Horseshoe Bay golfers take seventh place
By Mark Goodson
Highlander Sports Editor
Horseshoe Bay’s tandem of Aaron Billings and Gordon Butler
finished seventh among the 20 players in the Senior Division of the Texas Golf
Association’s Four-Ball State Championship over the weekend at the Summit Rock
Course in Horseshoe Bay.
It wasn’t the finish the scratch golfers were looking for,
but high winds and some mis-placed approach shots caused the team some problems
the second two days of the 54-hole tournament.
Billings and Butler shot rounds of 66, 72 and 71 for a
three-day total of 209 over the par-72 layout. They finished 11 strokes back of
the top team of Bob Kearney and Gary Durbin.
"We did good the first day, but the last two days we didn’t
make any putts,’’ Billings said. "The course and the greens were in great
shape. We had a lot of fun playing together.’’
Billings said the team concept has usually worked for the
pair. When one gets in trouble in the play-your-own ball format, the other has
bailed out the teammate.
The winds were gusting to 30 to 35 miles per hour on Saturday during the second round.
They shot even par to make the cut.
On Sunday, the winds weren’t as strong in a morning rounds,
but they were still a factor. "It exaggerates the misses when the wind was
blowing like that,’’ Billings said.
Billings said it was crucial on approach shots to hit to the
correct side of the greens to get the ball close. Otherwise, the golfers were
forced into 15 and 20-foot putts add day, he said.
Heading into Sunday three teams
sat atop the leaderboard in the Championship division and defending
back-to-back champions, John Bearrie and Aaron Hickman, were not one of those
teams. Looking to catapult up the leaderboard and remain in contention,
Bearrie and Hickman got things started early with two quick birdies out of the
gate and added two more in their opening nine to give put them four under par
through their first nine holes. Their back nine was more of the same as they
added an eagle and three birdies on their route to a closing round 64, giving
them a tournament total of 16 under par, 200. Second round co-leaders Chris
Davis and Russell Helson also started out quickly posting three birdies on the
front nine but found trouble on No. 10 leading to their lone bogey of the day.
On the 17th hole needing birdie to tie the clubhouse leaders, Davis drained an
80-foot putt from the front of the green sending a charge through the course.
Playing with Davis and Helson in the final pairing was round two co-leaders Joe
Bendetti and Josh Swanson. After opening with a three under par 33 on their
opening nine, Bendetti and Swanson played steady golf carding eight straight
pars before draining a birdie putt on the 72nd hole to force a three-team
playoff at 200. In the playoff Bearrie and Hickman found trouble on the first
hole and their bid for a three-peat ended as they made bogey while the other
two teams carded pars. Heading to the par 5, second hole, both teams played
aggressive going for the green in two but neither were successful. With all
four players starring at birdie it became a putting contest for victory. After
Helson and Davis both missed their birdie attempts the door became wide open
for the team of Bendetti and Swanson to claim the title. Swanson was first to
putt and his five footer just slide past the edge of the hole leaving Bendetti
to stare down his four-footer for victory. After taking some time to view the
putt, Bendetti stepped up and confidently rolled it in to give his team the
victory and title of 2013 State Four-Ball Champions.
Heights wins, 6-3
Marble Falls started fast, but San Antonio Alamo Heights was able to finish strong to end Marble Falls baseball season. The Mules beat the Mustangs, 6-3, in a one-game playoff at Shiner.
The teams were supposed to play a best-of-three series, but that was reduced to a one-game area playoff because of inclement weather. Fans from both teams packed up and traveled down US 10 to watch the two rivals face off for the second time in two years in the Class 4A playoffs.
Marble Falls put together three straight hits to open the game, but had just one more hit for the game.
Alamo Heights tied the game at 2-2 in the bottom of the fourth and took the lead with two runs in the fifth inning. Alamo Heights finished with nine hits off two Marble Falls pitchers.
Mustangs ace Cole Ridgely allowed eight hits, walked three and struck out six in his final start as Marble Falls pitcher.
Alamo Heights had four extra base hits off Marble Falls pitching.
Winning pitcher Cameron Mineo threw a 4-hitter and was also a big contributor at the plate. He was 2-for-3 with an RBI.
Series reduced to one-game playoff at Shiner
Marble Falls baseball playoff with San Antonio Alamo Heights was changed to a one-game playoff after Friday's opener was rained out.
The teams will meet at 3 p.m. Saturday at Shiner High School. Shiner has an artificial turf to handle the heavy rains that have hit Central Texas the past two days.
Marble Falls starting pitcher will be Cole Ridgely, the senior who has paced the team to a 23-7 record.
Marble Falls faces LBJ in bi-district
Marble Falls will play Austin LBJ in the bi-district round
of the playoffs.
The head coaches for both teams will meet Wednesday to decide
on the format.
Faith Academy loses, 46-43
Faith Academy couldn’t make free throws and failed to
deliver in crunch time Friday in the TAPPS Division II state semifinals at
Mansfield’s Lake Ridge High School.
Sherman Texoma Christian knocked off the Lady Flames, 46-43,
despite neither team scoring in the final 1:24 of the wide-open game.
Faith Academy moves on to regional
The Faith Academy Flames will play Muenster Sacred Heart on Tuesday night in the regional round of the TAPPS Division II playoffs. The site and time will be determined.
The Lady Flames outlasted a talented Abilene Christian team on Saturday in the area round of the playoffs, 66-53, to advance.
Joanna Piatek scored all nine of her points early to help the Lady Flames take command late in the first quarter and the Lady Flames held off the visitors despite an uncanny ability by Abilene Christian to makes long-range shots. Piatek had nine of Faith Academy's first 22 points.
Llano knocked out of playoff contention
Cierra Jordan scored 17 points and had eight rebounds to
lead the Llano Lady Jackets against Burnet Friday night at Burnet in District
8-3A girls basketball action.
The 48-34 loss eliminates Llano from playoff contention.
Llano wins second straight
By Jim Goodson
Llano’s boys won their second district game in a row Friday night, holding off Lampasas 52-48 to climb into playoff contention.
"These guys have extended my coaching career,” coach Aiden Callahan said after the game. "They are a pleasure to coach.”
In their previous game, the Yellow Jackets broke a 35-game district losing streak with a 59-50 win at Brownwood. "We are a team that sets goals,” Callahan said. "It’s encouraging to reach some of them. But we still have things we can improve upon.”
Llano is 2-2 in District 8-3A and 15-12 on the year. Lampasas dropped to 1-3 and 18-9.
Yellow Jacket post Isaac Hutto and power forward Matt Center dominated the paint, scoring 18 and nine points, respectively, in a game Llano led pretty much from the start. Forward Devin Mayne started the scoring with a 12-foot turnaround then Lampasas sharpshooter Mason Murray’s three-pointer gave the visiting Badgers a brief lead.
Llano never trailed after guard Ross Henry connected on a three-pointer from the corner to give the Yellow Jackets a 10-8 lead.
With Hutto around to clean up misses with offensive rebound put-backs, Llano steadily pulled away. Llano led 14-8 after one quarter and 27-16 at the half.
Hutto scored after a long pass from point guard Layton Rabb on the first second half play. The 13-point margin was as big as it would get; Lampasas slowly-but-steadily closed the gap, although you never got the feeling Llano was going to lose – mainly because Llano guards Rabb (three points), Kohner Fogelberg (six points), Chance Ware (four points), Taylor Sorensen (two points) and Ross Henry (five points) had little trouble breaking down the Lampasas press.
Fearlessly, Fogelberg often banged his way inside when the game briefly settled into a half-court game.
With 3:40 to go, Lampasas pulled to within 43-41 after Badger Murray – easily the smallest player on the court – stole the ball and went coast-to-coast on his way to scoring 13 points.
So Llano’s Matt Center barged his way inside and scored to put the Yellow Jackets up 45-41. Murray answered for Lampasas to make it 45-43 with two minutes left to play. This is where Llano’s discipline kicked in.
Although Murray made another three-pointer to pull Lampasas to within 47-46, Llano’s Center again bulled his way inside, drew a foul and calmly sank both free throws to extend his team’s lead to 49-46.
Badger Shayne Cofield made a pair of free throws to make it 49-48 but Llano’s Chance Ware sank three free throws down-the-stretch to preserve the 52-48 win.
Maybe it was discipline or perhaps superior conditioning that kept Llano from buckling under the late Lampasas press. Whatever it was, it was probably one of coach Callahan’s goals.
Llano will travel to Gatesville Jan. 29.
Llano girls beat Lampasas
Llano High’s Lady Jackets stayed relevant in the District 8-3A playoff race by pasting Lampasas 46-34 Friday night at the LHS Gym.
Llano spotted the Lady Badgers an 8-0 lead but roared back behind senior Cierra Jordan’s 19 points, outscoring Lampasas High 16-10 in the final quarter.
A succession of three-point plays dug Llano out of the hole created by a typically slow start.
First, senior fan favorite Jessica Wunderlich played snowbird, hit the layup, was fouled and sank the accompanying free throw (a snowbird races downcourt after a miss, takes a length-of-court pass and scores). That made it 8-3.
Then Jordan hit a three-point shot to pull Llano to within 8-6. Her twisting drive to the basket after a pass from guard Sarah Hasty and subsequent three throw brought the Lady Jackets to within 11-9 then sophomore Laci Redden banked in a three-pointer that gave the home team a 12-11 lead it never relinquished.
Llano’s girls are 3-3 in district play and 13-19 over their season. Lampasas is 1-5 and 5-21.
The Lady Jackets’ defense held Lampasas to single digit scoring in the second (six points) and third (five points) quarters.
You could get a glimpse of future Lady Jacket squads in the second half, when physical sophomore Claire Williams and freshman Melissa Reynolds dominated the paint. Williams had eight points and Reynolds added a bucket and four rebounds after intermission. Another sophomore, Laci Redden, scored seven points.
But they say you should live in the present and current seniors Jordan, power forward Jessica Wunderlich and guard Taylor Durham will be taking the Lady Jackets as far as they can go. Wunderlich had a quiet night for her, adding five points to the Llano total while Durham added a bucket. Durham biggest contribution is taking care of the ball. A steady senior, she’s always able to bail trapped teammates out of trouble.
Junior Cierra Caffey - a hard-nosed player who doesn’t keep up with how many points she scores – had three points and senior Alyssa Reasoner added one point. Senior Mary Cinek – who played so well in Llano’s win at Lampasas 10 days ago – took a college visit and wasn’t available Friday night.
Lampasas was led by senior Julie Mize’s 11 points. Lady Badger guard Miranda Maceyra scored all of her six points in the first half. Llano’s Durham and junior Sarah Hasty double teamed Maceyra and completely shut her down after intermission – a big reason the Lady Jackets kept extending their lead.
By winning, the Lady Jackets kept control of their destiny in District 8-3A. They’ll travel to Gatesville Tuesday night.
BHS grad McGee signs with Texans
Former Burnet High School quarterback Stephen McGee, who was
recently released from the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys, signed a
contract with the Houston Texans on Thursday.