Sports

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By Tom Behrens, tbehrcomm@gmail.com

While the girls are battling it out in the area III quarterfinals at Merrell Center, Feb. 20, the boys will be playing their first playoff games in different venues across the west side of Houston. Seven Lakes takes on Bush, 7:30 p.m. at Coleman. The Bush Broncos have been regional finalists the last two years.

Cinco Ranch travels to Alief Taylor to play Ridge Point at 7:00 p.m.; Tompkins makes a short trip south to play Travis at Fulshear. District 19-6A non-Katy team, Strake Jesuit, plays Austin at 6:00 p.m. at Coleman.

Up to the very last game of the regular season, Cinco Ranch, Tompkins, and Strake Jesuit were all tied for first place and the number one seed for the playoffs in District 19-6A.

The final standings and seeding finds the Cougars of Cinco Ranch (26-5, 12-2), first place; Strake Jesuit Crusaders (24-7, 11-3), second; Tompkins Falcons (24-9, 11-3), third place; and Seven Lakes Spartans (24-8, 9-5) in the final seed.

Players to watch: Cinco Ranch, # 0 point guard, Jayjay Chandler, third with an average 12.5 ppg, second in rebounds, 3.7, first in assists, 2.5, and first in steals per game 1.3. #40 Alonzo Sule, power forward, third with 6.4 average ppg, first in rebounds, 4.3, fourth in steals, 0.5 and first in average blocks per game. It is noteworthy that Chandler’s numbers are above the National Average in all the categories. (Names and numbers supplied by MAX PREPS)

If you enjoy prep basketball, this is what you wait for all year…District 19-6A boys and girls battling for a shot at the Texas State Championship. Lace up your sneakers and don your favorite school colors. Cheer your team on to victory!

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By Tom Behrens, tbehrcomm@gmail.com

Seven Lakes girls basketball is masterful….

The Lady Spartans of Seven Lakes continued their march to a match up in the girls’ state championship by defeating Cypress Fairbanks, 48-31 on Friday evening. The Spartans next opponent is Langham Creek, number two seeded team out of District 17-6A who defeated Hightower 67-53, the number one seed from District 20.

Katy High School Lady Tigers win…

Season over for Taylor

Katy High School girls defeated Westside 63-42 Friday evening at Don Coleman Coliseum to advance to the quarterfinals. The last time the Lady Tigers made a quarterfinal appearance was more than 45 years ago. The Tigers next opponent is state ranked Cypress Ranch, a 75-39 winner over Taylor.

Katy and Westside exchanged leads throughout the game until the third quarter when Katy pulled ahead with a 7-0 run. In the third quarter the Tigers used a 15-0 run to take the lead 45-25. Laura Rowe led the Tigers with 32 points and eight rebounds.

In the Taylor game, Cypress Ranch led 36-14 at halftime and never looked back. Ariana Whitfield led the way for Cypress Ranch with 34 points.

Seven Lakes – Langham Creek and Katy – Cypress Ranch games are part of a great night of basketball at Merrell Center on Tuesday evening, Feb. 21. Seven Lakes plays in the early game, 6:00 p.m.; Katy tops the night off at 7:30 p.m. in quarterfinal games.

Devard Darling, Austin High alum turned NFL player is bringing a 5k family fun run/walk to Sugar Land, 8am, Sunday, February 26, 2017 at the Constellation Field/Sugar Land Skeeters. It’s called the Darling Dash 5k & 1k and it’s a fundraiser benefiting the As One Foundation, which Darling started in honor of his late twin brother, Devaughn, to help young people unlock and unleash their full potential through athletics, education and spiritual enrichment.

Devard Darling

Participants can register online at www.DarlingDash5k.com. Donors can sign up online as well. Registration is $40 for adults and $30 for children under 12. Registration forms and payments, made out to the As OneFoundation, can be mailed to 6725 South Fry Road, Suite 700 #296; Katy, TX 77494. Race fees are tax deductible.

The As One Foundation has received a great response from people wanting to volunteer at the Darling Dash on race day. “There’s still more room on our list of sponsors, said As One Executive Director,” Tomia Austin, “Our immediate needs are for cash sponsors and in-kind donors of t-shirts, ice, color printing, banner signage, security, etc.” Darling Dash sponsors to date include: Panera Bread, Operation Hydration, Costco, The Driven, Memorial Hermann Sugar Land and Walmart.

“This Darling Dash 5k is a perfect fit for Sugar Land, said Thompson. “Its family, fun, fitness and a good cause all wrapped up in one.” Darling’s invited NFL friends who will be on hand as special guests for autographs and photos.

The Darling Dash commemorates the 16th anniversary of the death of Darling’s identical twin, Devaughn, who died during spring football practice at FSU. Both twins carry the sickle cell trait, which alone is no real threat to the 8% of Americans born with it annually. But, coupled with physical rigor and lack of hydration, could be fatal – as it was for Devaughn. Themed “Celebrating the Heart of Devaughn Darling”, Darling Dash revenue will help fund the As One Foundation’s efforts to prevent future deaths of young athletes by promoting sickle cell trait awareness through its Operation Hydration Project – an annual training program to prevent sports related deaths by educating the public on the correlation between the sickle cell trait and the lack of hydration.

“Houston has been my home since I was a little boy,” said Darling. “Helping young people brings me joy and I know in my heart this is what Devaughn would want.”

The As One Foundation takes its name from the fact that the doctor had been hearing two hearts beating As One while their mother carried them unaware she was having twins until their birth. Devard lives on to fulfill his and his brother’s shared dream to play professional football and to give back to both their homes – Houston, Texas and their native Bahamas. This dream of giving back was made official when the As One Foundation was established in 2007 as a public charity that annually provides scholarships to FBISD high school seniors through the Devard & Devaughn Darling Scholarship Awards and brings the twins’ love of football to children of the Bahamas every summer through the Devard & Devaughn Darling Football Camps.

For more information on the As One Foundation or the Darling Dash 5k, phone 832-308-9984, email Tomia@AsOneFoundation.org or visit www.AsOneFoundation.org.

 

By Tom Behrens, tbehrcomm@gmail.com

Almost an upset …

In Bi-district, first game playoff results, the Lady Mavericks, the number four seed in District 19-6A almost played the role of upset maker, losing to Hightower 36-20, the number one seed in District 20-6A. Morton Ranch kept the game within reach through the first three quarters, outscoring Hightower 4-2 in the first and third quarter, 9-8.

Hightower blew the game open in the fourth quarter outscoring Morton Ranch 16-2 and winning 38-20. Jasmine Harvey with help from her teammates supplied the fourth quarter breakthrough for Hightower. Hightower now advances to Area play against Langham Creek.

Lady Spartans roll as expected…

Number one seed in District 19-6A, the Lady Spartans of Seven Lakes, had no problems with Dulles, 69-32. Seven Lakes now has a 31-4 season record, including the playoff game, ranked 23 in Texas, and is sixth best team in the Houston area.

Rowe needs to score early and often…

The Lady Tigers of Katy High School, the number two seed in District 19-6A, defeated the third seeded Ridge Point Lady Panthers from District 20-6A, 65-45. Katy next takes on Westside in the Area game which should really test the Tigers. Westside season records stands at 23-7 to 21-10 for Katy. Laura Rowe leads the Lady Tigers with an average of 17.8 points per game.

Mustangs vs. Mustangs…

Taylor stayed in contention, eeking out a close win over Travis, 34-31. The Lady Mustangs, like Katy, will have their mettle tested in their next game against the Lady Mustangs of Cypress Ranch in the Area game. Cypress Ranch, 27-6, obliterated Houston Heights, 95-13. It’s not just stopping Cypress Ranch’s leading scorere, Deauzya Richards who averages 18.7 per game this year. But Taylor will have to win the battle off the boards, confuse their ball handling between their players, and become basketball thieves, taking the ball away from Cypress Ranch.

The Taylor Lady Mustangs shooters, Tristin Sherpereel, 13.0 ppg, Macy Ray, 9.0 ppg, Alayna Conner, 4.0 ppg, will need to have a career night in scoring in corralling the Lady Mustangs of Cypress Ranch.

Area games schedule, Friday, Feb. 17:

​Taylor plays Cypress Ranch, 6:00 pm Coleman Coliseum. Katy vs Westside in the second game at Coleman at 7:30 pm. Seven Lakes vs Cypress Fairbanks at 7:00 pm at Cypress Parks High School.

The Noyes Fine Arts Foundation (NFAF) will host the first annual Tee-Off for the Arts golf tournament on Monday, April 24th, 2017 at 9am at the exclusive Club at Falcon Point in Katy.  All proceeds from this tournament are dedicated to The Katy Grand Theatre Project, an NFAF effort to build a $3.4 million dollar performing arts center in Katy.  The Katy Grand Theatre is to be a flagship fine arts venue for symphony, concerts, and year round musical theatre productions for the Katy community.  Player Registration and Tournament Sponsorship opportunities are now available through the website at www.nfaf.org.

NFAF has already secured $3.1 million in funding for the KGT Project.  The Tee-Off for the Arts golf tournament is one of many fundraising efforts to raise the remaining $300,000 needed to complete the funding requirements necessary to build Katy’s first 300 seat, 13,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art performance center.  The venue is set to be built near Avenue D in Katy.  The contractual deadline to raise these funds is July 2017.

NFAF currently offers programs enriching the Katy and surrounding communities, including the Katy Youth Symphony, the Katy Youth Choir, and the Books Alive! touring theatrical literacy through the arts program.   Details about these existing programs can be found on the website at www.nfaf.org.  Once built, the Katy Grand Theatre will be home to these programs, now outsourcing space, along with a community based, professional quality theatre troupe and a theatrical training program for students.  Additionally, the venue will serve private and public organizations that may rent the performance center at affordable rates – which is not currently available in Katy.

Support our community and this much needed venue by participating in the NFAF Tee-Off for the Arts golf tournament.  Player Registration and Tournament Sponsorship opportunities are now available through the website at www.nfaf.org.

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Seven Lakes Girls open against Dulles

By Tom Behrens

Seven Lakes has moved up in the Houston area Top 10, formerly ranked at number 8, now at number 6. Clear Springs has moved from number two to the top ranked team the final week of the regular season.
The final District 19-6A standings show Seven Lakes finishing at the top with an impressive 13-0 record in district, and an equally impressive 32-3 overall record.
The remaining seeds in the District are Katy (9-3, 20-10); Taylor (8-4, 17-14); and Morton Ranch (6-6, 14-13).
In the Seven Lakes first game at Bi-District level, the Lady Spartans take on Dulles (8-6, 15-15), the number four seed from District 20-6A. In 30 games played, the Vikings top producer is 5’9” sophomore Alach Presley, averaging 13.4 points per game. Behind her is 6’ senior center Trinity Williams averaging 9.1 points per game.
Katy takes on Ridge Point (11-3, 17-11); Taylor faces off against Travis (12-2, 25-6); and Morton Ranch will contend with District 20’s top seeded team, Hightower (13-1, 26-5).
Besides first playoff game nerves, the District 19-6A teams are facing some very good basketball teams from District 20. Check the girls’ progress in the playoffs at www.thekatynews.com.
The finals this year are March 2-4 at the Alamodome in San Antonio.

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By Tom Behrens

“The Lady Lions lost on Thursday evening to Duquesne Academy, 49-33 but the season is still going,” said AD Bobby Jackson in an interview on Friday morning. The girls were scheduled to play St. Pius X at Strake Jesuit Saturday morning. The girls are battling it out with the other teams in TAPPS District 6A District 3 season ending tournament.
Concordia Lutheran rules the District at 8-0; Village close behind at 8-1; St. Agnes Academy, 6-2; and St. John XXIII with a 6-2 district record. Rounding out the District roster are St. Pius X, Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart; Incarnate Word Academy; Awty International; and Kelly Catholic.
As at press deadlines, St. John’s overall record stands at 15-13.
“No playoffs yet,” said Jackson. But, the girls’ basketball team has clinched a spot in the second round of the tournament with a convincing 66-16 victory over Beaumont’s Monsignor Kelly Catholic High School along with a second consecutive trip to the TAPPS State Playoffs.
Win or lose, the Lady Lions played a third match Saturday, February 11 at Strake Jesuit against St. Pius X.
“Our team is coming off a 22-10 season from last year along with a first round playoff win vs. John Paul II – Corpus Christi in TAPPS 4A,” said Coach Villasana in an interview on Thursday evening.
This season the team barely moved up to TAPPS Division 6A. “We are by far one of the smallest schools in this top 6A division within our district,” continued Vaillasana.
“We knew it would be a difficult task, and our team stepped up to the challenge finishing as the 5th seed of nine teams.”
Villasana said the goal for this year was finishing the regular season once again with a more wins than losses and qualifying for the TAPPS Playoffs. This year’s team played a tough and competitive schedule throughout the season and lost a few closely contested games with some of the top tier teams in the district along with 10 losses to top ranked teams in the state.
“Our team’s motto and battle cry is “Hard Work”! Our team believes that this is the foundation of our Success.” Following last year’s success, this year’s team, participated in Summer League and Fall League schedules, attended Team Camp at the University of Texas – San Antonio (UTSA) and off season workouts.
“It’s this hard work and dedication that lead us to shout “Hard Work” after each break, practice, and game. Our team is dedicated to “Hard Work”, in the classroom, in our faith, in the community as well as the basketball court.”
The Lady Lions are led by two outstanding posts. Senior Rebecca Costello, a 6’1 Center. She averages 13 pts. a game along with 10 rebounds and five blocks. Junior Kelli Teal is a 6’1 Forward averaging 8 pts. a game, 6 rebounds, and two blocks.
The rest of this year’s starting lineup is freshmen point guard Skyler Kutra, sophomore shooting guard Megan Thorseth, and senior guard Abigail (Abbie) Pierce.
This is Coach Villasana second year as head coach at St. John XXIII. Previously Coach Vee, as he is known around the Lion campus, has 22 seasons of coaching experience at Incarnate Word, St. Pius X, and Logos Prep. He has compiled 324 victories over 17 seasons as a Head Coach, averaging 19.5 wins a year. He was awarded the Gatorade Coaches Sportsmanship of the Year Award in 1999 and was selected to Coach the TAPPS All-State Team (South) in 2011.

St. John XXIII caps regular season with a win

The Lady Lions held on for 36-33 win over St. Pius X Saturday morning at Strake Jesuit High School.
“It was 23-10 at the half. Maybe we backed off a little bit, but we never lost or conceded the lead,” said Coach Villasana. The fourth quarter began with St. John XXIII leading 28-19. “They closed on a big run toward the end of the game making it a little too close for my comfort.
“One of my key players, (Rebecca Costello), my most valuable player, fouled out with four minutes left in the game and I think that probably had something to do with making the end score pretty close.
St. John XXIII finished in fifth place in their district, and also earns a playoff seeding. The Lady Lions will travel to College Station Friday for a game against an undetermined opponent at press time. Coach Villasana said he does know it will be against a second place team from the Dallas area. Check with www.thekatynews.com for updates on the Lions’ game.

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By Tom Behrens

“The Lady Lions lost on Thursday evening to Duquesne Academy, 49-33 but the season is still going,” said AD Bobby Jackson in an interview on Friday morning. The girls were scheduled to play St. Pius X at Strake Jesuit Saturday morning. The girls are battling it out with the other teams in TAPPS District 6A District 3 season ending tournament.
Concordia Lutheran rules the District at 8-0; Village close behind at 8-1; St. Agnes Academy, 6-2; and St. John XXIII with a 6-2 district record. Rounding out the District roster are St. Pius X, Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart; Incarnate Word Academy; Awty International; and Kelly Catholic.
As at press deadlines, St. John’s overall record stands at 15-13.
“No playoffs yet,” said Jackson. But, the girls’ basketball team has clinched a spot in the second round of the tournament with a convincing 66-16 victory over Beaumont’s Monsignor Kelly Catholic High School along with a second consecutive trip to the TAPPS State Playoffs.
Win or lose, the Lady Lions played a third match Saturday, February 11 at Strake Jesuit against St. Pius X.
“Our team is coming off a 22-10 season from last year along with a first round playoff win vs. John Paul II – Corpus Christi in TAPPS 4A,” said Coach Villasana in an interview on Thursday evening.
This season the team barely moved up to TAPPS Division 6A. “We are by far one of the smallest schools in this top 6A division within our district,” continued Vaillasana.
“We knew it would be a difficult task, and our team stepped up to the challenge finishing as the 5th seed of nine teams.”
Villasana said the goal for this year was finishing the regular season once again with a more wins than losses and qualifying for the TAPPS Playoffs. This year’s team played a tough and competitive schedule throughout the season and lost a few closely contested games with some of the top tier teams in the district along with 10 losses to top ranked teams in the state.
“Our team’s motto and battle cry is “Hard Work”! Our team believes that this is the foundation of our Success.” Following last year’s success, this year’s team, participated in Summer League and Fall League schedules, attended Team Camp at the University of Texas – San Antonio (UTSA) and off season workouts.
“It’s this hard work and dedication that lead us to shout “Hard Work” after each break, practice, and game. Our team is dedicated to “Hard Work”, in the classroom, in our faith, in the community as well as the basketball court.”
The Lady Lions are led by two outstanding posts. Senior Rebecca Costello, a 6’1 Center. She averages 13 pts. a game along with 10 rebounds and five blocks. Junior Kelli Teal is a 6’1 Forward averaging 8 pts. a game, 6 rebounds, and two blocks.
The rest of this year’s starting lineup is freshmen point guard Skyler Kutra, sophomore shooting guard Megan Thorseth, and senior guard Abigail (Abbie) Pierce.
This is Coach Villasana second year as head coach at St. John XXIII. Previously Coach Vee, as he is known around the Lion campus, has 22 seasons of coaching experience at Incarnate Word, St. Pius X, and Logos Prep. He has compiled 324 victories over 17 seasons as a Head Coach, averaging 19.5 wins a year. He was awarded the Gatorade Coaches Sportsmanship of the Year Award in 1999 and was selected to Coach the TAPPS All-State Team (South) in 2011.

St. John XXIII caps regular season with a win

The Lady Lions held on for 36-33 win over St. Pius X Saturday morning at Strake Jesuit High School.
“It was 23-10 at the half. Maybe we backed off a little bit, but we never lost or conceded the lead,” said Coach Villasana. The fourth quarter began with St. John XXIII leading 28-19. “They closed on a big run toward the end of the game making it a little too close for my comfort.
“One of my key players, (Rebecca Costello), my most valuable player, fouled out with four minutes left in the game and I think that probably had something to do with making the end score pretty close.
St. John XXIII finished in fifth place in their district, and also earns a playoff seeding. The Lady Lions will travel to College Station Friday for a game against an undetermined opponent at press time. Coach Villasana said he does know it will be against a second place team from the Dallas area. Check with www.thekatynews.com for updates on the Lions’ game.

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Boys’ swim team regional champions

By Tom Behrens

Six St. John XXIII school swimming records were broken at the state tournament, including one from 2008 (boys 50 free). Photo Credit: Katherine Neundorfer.

The Lions boys’ swim team won the regional meet at U of H in January, enabling the swimmers to qualify for the state meet this past weekend at the Josh Davis Natatorium in San Antonio. This year was the first year in TAPPS 6A sports competition for the private school, with the exception of football. The football team competed in a TAPPS independent league. “It was good for the swimmers to go into this large district and come out successful,” said Lions Athletic Director, Bobby Jackson.
After winning the Eastern Region Division II Swim Meet last year, and moving up to Division I this year, the boys’ swim team repeated as Region Champions, beating last year’s champion St. Thomas 123-112.
Tomball Concordia Lutheran was third with 108. The girls finished 6th with excellent performances from the entire team. The girls had 68 percent lifetime best swims and the boys had 76 percent for a combined team improvement of 72 percent.

A shout out to some of the swimmers

Top-three finishers in each event are automatic State Qualifiers and include Lexi Truong, Adley Marsh, Addy Seeley, and Emmi Rotta in the 200-yd medley relay; Korbin Podolak, Peyton Martin, Ben Rehfeld, and David Lloyd in the 200-yd medley relay; Paul Polzer, Canyon Neundorfer, Mark Lloyd, and Ben Rehfeld in the 200-yd freestyle relay; Paul Polzer, Canyon Neundorfer, David Lloyd, and Korbin Podolak in the 400-yd freestyle relay; Ben Rehfeld in the 200 freestyle and 100 butterfly; David Lloyd in the 50 and 100 freestyle; Canyon Neundorfer and Adam Tate in the 500 freestyle; and Korbin Podolak in the 100 backstroke.
“We had several girls in relays qualify, but the boys placed first, two years in a row that they won the regional meet, pretty good for our swim program,” said Coach Jackson. The team practices at Morton Ranch High School At Josh Davis Natatorium, Northeast ISD in San Antonio, Feb. 11
Lions swim coach, Dana Abbot reports four of the five relays improved their times from Region, and 13 of 14 individual times improved, and were also lifetime bests for the swimmers involved.
Six St. John XXIII school records were broken, including one from 2008 (boys 50 free).

Individual results:
*[r] indicates record:

Girls 200 MEDLEY RELAY
10. Lexi Truong, Adley Marsh, Addy Seeley, and Emmi Rotta, 2:05.89.

Boys 200 MEDLEY RELAY
6. Korbin Podolak, Peyton Martin, Justice Ruiz, and Mark Lloyd, 1:48.83.

Boys 200 FREE
3. Ben Rehfeld 1:46.10 [r]
5. Canyon Neundorfer, 1:53.42
14. Jack Desjardins, 2:07.10
16. Chris Echevarria, 2:09.85

Boys 200 INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY
9. Korbin Podolak, 2:11.49
11. Justice Ruiz, 2:14.72

Boys 50 FREE
9. David Lloyd, 23.31 [r]

Boys 100 FLY
4. Ben Rehfeld, 54.29

Boys 100 FREE
11. David Lloyd, 52.38

Boys 500 FREE
5, Canyon Neundorfer, 5:07.70 [r]
14, Adam Tate, 5:46.75

Boys 200 FREE RELAY
4. Paul Polze, Mark Lloyd, David Lloyd, and Ben Rehfeld, 1:33.82 [r]

Boys 100 BACK
6. Korbin Podolak, 57.86 [r]
15. Justice Ruiz, 1:01.29

Boys 100 BREAST
12. Peyton Martin, 1:08.68

Girls 400 FREE RELAY
8. Addy Seeley, Blake Johnson, Lexi Truong, and Emmi Rotta, 4:04.80.

Boys 400 FREE RELAY
3. Paul Polzer, David Lloyd, Korbin Podolak, and Ben Rehfeld, 3:25.14 [r]
In addition, the boys were also Eastern Region Division 1 Champions.

Boys 200 FREE, Boys 50 FREE, Boys 500 FREE, Boys 200 FREE RELAY, Boys 100 BACK and Boys 400 FREE RELAY… six school records broken. Congratulations to the swimmers at St. John XXIII High School.