Playoffs continue for county teams
Saltillo girls face re-match with Kennard
By BOBBY "BUTCH" BURNEY, News-Telegram Sports Editor
Feb. 18, 2008 - The basketball playoffs continue for the Saltillo girls this week, while they begin for five boys teams in the county.
The No. 1-ranked Saltillo Lady Lions will face a re-match of last season's Class A, Div. II regional quarterfinal thriller against No. 6 Kennard. The two teams are scheduled to meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Kilgore College.
Their roles are reversed from last year, when Kennard was the top-ranked team and Saltillo was at No. 11. Kennard pulled out the victory with a 3-pointer at the buzzer and went on to win the region and qualify for the UIL State Tournament.
"Last year, I thought we had to play over our heads to beat them," said Saltillo head coach Garry Davison. "This year, I don't. I think we're the better team, and hopefully Tuesday night we'll prove that."
The Lady Lions are coming off a 64-25 victory over Gary in the area round on Friday, while Kennard edged Dodd City 51-43.
The Cumby boys open the bi-district round of the Class A, Div. I playoffs today when they face McLeod at 7:30 p.m. at Grace Community School in Tyler. Cumby finished the season as the No. 3 seed in District 18-A, while McLeod was the 19-A runner-up.
Tomorrow, the Yantis boys will take on Bloomburg at 7:30 p.m. at Gladewater High School. Yantis was the runner-up in 18-A, while Bloomburg was the No. 3 team.
North Hopkins, the champions of 18-A, have a first-round bye.
In the Class A, Div. II bracket, the Miller Grove Hornets will face Waxahachie Cornerstone at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Rockwall Heath. Miller Grove was the 22-A runner-up behind Saltillo.
No. 16-ranked Saltillo Lions will get a first-round bye.
Miller Grove fell to 22-9 on the season with a 46-43 loss to No. 5-ranked Valley View in a warm-up game over the weekend.
"This was a good game for us," said MGHS coach Gary Billingsley. "They play the same defense that we will see in the second round, and we did a good job of executing the game plan."
Andrew Steele led the way for the Hornets with 15 points, while Kenny Robbins added 10 points.
Both teams were tied at 20-20 at the half and Valley View led 31-27 heading into the fourth quarter.
Miller Grove opens bi-district play at 6 p.m. Tuesday against Waxahachie Cornerstone. The game will be played at Rockwall Heath High School.
Valley View 8 12 11 11 15 -46
Miller Grove 10 10 7 16 -43
Valley View - Noland 13, Holt 12, C. Vesperman 10, M. Vesperman 6, York 3, Anding 2.
Miller Grove - Andrew Steele 15, Kenny Robbins 10, Yan Heijligers 8, Aaron Baylus 8, Mason Kerby 2.