By Tom Behrens
After an 11-21 season in the 2016-2017, Katy boys basketball has won its first 10 games of the 2017-18 campaign and surpassed last year’s win total Dec. 1 with a 53-51 Silver semifinal victory against a Katy Taylor at Phillips 66 Katy Classic, Nov. 30-Dec. 2.
The Katy Tigers bring back this year juniors Ja’Koby Kennedy, Isaiah Babalola, Kirby Aldridge, Ty Archibald and Christian Lewis.
Steven Fontenette, who played junior varsity last year, has been averaging roughly 17 points and 10 rebounds. Justus Mouton, has only 10 turnovers in an early eight-game span.
The Katy girls basketball team is 15-4, on pace for another 20-win season. The Lady Tigers defeated Conroe, 45-35 on Dec. 5. Cassidy Howard and Keke Cleveland each had 11 points. Savannah May had six points and four steals. Alexys Morrison chipped in eight rebounds.
After being down 23-8 against Taylor on Dec. 8 District 19-6A tipoff for both teams, the Lady Tigers came back to win 53-44. Savannah May led with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Amira Layeni added 13 points and four rebounds. Cassidy Howard drained three 3’s and Keke Cleveland had a great second half accumulating eight points.
“We really had a rough start, struggling the first quarter, three of 23 from the three point line in the first half, but my kids never lost confidence,” said Katy Coach, Shanna Marhofer in regards to the Taylor game. The game changer was when the Lady Tigers picked up their defensive intensity.
“The kids are focused on what we set to accomplish and kept playing until the end, as we do every year.”
May, Howard and Cleveland have been doing a phenomenal job for the Lady Tigers. Savannah May was the sixth man off the bench last year. This year as a junior, in the Taylor game got 10 rebounds. “I believe she leads the team in steals. She is all over the place defensively for us. Cassidy, a junior this year, stepped into the role as a starter for Taylor last year when the Tigers senior point guard broke an ankle. She did a great job very quickly and has continued to do well. She has a great three-point shot for us.”
Keke, a senior, is a spark off the bench. “She starts some games, and then some games she comes off the bench. She is extremely fast, does a great job attacking the rim.”
In Katy’s closest game so far, the Lady Tigers defeated Oak Ridge 42-40. Cassidy Howard and Allana Thompson both had nine points. Savannah May added eight points, five rebounds, and three steals.
Katy, 15-4, Mayde Creek, 8-10, and Seven Lakes, 12-7 overall records have recorded early District wins. Cinco Ranch takes on Katy this Friday for the Lady Cougars first District game.