Tennison Tournament had exciting hoops

Published 2:44 pm Tuesday, December 15, 2015

By Ronnie Hughes

Leader Correspondent

ORANGEFIELD — Huge shots, big comebacks and upsets in what would be the final dress rehearsal for many schools before district play starts drew a large crowd at the Bill Tennison Memorial Tournament in Orangefield over the weekend. The host team had a good showing along with other Orange County squads that proved they had what it takes to compete in their respectable districts.

East Chambers and Tatum battled it out for the tournament title with the Lady Eagles from Tatum beating a strong Lady Bucs team. The boys championship came down to Legacy and Buna with both teams keeping the match-up close, but ultimately the Warriors downed the Buna Cougars to hoist the tournament trophy.

Friday games featured the Vidor Lady Pirates against a struggling Kelly Lady Bulldogs team that is looking for answers to their stagnant game. Unfortunately, those answers did not come against a gritty Vidor squad. Kelly did take advantage of some Lady Pirate miscues early and jumped out to a 6-0 lead. Junior shooting-guard, Jessica Trahan, broke the Lady Pirate shooting drought at 3:30 mark in the first when she drove into the lane to bounce one in off the backboard. Trahan hit a three-point shot on the next possession to pull the lead to 6-5. The back-to-back shots ignited a 12-0 run for the Lady Pirates to lead, 12-9 after one quarter. Vidor breezed through the second quarter outscoring Kelly, 15-4. Both squads opened the second half shooting way off the mark. Trahan hit two three-point shots to account for six of the seven Lady Pirates points in the third. The Lady Pirate defense kept the Lady Bulldogs at bay and held them scoreless in third and to just four points in the second half. Trahan led all scorers with 18 points in the 47-17 Vidor victory with Hannah Broyles chipping in 10 points.

The Orangefield girls took the floor later in the evening. They’d again make it look easy as they went up against a struggling, Port Neches-Groves Lady Indians squad. Hannah Lowe had another superb showing dropping 20 points to lead the Lady Bobcats to a 50-23 blowout win. Sabryn Crain had her third double-double of the tournament with 11 points and 17 rebounds. Lowe was the only Bobcat player, boys and girls, to be named All-tournament.

“This is a really close team and we all contribute in our own ways,” said Lowe “You got a player like Sabryn that is there to grab the missed shots and cleans up what I miss.”

The boys squad faltered down the stretch and failed to make the championship bracket and would go up against Evadale again. The Bobcats had a tough tournament schedule with a loss against, Faith Training Christian Academy, Liberty and Jasper after starting off the tournament with a win against Evadale. The second round of Rebels vs Bobcats didn’t bounce the Cats’ way as the ball seemed to not go in the hole. They’d lose to the Rebels in the consolation round.

The surprise of the tournament would be the freshman Lady Bobcats that filled in for the West Orange-Stark Lady Mustangs who left the tournament early to support the football team in the state semi-finals. The freshman Lady Cats took on the varsity Jasper Lady Bulldogs and proved to be too hot to handle. The freshman girls pulverized Jasper, 34-15, the team features seven freshman and one sophomore. The group of young Lady Cats’ give the fans something to look forward to for years to come.

The varsity Lady Bobcats took the floor one last time after failing to make the championship game after losing to the East Chambers Lady Bucs’, 53-38 in the semi-final match. Crain grabbed 10 rebounds to go with her 15 points in the contest. It would be a rematch against the Nederland Lady Bulldogs in the third place game a team which Orangefield beat on the first day of the tournament. The Lady Bulldogs came out for vengeance and quickly jumped out to a 9-0 run thanks to the rugged style of play by Christine Porterfield who drew three early fouls and hit all six shots from the free-throw line. The Lady Bobcats had no answer early for Porterfield who dropped 15 points in the first quarter to lead, 21-17. Nederland continued to push Orangefield and the Lady Cats’ still had no answer and trailed, 39-21, at the half. The game was all but over for the Lady Bobcats who showed resiliency and fought back. They opened the second half on a quick, 8-0 run and trailed by just 11 points. Star senior Hannah Lowe ignited the crowd and even had the Lady Eagles from Tatum chanting for the Bobcats after she hit a three in the face of the defender. The Lady Cats’ trailed by just 10 points entering the fourth quarter. They finally were able to slow down Porterfield and force her into foul trouble to slow here drives to the basket. Junior, Paris Fregia, opened the fourth quarter with a huge three-point shot to pull the score to 41-48 with the Nederland lead slipping away. Costly Lady Bulldog turnovers gave the Lady Cats’ life. Emilee Lummus hit clutch free throws to pull game within three points. The crowd loud and on their feet didn’t intimidate Fregia who again drained a three-point shot to tie the game at 51. The teams battled back and forth with Crain battling the boards and Lummus on defense to frustrate the Lady Bulldogs offense. The Lady Bobcats put on the show of the tournament as they erased a 17 point deficit at the half to claim third place in their tournament beating Nederland, 56-54. Lowe had 18 points, but it was Fregia shooting 4-5 from the three-point line that put the dagger in Nederland. The all-around team effort shows just how dangerous this Lady Bobcats team is.

“It feels really good to be able to contribute to my time and help them win,” said Fregia “Coach gets on me and pushes me hard, but she knows my potential and helps motivate me.”