basically comes down to the kids learning to play together and play hard,” explained the coach. “If we do those things, we have a chance to have a pretty good year.”
The Jackrabbit team returns multiple players from the 2016 Jackrabbit squad that advanced to the quarterfinals, who spent the off-season working together and playing in shoot-out tournaments around the state, from San Antonio to hosting their own tournament earlier this fall.
The Jackrabbits also brought home the first place trophy from the Texas Basketball Championships Summer State Tournament, Conference 3A-4A, after defeating Holliday in the champion game.
However, the coach continues to push his players in hopes of making the ultimate goal a reality- winning a state championship.
“You can always work harder. Never be content. The team is close but small town kids are around each other all the time, from a coaches standpoint you can never be satisfied, you can always get better and the bond can always be stronger,” said Boxell.
The Jackrabbits will be taking on a competitive non-district schedule in hopes of being fully prepared when it truly counts.
“We have a tough non-district schedule. What we want to do is try to get better every day and be prepared to make a run in the playoffs,” explained Boxell.
The Jackrabbits will compete in two scrimmages, one against Aubrey and Ponder on Nov. 4, and against Rider on Nov. 11 before opening the season at the Slidell tournament from Nov. 16-18.
The team will continue the tradition of competing at the American Airlines Center in Dallas on Nov. 25, and will face Hirschi, Burkburnett and Saint Joseph Academy in the pre-district season.
The game at the American Airlines Center is expected to sell out, but Bowie basketball coaches still have a couple tickets for sale.
Please contact Boxell at firstname.lastname@example.org if interested in attending.
Multiple tournaments are also on the books for 2017, including a tournament in Decatur and one on their home court.
The Jackrabbits open the district slate on the road against top-ranked Nocona on Dec. 19.
The team will take part in the Whataburger Tournament from Dec. 28-30 before returning to district action at home against Jacksboro on Jan. 2.
The team will face one of the more difficult district slates in the state, which includes Nocona, Jacksboro, Holliday, Henrietta, Boyd and Paradise.
“Everybody is tough in our district. All the coaches are doing a good job. Based on last year, Nocona did the best in our district after making it to the regional tournament. Holliday has a great squad back so we’ve got some of the toughest teams in the region in our district. It’s going to be really tough but it’ll get us prepared for playoffs. Our district is as tough as anybody’s,” predicted Boxell.
However, the team will remain focused on making it past the district season when facing those tough opponents.
“Our goal is to win district and make a run in the playoffs. The ultimate goal is to win a state championship,” said Boxell.
The first official day of practice will be Wednesday, Oct. 25.
Nov. 25, 2017, The Bowie News
Headline: Bowie dominates Krum (Jackrabbits defeat Bobcats 63-52 in season opener)
The season-opener for the Bowie Jackrabbits did not disappoint as the top-ranked team came away with a 63-52 win against Krum Tuesday.
Four Jackrabbits put at least five points on the scoreboard during the win.
The Mosley brothers powered the offense, with Gary leading the scoring with 20 points and Daniel right behind with 19.
Kason Spikes put in another 11 points while Justin Franklin had five, leaving fifth-year Head Bowie Basketball Coach Doug Boxell cautiously optimistic on the season outlook.
“It was our first game and Krum’s third, so it felt a little rusty,” said Boxell. “We are just starting the season out and I am encouraged about some things but there are still a lot of things to work on.”
The Krum Bobcats trailed Bowie by just one point at the end of the first quarter and matched the Jackrabbits point-for-point in the fourth.
However, Bowie still pulled out an 11-point win, but will spend time on defense as they continue to improve in preparation for district.
“We will work on blocking out and talking on defense,” explained Boxell. “There are things we need to stress this year to separate us and make us the team we want to be.”
Gary Mosley grabbed five defensive rebounds, while Daniel Mosley grabbed three on offense and three on defense.
Keck Jones provided six assists for the Bowie Jackrabbits.
While Krum trailed Bowie by only one point at the end of the first, the Jackrabbits topped the Bobcats 14-9 in the second.
Bowie out scored Krum 17-12 in the third and tied in points 16-16 in the fourth.
The Jackrabbits also defeated Krum in 2016 at the American Airlines Center.
Bowie will be in action there today against Springtown.
The game is made possible as part of the Dallas Maverick’s Court of Dreams program. The game has become an annual event for the Bowie Jackrabbits.
The Prairie Valley Bulldogs won big at Bryson on Tuesday night.
The Bulldogs won 67-31 against the Cowboys led by their senior Tyler Winkler who not only had a big game, but also set a career milestone.
It was a close first quarter with Prairie Valley leading by only one point, but the team made three 3-pointers to get a 10-point lead at halftime.
Building on that momentum, the defense dialed in during the second half, allowing only nine points from Bryson the final two quarters as the game got away from the Cowboys.
Winkler led the team with 36 points and five steals, with his career point total now going past 1,000 barrier. The school plans to honor him at its next home game next week.
Besides Winklers, Trae Campbell scored 15 points and grabbed six rebounds. Eli Croxton also finished in double-figures scoring 10 points and grabbing six steals. Dakota Fore also had six rebounds to lead the team.
The Nocona Lady Indians dominated 5A Rider on Tuesday while the Indian boy’s team lost to Bells.
The Lady Indians won 69-47 against the Lady Raiders while the Panthers beat Nocona 46-36.
One of last year’s only five losses for the Nocona girl’s team came against Rider by double-digits 66-40.
This year the Lady Raiders are without Iowa State committed Jalynn Bristow and the Lady Indians took advantage.
Holding Rider to only eight points in the first quarter, it allowed Nocona to get out in transition and take a double-digit lead 19-8.
While the Lady Raiders got out and scored big in the second and third quarters, they did nothing to slow down Nocona as the Lady Indians still outscored them 21-20 and 20-16 in those quarters.
The pace was slowed as Nocona started to stall out possessions in the fourth quarter to prevent Rider from trying to come back and the Lady Indians lead to grew to 69-47 by the end.
Megyn Meekins led the team with 32 points while Skyler Smith and Sydnee Mowry joined her in double-figures scoring 13 and 12 points.
The Nocona boys kept the game close in the first half, trailing Belles only 23-20 at halftime. Unfortunately, a bad third quarter in which the Indians scored only four points while allowing the Panthers 12 proved to be the big difference in the game.
Despite bouncing back and scoring 12 points in the fourth quarter, it was not enough to get back into the game.
Michael Wetmore led the team with eight points, all scored in the final period, along with Javier Gaytan. Brady McCasland was second with seven points.
The Saint Jo basketball teams both beat Wichita Christian on Tuesday.
The Lady Panthers won 71-20 while the boys won 63-26.
The Saint Jo girls had four girls score in double-figures.
Payzlie Cervantes and Kate Sherwin both led the team with 15 points each. Aubrey Morman was second with 13 points and Kyler Dunn scored 10 points.
The Panthers were led by Kile Thurman who scored 18 points while Collin Thomas joined him in double-figurers scoring 11 points.
Both Gold-Burg teams were able to win big against Vernon Northside on Tuesday night.
The Lady Bears won 53-18 while the boys won 52-28.
The Gold-Burg girls Coach Cheryl Cromleigh had nothing but praise for her girls after the game.
“Our defense was very effective and our offense really set the pace,” Cromleigh said. “We were able to get the ball inside to Sadie Weaver who had an outstanding game scoring 23 points and point guard Ollie Gaston did a great job feeding the post. Shadie and Sadie Whitaker did a great job up top shutting down Vernon Northside’s shooters and Destinie and Sierra Weaver did a great job on the boards and helping down low.”
The boy’s team was led by Jayon Grace who scored 21 of his 24 points in the first three quarters, but also made seven 3-pointers during the game.
The Forestburg Longhorns got a big win against Savoy at home on Tuesday while the girl’s team lost a close game.
The boy’s team won 58-39 while the Lady Horns’ fourth quarter push came up short, losing 38-32.
For the Longhorns, it was a close game through three quarters.
The Cardinals led 25-24 at halftime and Forestburg led only 37-33 heading into the final period.
In the fourth quarter, the Longhorns outscored Savoy 21-6 to pull away and get the big win.
Kyler Willett led the team with 19 points, 25 rebounds and seven blocked shots. Jesus Sanchez was second with 13 points and led the team with seven assists while Nathan Payne and Jessie Wadsworth each had 11 points.
The Lady Horns fell behind 22-10 at halftime in their game after only scoring two points in the second quarter.
Down 31-17 heading into the final period, Forestburg was able to almost double its scoring output in the fourth quarter. Unfortunately, it was just not enough to come back as it fell short 38-32.
Madisen Deason was second with eight points and grabbed a deal high nine rebounds. Alli Cisneros swiped a team high four steals to add to four points. Kaydence Willtet led the team with 11 points.
The Bellevue Lady Eagles beat Garner at home on Tuesday night.
The Lady Eagles won 57-21 against Garner.
Bellevue was led by Tristan Shook who scored 14 points. Cirstina Allen and Callie Martin joined her in double-figures scoring 12 and 11 points.
Coach John McGee did not like how his team played in the first half, but a 24 point fourth saw the team finish strong to get the win by a lot.
Besides just his top scorers, McGee praised how his team had seven of his eight players score baskets which he knows he will need to see during district play.
To read the full story, pick up a copy of the weekend edition of the Bowie News.
Bowie breaks the Bulldog full-court press
The Bowie Jackrabbits passed a big early season test by dominating Burkburnett at home on Tuesday night.
The Jackrabbits won 66-45 and were up by more than that several times in the second half.
This is Bowie’s seventh season in a row playing the Bulldogs. Traditionally a competitive 4A program that makes the playoffs, it has always been a tough draw that has not favored the Jackrabbits during that time.
Bowie has won only once in the past six seasons against the Bulldogs, and it was not the state title team or the team after that one. It was a close 68-64 win in 2020, which was current Jackrabbit Coach Andy Atkins’ second win.
Burkburnett is, if not the first, than the best early season test for Jackrabbit teams on how good its press break is. The Bulldogs feature a lot of good, long athletes and their Coach Danny Nix employs a platoon system to keep them fresh and full-court presses teams all game.
Bowie was coming off a win against Springtown where it saw some press defense and was in the mindset already coming in. With senior ball handlers Brody Armstrong and A.J. Whatley having multiple years of experience coming into the game, the Jackrabbits were ready to attack the press.
Bowie avoided disaster bringing the ball up and carefully worked around the trapping zone defense into its players inside. Bayler Swint and Tucker Jones aren’t the tallest of front court duos, but both took advantage of their teammates passing and looked to finish around the basket. They combined to score 16 of the team’s 20 points in the first quarter as the Jackrabbits led 20-10.
Bowie sat back in a tight zone all game and dared Burkburnett to shoot from outside, not wanting to give up driving lanes. The Bulldogs made five 3-pointers in the game, but it was not enough to make the Jackrabbits change its strategy or come back from the double-digit deficit.
Bowie’s offense got more balanced as its perimeter players started to find holes in the zone and knocking in three 3-pointers in the second quarter. The Jackrabbits didn’t falter even when inexperienced bench players came into the game as they led 38-22 at halftime.
The defense was its most locked in during the third quarter, which allowed some mistakes to not be catastrophic or momentum changing for Bowie. Andrew Sandhoff led the team with seven points during the quarter while Jones added six more points.
The Jackrabbits had a commanding 55-29 lead at the start of the fourth quarter and the bench units got to play out the majority of the rest of the game. It was the only quarter Burkburnett outscored Bowie, but only by 16-11 which allowed the Jackrabbit starters to sit back and cheer on their teammates playing big minutes.
Bowie won easily 66-45.
To read the full story, pick up a copy of the weekend edition of the Bowie News.
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