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Basketball Roundup

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Nocona
Both Nocona teams definitively wrapped up district titles for the second straight year at Olney on Tuesday night.
The Lady Indians won unthinkably by the score of 73-2 while the Indians won 54-30.
The Nocona girls had already wrapped up the district title no matter if it lost on Tuesday. Still, the Lady Indians wanted to keep playing well with playoffs on the horizon.
While already winning in dominant fashion in every district game, including holding the Lady Cubs to single-digits the first game, Nocona took it one step closer.
Through three quarters Olney had not scored a point. The Lady Cubs had two free throw attempts in the fourth quarter, but missed both.
With the final seconds ticking away, Olney avoided the shut out on its final possession of the game where it made one basket.
Nocona won 73-2.
The Lady Indians start their playoff journey at 8 p.m. on Feb. 12 at Mineral Wells against Anson.
The Nocona Indians knew a win at sixth place Olney should not be too much trouble, though they wanted to avoid any on-court dust ups like the first game.
The Indians limited the Cubs to only 10 points in the first half while scoring well and leading 29-10.
Olney bounced back in the third quarter, more than doubling its first half total and outscoring Nocona, though only by three points.
The Indians took care of the ball better in the fourth quarter and picked up their energy again to finish well in the final period. Nocona outscored the Cubs 14-6 as it won 54-30.

Saint Jo vs Prairie Valley girls
The Saint Jo Lady Panthers wrapped up their regular season with a win at Prairie Valley on Tuesday night.
The Lady Panthers won 68-27 against the Lady Bulldogs.
Saint Jo had guaranteed a district title its previous game against Forestburg. For Prairie Valley, it was the last game no matter the outcome.
The swarming Lady Panther press defense was everywhere against the young and low depth Lady Bulldogs.
Saint Jo executed like it wanted to in almost every way, working the ball inside against Prairie Valley’s zone instead of just settling for 3-pointers and scoring more efficiently than average.
The Lady Panthers were able to get a lot of younger players some varsity time in the second half and Coach Daniel Lindenborn thought they did a great job.
For the Lady Bulldogs, Linzie Priddy led the team with 14 points. Senior Makaylee Gomez, in her last game, scored nine points. Natalee Young grabbed a team high nine rebounds.

Saint Jo vs Prairie Valley boys
The Saint Jo Panthers beat Prairie Valley on the road Tuesday night to stay in third place in the district standings.
The Panthers won 61-43 against the Bulldogs.
Saint Jo was coming off a disappointing loss to second place Forestburg, but bounced back.
It was a high-scoring first quarter as Prairie Valley scored 19 points. The Panthers full-court press picked up the intensity and it limited the Bulldogs for the rest of the game to only single-digit point totals in the final three quarters.
Saint Jo slowly started to pull way, especially in the second half as it won.

Missing scores
The Forestburg teams had a bye-game.
The Gold-Burg girls team had to cancel its season for having too few players. The Bellevue Lady Eagles were scheduled to play them on Tuesday.

To read the full story, pick up a copy of the weekend 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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Nocona, Saint Jo finish in top 25 of Lone Star Cup

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On the Thursday the final Lone Star Cup standings were released for the 2023-2024 school year.
Montague County had two schools that finished among the top 25 in their classification.
Nocona finished tied for 13th place in 2A while Saint Jo was tied for 24th place in 1A.
It is the highest finish for Nocona ever since the Lone Star Cup started up in the late 1990s. While it is associated with and measures the overall success of a school’s athletic program, it also takes into account the school’s success in academic and other programs like band, one-act-play, robotics, etc.
Nocona scored points in volleyball, football, cheerleading, girls and boys basketball and baseball. Unfortunately, its state appearance in film did not count towards the total. It all added up to 41 points, which is the most in program history
For Saint Jo, the success of its volleyball, football, softball, baseball, girl’s and boy’s basketball teams led to 32 points.

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

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UIL changes playoff format

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The University Interscholastic League announced on Tuesday changes for the upcoming school year when it comes to playoff formatting.
For 2A-5A schools, playoff formatting for volleyball, basketball, softball, baseball and soccer will now be split up into two divisions that will model itself like the 6A football playoffs. For 1A schools, this will only be applied for basketball. In all, there will be 12 state champions in those sports now.
This means there will be two playoff divisions within every classification. Districts will stay the same and not be affected. Four teams from every district will still make the playoffs, but now the two biggest schools of the four will play in the bracket with the other bigger schools while the two smaller schools will play in the other bracket.
This will not be like 1A-5A football, where divisions are hard cut by enrollment numbers and district alignments are set up with this in mind. Some districts that feature schools with low enrollment numbers within a classification will have to send two schools to compete in the big school bracket.
At lower levels, it might still set up a scenario where a team faces a school with twice the enrollment numbers. The thought process is it should happen less.
With fewer teams in the playoff bracket, certain parts of the playoffs like the area round and the regional tournament will not be featured as there will be less games to play on the way to the state tournament.
While the announcement was surprising to some, other coaches said they first heard about it at the basketball state tournament. UIL polled coaches, who were reportedly all for the change according to Nocona athletic director Blake Crutsinger.
For some schools, the changes will not mean much besides fewer games. Bowie is in that spot. With an enrollment number of 493, only Vernon and Iowa Park are the schools in its district that are bigger and would have to finish at the top two spots in the standings in order for Bowie teams to play in the smaller bracket.
For other schools, the change could be a big deal. Nocona’s enrollment of 234 is only 20 short of the 2A limit. The Indians will most likely play in the bigger bracket in every sport.
The Lady Indians basketball team finished as runners-up at state this year and will return four of their five starters. The teams that have beaten them the last two years, Martin’s Mill and Lipan along with several other 2A basketball powers have low enrollment numbers and would probably be in the smaller school bracket.
For 1A schools, the change is welcome but the fact volleyball was not included was sad to see for some coaches. From a numbers perspective, there are almost twice as many schools that offer basketball (213) than volleyball (123) in 1A.

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

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