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The three has changed basketball

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One of the biggest introductions to a sport at all levels was the adoption of the 3-point line in basketball.
With roots dating back to 1945, it was the rival professional basketball league to the NBA, the American Basketball Association that made it popular throughout its nine year history from 1968-1976. The NBA adopted it later for the 1979-80 season.
College basketball flirted with it for most of the 1980s, with several conferences featuring it only during conference play. It wasn’t until the 1986-87 season where it was adopted along all of college basketball.
That same year was also when it was adopted at the high school level across the nation.
Current Lindsay boy’s basketball coach Chris Cornelison was a player at Bowie during that time and remembers the attitude towards the shot was the prevailing strategy for decades to come.
“I don’t think we really looked at it as a gimmick, but we definitely had players that where quality perimeter shooters,” Cornelison said. “Having played for Coach (Gayno) Shelton my freshman through junior year, you definitely had to earn the right to take those shots. Coach Shelton’ players were very well disciplined and you new what shots you were expected to take. I think that during that time as well you were either an inside player or a perimeter player and it was not considered a high percentage shot, especially for the post players.”
Shelton remembers heading into the season not being too worried about it.
“It was okay with me,” Shelton said. “I remember I got a call from the Wichita Falls Times Record News sports writer. The question he was asking me was do you think it will change the game? Do you think this and that. I said, I don’t think so. I said what we will use it for is for defensive reference on how we are going to cover this team. But was I wrong? Did it change the game? Well, it surely did.”
The game was dominated by tall, large post players for most of its history.
Now at the highest level only one is usually required and the ability to move their feet in space on defense in order to not give up open shots is a requirement to get important minutes.
Post ups used to be a feature of most offenses. Nowadays at the highest level, post ups are saved for when a player gets a favorable mismatch on a significantly shorter player since defenses use a switching style defenses in order to not give up open shots from the perimeter.
The dominant tall players now are rarely just planted in the post. They are more skilled then ever, with the ability to handle the ball, shoot from the perimeter as well as score from the post.
While it wasn’t an overnight change, the biggest change in philosophy has come in the last decade. At the professional level, 3-point attempts were at 18.4 a game 10 years ago to almost doubling that this past season at 35.2 attempts a game. Despite almost every player at every position shooting them now growing up, the percentage has hovered around a 35 percent average since the mid 1990s.
The answer to why is as simple as math according to Prairie Valley boy’s basketball coach Seth Stephens.
“The simple way to look at it is, if you can shoot 35 percent from three, you’re already at 1.05 points per possession,” Stephens said. “That’s a significantly lower percentage than the 50 percent you have to shoot from inside the arc to get to just one point per passion.”
In other words, a team shooting league average from the 3-point line will score as many points as team making half of its shots from inside the arc. One is easier to achieve than the other.

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

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Briles earns state honor

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Forestburg’s Brenna Briles won the 1A girl’s high jump at the state meet. (Photo by Cassie McFadden)

Forestburg’s Brenna Briles was named to the Texas High School Coach’s Association’s 1A Track and Field Super Elite Team. Briles won the 1A state title in the girl’s high jump in May. The THSCA Super Elite Teams consists of high school players nominated by current professional members of the Texas High School Coaches Association. The player must meet the THSCA award criteria to be nominated. The award recognizes student athletes across the state of Texas for their exemplary athletic achievement in their respective sport.

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Oil Bowl athletes compete well

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Nocona’s Skyler Smith drives into the lane as Prairie Valley’s Makaylee Gomez and Bowie’s Ziba Robbins converge on her in the Oil Bowl.

All 16 area athletes got the chance to play in the 87th Maskat Shrine Oil Bowl Classic on Friday and Saturday.
For the vast majority of the athletes it was not only the last time to represent their school weeks after graduation, it also was the last time many will play organized sports.
The basketball games started the weekend off Friday night. In the girl’s game, Nocona’s Skyler Smith and Bellevue’s Cirstin Allen played for the east team. The west team had Bowie’s Ziba Robbins and Prairie Valley’s Makaylee Gomez.
The west’s overall depth led to the team prevailing 73-56 as Robbins scored 13 points while Gomez scored five points. Smith finished with 14 points while Allen scored three points.
For Smith and Robbins, it was only the final high school game for each. Both are signed to play basketball in college, with Smith playing at East Texas Baptist University and Robbins at local Midwestern State University.
For Gomez and Allen, representing their schools one last time and proving they belong in a game with the area’s best players despite being from a 1A school was a good experience for both.
The boy’s game saw the two area’s players on the same east team. Nocona’s Javier Gaytan and Prairie Valley’s Tyson Easterling got some run in their final high school game.
The west won the high scoring shootout 91-70. Gaytan finished with 11 points while Easterling scored two points. Despite being on the losing end, both had fun one last time playing with the area’s best.
On Saturday, there were two volleyball games. The first game saw players from schools that were 2A and smaller play in a game while the second was for players from schools 3A and bigger. Nocona Coach Kara Lucherk coached east team in both games.
In the first game, Prairie Valley’s Kasi Phillips and Gold-Burg’s Jimena Garcia played for the west team. Bren Fenoglio from Nocona played for her old coach on the east team.
The west team easily won in straight sets as all three players expressed both sadness it was over and that they had fun.
The big school volleyball game was more of the same though it was the east team that won that game. Bowie’s Olivia Gill was sad in the outcome with her being on the west team, but was happy to put on her jersey one last time and get several chances to spike the ball over the net.
The football game saw six players from Bowie and Nocona suit up for the east team. While their team scored first, the west eventually came back to win 14-7, with an opposing player intercepting a pass in the end zone in the final minute to wrap the game up.
From Bowie, Troy Kesey was asked to block from his tight end position more than go out for passes and did his job. Seth Mann used his speed to provide continuous pursuit while playing defensive end.
From Nocona, Brady McCasland and Cooper Waldrip got to play new positions at cornerback for the first time. Charlie Fuller saw a few reps at wide receiver, but mostly played on defense at cornerback in small doses as well.
With all five athletes playing football for the final time, the novelty of playing in the game despite smaller roles than they were used to was fun for them.
Nocona’s Johnny Stone played only a couple of reps at his usual linebacker spot on defense, but he has more in his future. He is signed to play football at Nelson University this fall.

To see pictures of the athletes, pick up the mid-week edition of the Bowie News.

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Oil Bowl 2024 Interviews

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There were 16 athletes from our coverage area who competed in the 87th Annual Maskat Shrine Oil Bowl on June 14-15. The first video is an interview with the athletes who played in the girls basketball game (L-R) Skyler Smith, Ziba Robbins, Cirstin Allen and Makaylee Gomez. The second interview was the athletes who played in the boys basketball game (L-R) Tyson Easterling and Javier Gaytan. The third interview was athletes who played in the small school volleyball game (L-R) Jimena Garcia, Kasi Phillips and Bren Fenoglio. The fourth interview was the athlete who played in the big school volleyball game Olivia Gill. The fifth interview was with the athletes who played in the football game (L-R) Troy Kesey, Johnny Stone, Cooper Waldrip, Brady McCasland, Charlie Fuller and Seth Mann.
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