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Nocona
The Nocona Indians lost a tough bi-district playoff game against Peaster on Tuesday night.
The Greyhounds won 55-42 in a game that was much closer than many outsiders expected it to be.
Peaster came into the game ranked ninth in the state in the most recent poll and had just lost out on winning its district title with a loss against similar state power Brock. The Eagles chose to give the Greyhounds the first seed in order to avoid City View until later in the playoffs, which is how Peaster ended up playing Nocona.
The Indians had had an up and down district performance, beating teams that finished better in the standings like Holliday and Bowie, but also losing to non-playoff teams like Henrietta and Breckenridge.
This landed them in the fourth seed and playing a team no one outside of Nocona thought it could beat.
The Greyhounds like to employ a full-court press defense and get the pace of play up. This year’s team also had tall post player Noah Drenth that could score in the post as well.
It was a slow paced first quarter as Nocona ball handlers, outside of a couple bad turnovers, handled the press well and got into the Indians offense.
With Peaster up only 7-4 more than halfway through the quarter, the Greyhounds then went on a 7-2 run in the next minute and half to build their lead. Nocona trailed 14-8 heading into the second quarter.
It was the best stretch of play for the Indians all game. Nocona got a big boost from sophomore Brady McCasland who scored nine of his team’s 11 points in the quarter.
Thanks to lock down defense, at one point the Indians even led 17-16, but the Greyhounds took back the lead before halftime 22-19.
Unfortunately, Nocona could not keep up that level of defense to start the second half. Peaster seemed to play with a bit more fire that got it starting off well, but the Indians were still only down 28-24 after the opening minutes.
Nocona got dealt a rough blow as senior point guard Lyndon Fenoglio went down with a leg injury early in the quarter.
The Greyhounds started making shots and got a boost from Tramar Gilbert who scored 10 of their 18 points in the quarter.
Fenoglio was able to come back into the game late in the quarter and finish the game with no apparent problems, but by that time Peaster had built a double-digit lead. The Indians trailed 40-27 heading into the fourth quarter.
It was a more competitive final period, which did not bode well for Nocona. Employing a full-court press to prevent the Greyhounds from stalling, both teams started to rack up a lot of fouls which led to free throw attempts.
The Indians fought hard until the bitter end, but just could not make up any of the deficit as the teams both scored 15 points in the fourth quarter.
The Greyhounds won 55-42.

Saint Jo
The Saint Jo Panthers lost to Perrin-Whitt on Tuesday night in their bi-district round.
The Pirates came out hot and did not stop as they won 65-33 against the Panthers.
Saint Jo was hoping to have a successful playoff run after finishing third in the district and while coming off a good win against a state-ranked Electra team in the warm-up game.
Instead Perrin-Whitt came out ready to play, getting out to a 9-0 lead in the first quarter and never looked back.
The Pirates finished with 15 made 3-pointers, which was going to be trouble for Saint Jo even if it had played well on offense.
Instead, some old issues that have plagued this team all year on offense came up again. Mostly shot selection and finishing around the rim.
The Panthers were down 36-19 at halftime, but did chances to cut into the lead.
Unfortunately, that momentum would be altered with a timely 3-pointer from Perrin-Whitt.

To read the full story, pick up a copy of the weekend edition of the Bowie News.

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Forestburg Boys Interview

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Interview with Forestburg basketball players Talan Jones (left) and Kyler Willett following their bi-district playoff win against Newcastle on Feb. 20, 2024.
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Nocona Boys Interview

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Interview with Nocona basketball players Brady McCasland (left) and Conley Kleinhans following their bi-district playoff win against Haskell on Feb. 19, 2024.
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Saint Jo beats Bellevue in play-in game for 3rd place

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Devin Stewart scored 22 points for Saint Jo and helped the Panthers beat Bellevue on Friday night.

The Saint Jo Panthers were able to bounce back and beat Bellevue on Friday night in Bowie to earn the third seed in district play.
The Panthers won 69-51 against a hot Eagles team coming into the game.
Bellevue had won the last four district games heading into the game, including a dominant win against Saint Jo just the previous week.
The Eagles comeback win against second seed Forestburg earlier in the week clutched at least a playoff spot, with a play-in game against the Panthers for the third seed.
The first quarter was competitive as Bellevue led 15-12 as the Eagles had five different players score at least one point.
The Panthers answered back in the second quarter, scoring 22 points as the team got a big lift from Devin Stewart who scored nine points during that period.
Bellevue kept up, scoring 16 points even as it fell behind a little bit.
Saint Jo led 35-31 at halftime.
The Panthers defense stepped up in the third quarter, limiting the Eagles to only one basket and some free throw attempts as Bellevue scored seven points.
Saint Jo got a big boost from Barrett Johnson, who scored 10 of his team’s 14 points as the Panthers lead extended.
Saint Jo led 49-38 heading into the final period.
While the Eagles scored a bit better in the fourth quarter, scoring 13 points, it was not enough to keep up with the Panthers. Saint Jo went 12-16 from the free throw line in the final period alone, which helped the team score 20 points and pull further ahead.
The Panthers won 69-51.

To read the full story, pick up a copy of the mid-week edition of the Bowie News.

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