Ellis County Chronicle,
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Lady Hawks get running start Red Oak rolls out to 2-0 start, gets a little revenge along the way By ALEX RILEY Chronicle sports writer
Photo by Alex Riley/The Chronicle
Vanessa Lopez (10) scored a goal in Red Oak’s 6-0 win over Seagoville. The Lady Hawks are now 2-0 on the season.
Revenge is a dish best served cold. Really, really cold. Just like the weather last Tuesday night. In freezing temperatures, the Red Oak girls soccer team ordered up a plate of sweet justice as the team beat Forney 1-0 in a grudge match that stems back from last season. While on the road for a game at the beginning of the year last winter, the Lady Hawks were beaten by the Lady Jackrabbits. Beaten and a bit insulted. Forney endlessly celebrated its goals in front of the Red Oak bench and fans causing a bit of a rift between the two teams. That rivalry came to a head on Tuesday as Shana Thomas took a Hailey Sutton assist into the net in
the second period to score the gamewinning goal. “It feels pretty awesome especially since I’m sick and I scored the goal on them, it’s kind of like in your face,” Thomas said. “They kind of insulted us a little bit last year because we were the visitors and they came on our side and every time they scored they would run around our side. It was very insulting.” The desire for a victory was one coach Laurie Norrell immediately recognized from her team as the Lady Hawks played outstanding defense for much of the night en route to pitching the shutout. Her team’s drive was elevated by the match last fall, she just didn’t realize how much it had motivated them.
Upcoming schedule Jan. 21-23 @ Aledo Tournament TBA Jan. 26 @ Cedar Hill 7 p.m. “I wasn’t there because I had a kidney infection but from what the parents and players told me it was really ugly,” Norrell said. “The fans were ugly, the girls were ugly. This was payback for us.” See SOCCER, Page 7
Sizable advantage Girls basketball team uses height of post players as weapon By ALEX RILEY Chronicle sports writer
In a sport laden with speedy players running up and down the court, Raquel Dent stands out above the rest. Literally. At 6-foot-4, Dent is yin to Red Oak’s team yang. Surrounded by some of the best perimeter players in the Metroplex, Dent is an option down low that provides the Lady Hawks with a post presence offensively and especially defensively. Coach Melissa Fullmer believes Dent is a strong candidate for district defensive player of the year.
Photo by Lezley Norris/Special to the Chronicle/www.photosbylezley.com
Junior forward Jamie Conkle has become a reliable role player in the post for Red Oak this season.
Ninth-grade girls basketball update
Most shooters who try to drive the lane on Dent get a first hand look at why the senior’s name gets thrown into the running. Her length and reach have helped alter and block shots. In a game against Lancaster, Dent almost came up with an unheard of double-double — nine blocks and nine rebounds. “That’s amazing. I’m aiming for it. I try, I really try because I want to get defensive player of the year. I do make a lot of stops on and off the ball,” Dent said. However, Dent is not totally alone. When the regular starter needs a breather, Dent is replaced by 6-foot junior Jamie Conkle who brings a very similar style of play to the court. Conkle, a first-year varsity player, brings the same lanky length to the court as her counterpart Dent does. That size allows Red Oak to continue playing the same style defense without missing a beat as both players have similar ways to guarding the paint. “It’s a great advantage especially on the defensive end because they both have really long arms and Raquel alters a lot of shots. And Jamie’s got some shots that she’s really starting to alter here lately,” Fullmer said. “It makes a big difference because when you make it harder for the offense to score it gives us a chance to get that defensive rebound and let us get out and run a little bit in transition. They both play a key role defensively.” How rare is the height advantage Red Oak has been blessed with? Consider this — at the DeSoto Rotary Classic earlier this season, Red Oak was one of 18 teams taking part in the event with all its stat information listed. (A total of 20 teams took part but the DeSoto junior varsity team and a team without heights for their players were excluded.) Of the 18 teams considered, eight had two or more players that were 6-foot or better. Six had only one while four had none that cleared the 6-foot mark. In that group of players, Dent was the tallest at 6-foot-4 with seven players of 6-foot-2 being the next closest. “It’s a great advantage because no one wants to go in the paint. They always want to take it out. See HEIGHT, Page 7
Red Oak ISD Round-up Junior varsity boys basketball update
The Red Oak ninth-grade girls made it back-to-back easy wins over district competition as the team beat Terrell 60-32 in a road contest. Behind Bailey Hebert’s game- and careerhigh 37 points, the Lady Hawks evened their district record to 3-3. The victory was the second straight wide margin for Red Oak as it beat Mabank 48-20 a few days prior. “It was lopsided but it wasn’t for a while because you come off a big win and you don’t always play your best game,” coach Bryan Rogers said. “But the girls picked it up and they fought through it. Now we have a 3-3 district record going into halfway through.”
The junior varsity squad kept the trend going as the team took a 10-8 lead with 1:10 left in the first period and never looked back to go on and win 65-47 over Terrell. Three huge 3-pointers by Nate Depperschmidt propelled the team to a 30-14 halftime lead. Forney could never really get much closer as the Hawks flirted with a 20point lead the rest of the night and used free throw shooting the fourth to close out the win. Depperschmidt, Grant Glover and Jeremiah Gaines combined to go 7-of-8 on free throws in the fourth period to ice the win. “We played real well, we handed the ball better in the first half, our passing was better, which was a big concern. But we’ve got to have our head in the game,” coach Bruce Bowen said.
Ninth-grade boys basketball update A big third period helped carry Mabank past Red Oak in ninth-grade boys action in a 60-49 game. Down by two at the half, the Hawks were outscored 15-7 in the third period and could never fully recover. Marquis McNeil led in scoring with 16 while Brandon Burks added seven. Quinton McDade grabbed eight rebounds and blocked five shots while McNeil added five steals to lead the defense. The Hawks would bounce back as a bevy of players found their way into the scoring column for the Red Oak ninth-grade boys team as the Hawks (11-9, 2-2 district) upended visiting Terrell 51-29. Red Oak’s defense kept Terrell from scoring more than nine points in a period while the offense rolled. Nine players scored in the win as coach Charles Boyd got the chance to empty his bench and see what some of his other players could do.
Photo by Alex Riley/The Chronicle
With her length and reach, Raquel Dent has become a force in the paint for Red Oak and could win defensive player of the year honors.
Varsity boys basketball update Photo by Alex Riley/The Chronicle
Bailey Hebert posted a season-high 37 points in a big road win over Terrell, 60-32. “We got balanced scoring and a few people off the bench came in and put in points. A good learning experience for them,” Boyd said. Burks led the scoring with 18 while McNeil added 14 to be the double-figure scorers. McDade had another big defensive effort with six boards and three blocks while McNeil added five steals.
Some things are just worth the wait. For the Red Oak boys basketball team, Tuesday night proved to be just that. Aided by timely defense and some big help from the bench, the Hawks rallied from a first quarter deficit to beat Terrell 66-56 and inch their way back into the District 15-4A race. After dropping the first two district games of the season, the Hawks (16-7) have rallied back with wins over Mabank and Terrell. But the victory over the Tigers did not come easy. An early spurt by Terrell put the Hawks in a hole to start the night as the team trailed 82 in the early goings. Six straight points by Gaylon Edwards brought the team back in the game down 10-8. A runner off the window by Claude Person tied things up at 14 late in the
Photo by Alex Riley/The Chronicle
Freshman post player Quinton McDade had eight blocks over the last two games for the Red Oak freshmen. period as Foster went to the bench for players to give the starting five a rest. Taking one of the guard spots was freshman Brandon Brady who stepped in and stepped up. Back-to-back baskets as time drew to an end in the first period trimmed the See ROUND-UP, Page 7
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Ellis County Chronicle
Helping lead the pack Harris relishing role running the point, team captain for senior campaign By ALEX RILEY Chronicle sports writer
When Red Oak coach Preston Foster gives out the play he wants his team to run, there are two ways of doing it — the lengthy, specific instructions way or the Dominique Harris way. A senior point guard, Harris has been running the floor for the last two seasons. His knowledge of what Foster wants is deep, making for short directions. “I know what to do as a point guard — run the team,” Harris says with a smile. “He just lets me play the game and run the show.” With Harris’ knowledge of the game, Red Oak has flourished this season. Offensively, the team averages 68.2 points per game, second best in the area against other 4A teams. A large part of that success can be attributed to Harris who has taken over the duty of primary ball-handler. In 20 games, Harris has averaged 6.1 points, sixth-best on the team roster But scoring has become his secondary role in the offense as Harris has developed a knack for finding the open man. Already this season, the veteran has doled
Upcoming schedule Jan. 22 vs. Forney 5 p.m/6:30 p.m./8 p.m. (ninth/JV/varsity) Jan. 26 vs. Lancaster 5 p.m/6:30 p.m./8 p.m. (ninth/JV/varsity) out 95 assists for a 4.8 assist per game average, top 10 in the area. That kind of leadership is exactly what Foster was looking for from his senior this season and so far he hasn’t disappointed. “He’s been around a lot. I think we have good communication. I think he understands what I want done. And he just has such an outgoing personality that he’s just going to get after it,” Foster said. His efforts at the point have not gone unnoticed. Prior to the start of the season, Harris was named a team captain and the honor has not been lost on him. While he would have led the team as the point guard alone, the title of captain has
made the rangy player step up his level of play even further in an effort to live up to the title. “It’s a big honor. I know every night I’ve got to come out here and play hard for my team to win,” Harris said. “If I come in and slack hard everybody else is going to slack. So it’s a big role.” Along with stepping up his personal efforts, Harris has also brought a focused attitude to the team on where they want to go. While battling for the District 15-4A title will be tough with teams like state-ranked Lancaster in the way, the Hawks believe a banner on the gym wall is still in their future. And with Harris running the show, they might not settle for anything less. “(So far, this season) is a lot of good, it’s real good. We’re just looking forward to playoffs right now,” Harris said. Alex at Contact email@example.com or at 469-517-1456. Photo by Alex Riley/The Chronicle
Senior point guard Dominique Harris is one of the offensive and defensive leaders for Red Oak this season.
Boys soccer rolls to start
Continued from Page 6
By ALEX RILEY
After being forced to delay the start of the season due to the inclement weather, Norrell was pleased to see her team respond to the adversity with the big win. Originally slated to take part in the Centex Tournament in Killeen, Red Oak spent last weekend at home as the tournament was canceled thanks to freezing conditions. Despite the week-long layoff, the team came out strong which gave Norrell hope for what lies ahead. “I don’t want to be too optimistic but I think this year’s team we work harder and we work for each other, we’re more of a team. Tonight we came out a little bit flat, a little off in the first half. Second half we came out better,” Norrell said. “I think once season gets rolling and the temperature goes up a little bit I think some numb feet were part of the problem, but I think we’re going to do well this season.” In a game not originally on the schedule, the Lady Hawks got a huge 6-0 win over Seagoville on Friday night to move to 2-0 for the season. Amber Franklin led the scoring with two
Chronicle sports writer
Photo by Alex Riley/The Chronicle
Hailey Sutton (back) had an assist in the Lady Hawks season opening 1-0 win against Forney. goals while Paige McMillan, Vanessa Lopez, Samantha Gonzales and Lauren Stewart each had one goal in the big win. Contact Alex at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 469-517-1456.
Round-up Continued from Page 6 lead to one at 19-18. After a Branden Hebert bucket tied the game at 20 early in the second period, Brady took over nailing back-to-back 3-pointers to give Red Oak a 26-24 lead it would never relinquish. Those were 10 points of Brady’s 12 for the game as that run provided the Hawks and Brady with a much needed lift. In the last three games, the sharp shooter was held to just six combined points and was held scoreless against Mabank. With the defense rolling, Red Oak held the Tigers scoreless the last three minutes of the first half to take a 35-26 advantage into the locker room. That margin looked to be withering away to start the second half as Terrell cut the gap to six points before an Earl Graves jumper put the team back up eight. After a Tiger miss, senior guard Dominique Bonner stepped up for a big 3pointer at the top of key and was fouled as he went up. The arcing shot fell as Bonner let out a yell and displayed a fist-pump that showed a little life from the Hawks. The veteran went on to hit the charity shot to put Red Oak up 45-33 as momentum made the big shift back to the home team. Later in the half, the offense got another boost from the bench as Domonique Harris came on to put up nine points in the second half, replacing Brady as the bench scoring threat. That, coupled with a game-high 20 points from Gaylon Edwards helped Red Oak secure its second straight win and improve to 4-3 since returning from the holiday break.
Height Continued from Page 6 They’re kind of scared of us,” Dent said. “No one dares bring it in because we defend the paint so well and we have such long reach and long arms that we block a lot of shots, get a lot of rebounds so a smaller team going into the paint area with me and Jamie in there, you don’t get far.” The bulk of playing time goes to Dent but Conkle has begun to come into her own. In her first varsity start last week, the junior scored the team’s first points, doled out an assist and Photo by Alex Riley/The Chronicle grabbed a rebound. Junior varsity player Nate That quick transition has been aided by Dent Depperschmidt scored 20 points in the who Conkle spent all last season matching up Hawks’ 65-47 win over Terrell. against in practice. The learning curve has been an easy one to handle. While the competition has undoubtedly made both players better, it has also made the low post a force to be reckoned with for Red Oak. “She tried to make me better because she knew I’d be playing with her next year and we just worked on passing to each other and being able to read each,” Conkle said of Dent. “She taught me how to post up harder and about jumping up to shoot it because I’m going to have to play against girls like her. We call each other sisters because we’re both tall and we say we have the same dad but a different mom.”
Upcoming schedule Jan. 22 @ Forney 6 p.m./7:30 p.m. (ninth and JV/varsity)
Junior varsity girls soccer update The 2010 season didn’t quite start off as well as expected for the Lady Hawks junior varsity soccer team as it was defeated 1-0 by Forney to open the season.
Before taking the field with Forney, Red Oak boys soccer coach Trent Kutch made his directions to the team simple — keep possession of the ball and show some emotion. After having their start to the season delayed, the Hawks were happy to oblige to his requests as the team posted a 3-0 victory to open the 2010 season over the Jackrabbits. “They were extremely fired up. Forney’s just a hard team to beat,” Kutch said. “They’re all big, they’re all strong, they’re all fast so that was a big thing to match that intensity because we knew they were going to have it at the start of the game.” Led by Shay Pate’s big night, Red Oak (10) eased its way into the game late in the first half on a Pate goal and never looked back. Pate notched a pair of goals and doled out an assist on Preston Hancock’s score that helped the team run out to the big lead and run away with the big win. “It was fun,” Pate said of the start. “(The win) puts us up real high. We’ll practice harder and stuff now.” Kutch emphasized playing keep-away from the Jackrabbits early on as Forney had been known to score quickly in a 2-0 start to the season. With the weekend tournament in Lovejoy canceled due to the freezing weather, Kutch wasn’t sure how his team would come out and respond. Though it took a few minutes to get warmed up, once the Hawks were firing they
were tough to stop. looked good today. “Everything Offensively it took a little while to get everything flowing especially being our first game,” Kutch said. “But once we started going we put pressure on it and kept possession like we needed to.” Along with Pate’s big goal scoring night came Keegan Stuart’s two-assist night as the team work translated into solid offense and even better defense. The Hawks were able to keep Forney away from the net for a large portion of the night which provided a big boost to team confidence. Coupled with Pate’s first goal near the end of the first half, the team was able to deliver a knockout blow early and go from there. “We kept possession extremely well which was a big key. I told the boys before the game started possession was a big thing against them and matching their intensity,” Kutch said. “They play hard and so once we did those two things I knew it was eventually going to happen and then it finally did before the first half ended and kept rolling for us.” The good things did keep rolling for Red Oak as the team took part in the Longview Tournament over the weekend. The boys rolled to a 3-1 win over Athens as Daniel Almaguer scored two goals and Pate added another off assists from Joel Ramirez, David Gonzalez and Almaguer. The team then beat Lufkin 1-0 on a Ramen Lopez goal with an assist from Ricky Tellez.
Photo Lezley Norris/Special to the Chronicle/www.photosbylezley.com Photo by Alex Riley/The Chronicle
The Red Oak junior varsity team dropped its season opener 1-0 to Forney in a home match.
Jan. 26 @ Lancaster 6 p.m./7:30 p.m. (ninth and JV/varsity)
Raquel Dent grabs a rebound in a game earlier this season. Dent averages 6.3 points per game and has become a shot blocking force in the paint for the Lady Hawks.