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Lady Indians going to state

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The Nocona Lady Indians beat Muenster and defending state champions Lipan at the 2A region II tournament on Feb. 23-24 to qualify for the state tournament in San Antonio.

After years of local domination, the Nocona Lady Indians are finally going to the basketball state tournament this week after winning the 2A region II title on Saturday at McKinney North.
The Lady Indians got redemption, beating Lipan 50-41, the defending state champions who beat Nocona last year in the same game. The Lady Indians also beat Muenster the day before 58-43.
Nocona came into the tournament feeling confident, but knew it was not going to be easy. Last year the team played Muenster twice and both games were low-scoring and competitive with the Lady Indians winning by only four and five points.
The first quarter of last year’s game in the regional tournament infamously ended with Nocona leading 1-0.
The Lady Hornets had a similar record and ranking heading into the semifinal game this year, with 29 wins and ranked 16th in the state in 2A according to the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches poll and 12th according to Max Preps.
Nocona knew it was going to be tough despite being favorites to win again against a Muenster team that was seeking redemption for last year.
The Lady Hornets played a deliberate and patient offensive game, with much off-ball movement coming off of screens. Nocona opted to play man-to-man defense, so players had to navigate the many screens for sometimes a full minute. Many Lady Indians even took to barreling through some screens to try and keep attached to players.
Muenster played a similar style of defense, with nothing fancy except straight up man-to-man.
The first quarter was a little slow, but nothing compared to last year’s slugfest as Nocona led 8-7.
“Their urgency and defense makes it tough,” Coach Kyle Spitzer said. “When we are on offense it just seems like it is so hard to score sometimes.”
The biggest thing to happen was the Lady Indians Skyler Smith got into foul trouble, picking up two fouls in the final minute which pushed her to the bench.
Muenster found its most successful offense hunting matchups for big, but not tall, player Anna Kay Hennigan who used her size and skill to score on drives to the basket. With Smith out, Nocona was more vulnerable to these disadvantage matchups.
Luckily, the Lady Indians still had their leading scorer Meg Meekins to lead them and the Lady Hornets had no answer. Meekins had scored six points in the first quarter and then scored 10 in the second quarter.
This helped cover as Smith had to go back to the bench midway through the quarter as she picked up her third foul.
Nocona led 25-17 at halftime.
For most of the third quarter the Lady Indians had trouble scoring after two quick baskets in the first two minutes. Muenster was hanging around and Nocona got more bad news when Smith picked up her fourth foul with three minutes left to play in the quarter.
With the Lady Hornets trailing by six points they were hoping they could change the momentum of the game.
Again, there was too much Meekins for Muenster to handle. She scored eight of her team’s 15 points in the quarter and helped spark a 10-6 run to end quarter. Nocona led by double-digits heading into the fourth quarter, up 40-30.
Give the Lady Indians a lead in the final period and it has been death for opponents.
While it almost back fired in their previous game against Cisco, the scaling back of Nocona’s offense to run some clock with good free throw shooters and ball handlers on the court has made it hard for opponents to come back against the Lady Indians.
Still, the Lady Hornets gave it their best shot. Muenster went on a 10-2 run in about a two minute sequence to cut the lead down to 49-43 with 2:14 left to play.
Smith came back in and she made up for her time sitting as she was sent to the free throw line four times.
She sunk all eight of her attempts to help Nocona pull away for good as the Lady Hornets offense ran out of gas. Aubree Kleinhans added one more free throw to give the Lady Indians their final point as Nocona won by the comfortable margin 58-43.

To read the full story that includes the recap against Lipan in the regional final, pick up a copy of the mid-week edition of the Bowie News.

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Softball Roundup

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Nocona
The Nocona Lady Indians lost a tough game at Muenster on Tuesday night.
The Lady Hornets won 13-2 after four and half innings due to run-rule, but most of the damage came in one inning for Muenster.
Nocona was coming into the game after a one-sided win against a smaller Saint Jo team, but knew it would have to play well if it wanted a chance to win.
The beginning of the game was competitive as the Lady Indians got on the board first with Skye Kirby driving in a run on a single.
The Lady Hornets loaded the bases up with no outs in the first inning, but Nocona almost got out of the jam unscathed before a passed ball and a single allowed two runs to come in and score. Muenster led 2-1 after the first inning.
The teams exchanged scoreless innings in the second and third before the Lady Hornets broke open in the game in the bottom of the fourth.
Muenster scored 11 runs on three singles, two triples, two walks, three fielding errors and a two-run home run. The Lady Hornets led 13-1.
Nocona needed to score at least three runs in the fifth inning to prevent the game from ending early due to run-rule.
The Lady Indians leadoff batter A Sutton got on base by drawing a walk. She got moved to second base on a groundout and later went to third base on a passed ball.
Heidi Atteberry then grounded out, but it was enough to get Sutton home for a run.
It looked like Nocona would score more as Shelby Sewell hit a single to get on base.
Avery Crutsinger hit a groundball that resulted in an error that allowed her and Sewell to advance to third and second base. Unfortunately, the next batter grounded out to end the game.
The Lady Hornets won 13-2.

Saint Jo
The Saint Jo Lady Panthers lost a high-scoring shootout at home Tuesday night against Era.
The Lady Hornets won 31-15, but the Lady Panthers avoided getting run-ruled in a game that was going their way in the beginning.
Saint Jo was ahead 8-2 after the first three innings and was playing well, until its pitchers started having deep troubles finding the strike zone.
Era scored 11 runs in the fourth inning and took a 13-8 lead and the Lady Panthers could not get the game back in control.
Too many walks and hit batters just could not keep the Lady Hornets off the board and scoring great in the final three innings.
While Saint Jo had success offensively, scoring runs in every inning in the game, it never had an explosive inning it needed to catch back up.
The Lady Panthers scored to keep the game going, trailing 13-9 after four innings, 18-12 after five and 21-13 after six.
Era then ended the game with another 10 runs in the seventh inning to make the final score worse than it was for most of it.
Saint Jo added two runs in the final inning to make the score 31-15 at the end.
Taylor Patrick, Jordyn O’Neal, Krista Reeves and Aubrey Morman each drove in two runs each to lead the team. O’Neal led the team with five hits while her, Patrick and Reagan Wilson each scored three runs each. The team finished with 16 hits in the game and drew four walks.

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

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Baseball Roundup

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Nocona
The Nocona Indians lost in the final inning at Perrin-Whitt on Tuesday night.
The Pirates came back to score all of their runs in the seventh inning to steal a win from the Indians 3-2.
Nocona was coming off a dominant series against Saint Jo the previous week and was hoping it could further that against another 1A team.
It didn’t turn out to be the case despite the Indians leading almost the entire game.
Walker Murphey led off for Nocona and drew a walk.
An error trying to pick him off allowed him to go to second base before a sacrifice bunt moved him to third base.
Following a strikeout, Brody Langford hit a ball to left field that resulted in an error that allowed Murphey to come in and score to put the Indians up 1-0.
The next four innings were scoreless for both teams Nocona nursed its one-run lead into the sixth inning. There the Indians added to their lead.
Wesley Murphey hit a one-out double to get a runner in scoring position.
Langford came through and hit a single that drove in the base runner to put Nocona’s lead up to and feeling good 2-0.
Perrin-Whitt had a great chance to get on the board in the same inning as two singles and a hit batter loaded the bases up with only one out.
Pitcher Walker Murphey got out of the jam with a strikeout and a fly out in foul territory to keep the shutout going.
Unfortunately, that bit of momentum from the Pirates carried over into the seventh inning.
The leadoff batter got on base thanks to an error at shortstop. Two singles followed to load the bases up with no outs. The next batter then hit a bases clearing triple to end the game.
Perrin-Whitt won 3-2.

Saint Jo
The Saint Jo Panthers completed a double-header on Tuesday at Muenster and lost both games.
The Panthers lost the first game against the JV team 7-3 before losing by run-rule against the varsity team 20-1 after three and half innings.
Saint Jo was coming off tough double-header losses to Nocona the previous week and was hoping it could bounce back.
The first game against the JV Hornets team only went five innings. Muenster lead after the first inning 1-0, but the Panthers answered with one run in the third inning to tie the game.
The Hornets responded with two runs scored in the third, fourth and fifth innings.
Saint Jo added two runs in the fifth inning, but it was not enough to catch back up as it lost 7-3.
The game against the varsity team saw most of the damage come in the third inning. Muenster led 2-0 before racking up 18 runs in a third inning that would not end for Saint Jo.
The Panthers answered with one run in the fourth inning to make the final score 20-1.
Charlie Barclay got the only hit for Saint Jo in the game.
The team drew four straight walks in the final inning to score its only run in the game.

Bellevue
The Bellevue Eagles lost a tough game on Tuesday night against 2A Chico.
The Dragons won 12-0 after four and half innings due to run-rule.
Chico scored most of the runs in the first and fourth innings as Bellevue limited the Dragons to just one run in the second and third innings combined.
Chico scored four runs in the first inning and seven in the fourth inning.
Bellevue had only one base hit in the game with Bryce Ramsey hitting a single.
On defense, the team gave up 10 hits and three walks while committing three fielding errors.

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

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Lady Rabbits fall on the road at Holliday

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The Bowie Lady Rabbits lost a tough game at Holliday on Monday night.
The Lady Eagles won 12-2 after five innings due to run-rule.
Bowie was hoping it could compete well with Holliday coming off a good win against Vernon in its previous game. While the Lady Rabbits lost to the Lady Eagles in the first game, Bowie had avoided getting run-ruled and took that as a positive sign. Unfortunately, that was not avoided on Monday.
After a scoreless first inning, Bowie had gotten on the board first in the second inning. Sadie Britt led off with a double. Two batters later, Victoria Watson drove her in with a single to put the Lady Rabbits up 1-0.
Unfortunately, Holliday answered with nine runs in the same inning scored on six singles, a double, two walks and two fielding errors. Bowie was down 9-1 and could not get back into the game.
The Lady Eagles added two more runs on a two-run home run in the third inning to go up 11-1.
The Lady Rabbit offense answered in the fourth inning with the same two players coming through again.
Britt led off and hit a single.
Two wild pitches allowed her to advance to third base before two batters later, Watson got her home, this time on a sacrifice fly ball to make it 11-2.
Bowie’s defense allowed no runs in the fourth inning and after failing to score on offense in the fifth inning, it needed to do it again to prevent the game from ending early due to run-rule.
Unfortunately, Holliday loaded the bases up with two singles and a hit batter with no outs before a single drove in one run to end the game.
The Lady Eagles won 12-2.

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

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