Lady Indians sweep through Brownsboro Tournament

Photo by David Kapitan Grand Saline climbed to 5th overall among all 2A softball teams in the state according to the most recent Texas Girls Coaches Association State Poll.

The Grand Saline Lady Indians made a strong statement in their first tournament appearance of the young season, sweeping their way through the Brownsboro Tournament to climb all the way to 5th in the most recent Texas Girls Coaches Association Weekly 2A State Poll.

Grand Saline finished the tournament with a perfect 5-0 record, allowing just eight runs over the three-day event.

Powered by Emma Elliott's three-inning no-hitter Feb. 16, the Lady Indians dominated Big Sandy 16-0 in their tournament opener.

Paytton Stanley helped to lead the way offensively for Grand Saline, going 2/3 at the plate with 4 RBI and two runs scored. Emma Elliott helped her own cause at the plate by going 1/3 with 2 RBI and three runs scored, Sarah Elliott finished 2/2 with 2 RBI and three runs scored, and Mallory O'Donnell finished 1/2 with 2 RBI and a run scored.


Edgewood, Martins Mill move to Area round

Photo by Christine Davis Karson Godwin outjumps a pair of Merit Bland Tigers during the Mustangs 59-51 bi-district round win Feb. 21 at McKinney North.

Van Zandt County basketball teams were well represented during the bi-district round of the playoffs on Tuesday night, with Edgewood, Fruitvale, Martins Mill, Van and Wills Point all in action. The District 12-3A champion Bulldogs and District 14-2A runner-up Mustangs each lived to play another day, knocking off Dallas Life and Merit Bland respectively.


The Edgewood Bulldogs basketball program kept pace with the accomplishments of its football program earlier in the school year, following up a district winning regular season with a bi-district title.

The Bulldogs took on Dallas Life Oak Cliff Feb. 21, capitalizing on a big offensive night from junior post Trey Erwin and a late surge in the fourth quarter to register a 54-46 win over the Lions. Dallas Life got the better of Edgewood in the first quarter, overcoming eight points from Erwin to take a 12-10 lead.


Lady Mustangs run on to Regional Semifinals

Photo by Christine Davis Junior Briley Moon escapes the Honey Grove Lady Warrior press attempt during playoff action at North McKinney High School.

Former district rivals Fruitvale and Martins Mill became the standard bearers for Van Zandt County basketball last week, adding bi-district championships to their respective resumes while advancing to the Area round of the playoffs. 

With both Area and the Regional Quarterfinals now in the rearview, only Martins Mill remains left among county girls teams with an opportunity to reach San Antonio for a potential shot at another state championship.


The Fruitvale Lady Cats entered the 2017 playoffs on a high-note, having secured a district championship and bi-district round bye. The Lady Cats were finally able to take the court Feb. 17, taking on a tough Bellevue team that had upended Tioga 51-33 in their playoff opener.

A lenghty playoff run was not to be for Fruitvale this season as the Lady Cats came up just short in an exciting back and forth contest, 48-41.


Bobcats set to begin playoff run

The Fruitvale Bobcats hit the court twice last week, wrapping up District 24-1A play with games against Avinger and Yantis. The Bobcats earned a split in those two contests, defeating the Indians 49-35 before falling to Yantis 54-37.

Against Avinger Feb. 10, Fruitvale started slow before surging late to pull out a 14-point victory.

The Bobcats were led by Jonathon Sheppard with 22 points, Gavin Sulc with 14 points, Preston Thompson with six and Payton Thompson with five.

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Eight among TSWA 4A All-State Team honorees

A good football season continued to get even better for the Wills Point Tiger and Van Vandal athletic programs, with the announcement of this year’s Collin Street Bakery/Texas Sports Writers Association Class 4A All-State Team.

Two Wills Point players were honored with three separate positions by the TSWA. Sloan Rodberg, already a double All-State honoree by the Texas Associated Press Sports Editors, pulled off the same trick once again according to the TSWA by being named a Second Team All-State linebacker and an Honorable Mention All-State tight end.

Tyriq Burnett, an All-State honoree following both his sophomore and junior seasons, made it three All-State nod in as many years by being recognized as an Honorable Mention performer at defensive line following his senior campaign.


Bulldogs earn District 12-3A title

Photo by Faith Caughron Quinton Locke shoots and scores in the fourth quarter of the final Edgewood home game of the year against Eustace.

The Edgewood Bulldogs entered the 2016-’17 season with plenty of expectations, being tabbed by many as the team to beat in District 12-3A. The Bulldogs have more than lived up to the hype so far, defeating both Alba-Golden and Eustace over the past 7 days to add another district championship trophy to the resume of the Edgewood athletic program.

The Bulldogs made short work of the Panthers Feb. 10, outscoring Alba-Golden in every frame to close out the away portion of their district slate with a 68-36 win.

Edgewood scored six of the Bulldogs’ seven first quarter points against the Panthers to help build a 7-2 lead.

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Martins Mill, Fruitvale reach Area round

Van Zandt County was well represented in this year’s UIL Girls State Basketball playoffs, qualifying four teams overall: the Canton Eaglettes, Fruitvale Lady Cats, Grand Saline Lady Indians and Martins Mill Lady Mustangs. 

Two county teams remain as Fruitvale, via a first round bye earned by finishing as a 1A district champion, and Martins Mill, via a 71-34 win over Blue Ridge, advanced.


The Canton Eaglettes, runners-up in District 13-4A this season, took to the court Feb. 13 in Spring Hill to take on the Atlanta Lady Rabbits in the bi-district round of the playoffs. The Eaglettes reached the Regional Quarterfinals in 2016, but another lengthy playoff run was not to be with Atlanta scoring 56-52 decision.


Firefighter honored

Courtesy photo Chief Gregg Beverly, Firefighter Eric Tabraham, and Asst. Chiefs Scott Walker and Heath Morris of the SVZ Volunteer Fire Department.

South Van Zandt Volunteer Fire Department celebrated their first annual awards banquet Jan. 24. Firefighter of the year for 2016 was awarded to Eric Tabraham. Tabraham was presented this award for his dedicated service to the department and community and has been with the department since 2013.

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Lady Mustangs complete district sweep

Many preseason prognosticators had the Martins Mill Lady Mustangs and Quinlan Boles Lady Hornets pegged as the first and second best teams in the District 14-2A respectively entering the 2016-'17 season.

Martins Mill was more than happy to show how wide the gap between first and presumptive second can really be, following up their 50-point win over the Lady Hornets back on Jan. 17 with a 79-28 demolition to end district Feb. 3.

Martins Mill got all the points it would need in an explosive first quarter, racing out to a 29-12 lead over Boles.

Things only got worse for the Lady Hornets in the second, as Martins Mill continued to score at will while also tightening up defensively. Entering the break, the Lady Mustangs held a 43-13 lead.   

Martins Mill continued to cruise throughout much of the second half, adding nine-points to their advantage in the third and another 12 in the fourth to close out the 51-point victory over the visiting Lady Hornets.


Mustangs swat Hornets, fall to Gators

Photo by Faith Caughron Michael Hawes draws heavy contact on his way for a basket against the Gateway Charter Academy Gator defense Feb. 7.

The Martins Mill Mustangs experienced an up and down week on the hardwood, handily topping the Quinlan Boles Hornets on homecoming night before falling just short in an overtime thriller against Dallas Gateway days later.

Martins Mill would set the tone early against the Hornets Feb. 3, building up a double-digit lead in the first quarter en route to an 80-63 win.

Michael Hawes and Bryson Waynick finished with a combined 20 points in the first quarter, guiding the Mustangs to a 22-10 lead.

Boles would respond with its best quarter of the night in the second, edging the Mustangs 24-19 to pull to within 43-34 entering the half.

Powered by 10 points from Hawes and eight more from Noah Ingram, the Mustangs re-established a 12-point lead by outscoring the Hornets 23-18 in the third quarter.


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