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Leopards face Chapel Hill in bi-district round

By Earl Gill | Texarkana Gazette

TEXARKANA, Texas — After a rough start to the season, Liberty-Eylau finished third in district and with a berth in the playoffs.

The Leopards (5-12) will face Tyler Chapel Hill tonight at Maverick Gym, on the campus of Marshall High School. The game is set to start at 6 p.m.

"We weathered some storms this season," Liberty-Eylau head coach Dewaski Davis said. "We had to move some pieces around during the season and we were able to find our team. We rotated some players on varsity and junior varsity throughout the season.

"We were able to find ourselves. Our identity came along and we learned on the job."

The Leopards finished the season going 4-1 in their last five games, securing a playoff spot and finished district play with a 5-5 record.

"We hit stride at the right time," Davis said. "We won our last three games of the season. The weather kinda set us back some, but hopefully we can get our momentum back going again.

"I think the down time is going to hinder everyone. We just have to get back to doing what we do. We want to go into the game with a rhythm. Luckily, everyone is out of rhythm and it's survival of the fittest in this first one."

Seniors Tahj Stewart and Takylan Hampton are expected to help the Leopards push in the bi-district round.

"When people counted our team out, they kept fighting," Davis said. "We pushed through and ended district with a 5-5 record. We won the coin flip and was able to finish third in our district.

"We set some goals during the season and we chipped away at them. It's not where you start, it's where you finish."

The winner will face Kaufman in the area round.

Lady Leopards to face No. 3 Brownsboro in area round

By Earl Gill | Texarkana Gazette

TEXARKANA, Texas — The Liberty-Eylau Lady Leopards will face their toughest test of the season to date in the area round of the state playoffs.

The Leopards (22-7) will face No. 3 Brownsboro at Spring Hill High School in Longview. Tip off is set for 6 p.m.

"First, I contribute a lot of our success to our faith as a team," Liberty-Eylau head coach Lamarcus Franklin said. "We talk a lot about our faith in God and having the right mentality when you're facing adversity,

"It's been great. I think it's one of the thing that's going to help us going into this game. Mentally, we've been able to weather some storms this season."

L-E won their last three district 15-4A games, all which were on the road.

Brownsboro is entering the contest on a 10-game winning streak, falling to Crandall in their last non-district game of the season, 57-50.

"There's adversity playing the No. 3 team in the state," Franklin said. "Being realistic, there's not a lot of people giving a chance to win this game, so there's that adversity.

"You have to turn that mindset on that you need to overcome it and I think our girls will do well."

Seniors Tamara Norris, Cierra Manley, Breanna Webster, and Ty Crabtree will lead the Leopards in the area contest.

"The main thing that jumps out to you about Brownsboro is their flow on offense," Franklin said. "We're going to do our best at making them uncomfortable out there.

"We have to take away what they do well. We know the spots they want to shoot at, so we have to do our best to take their offense away."

The winner will face Sunnyvale or Bullard in the quarterfinals.

DeKalb boys look to punch ticket to area round

By Brian Tyl | Texarkana Gazette

PATTONVILLE, Texas — DeKalb's boys begin their playoff journey today.

The Bears (18-6) take on Mount Pleasant Chapel Hill today at 8 p.m. at Prairiland High School's Patriot Gym in a Class 3A bi-district playoff game.

"Chapel Hill is well coached, shoot the ball well, play good defense and like to run the floor," DeKalb head coach Kevin Hartwell said. "We will need to take care of the ball, play good defense and make our shots. It's pretty simple, but that is what we need to do."

The Bears placed third out of District 14-3A, while the Red Devils were second in District 13-3A.

"This group of kids is excited, they like to play and they have fun together," Hartwell said. "They are a great group of kids."

The winner of the game will face either Tatum or Daingerfield in the area round later this week.

Cardinals face Wolfe City in the area round

By Josh Richert | Sports Editor

WINNSBORO, Texas — After knocking off district champion and No. 1 seed North Hopkins on Saturday, Maud's boys basketball team has turned its attention to Wolfe City for a Class 2A area playoff game.

The Cardinals are the fourth seed from District 15-2A, made their first postseason appearance in 15 years and shocked the Panthers, 29-27, in the bi-district round.

Maud (14-13) and the Wolves (14-8) play at 7 p.m. at Red Raider Gym on the campus of Winnsboro High School. Wolfe City survived Muenster, 43-41, in the first round.

Cason Lamb scored 17 points for the Cardinals in the win over North Hopkins, and Briley Barron pulled down nine rebounds. Maud limited the Panthers to just two points in the fourth quarter and out-rebounded them 30-24, including 10-5 in the final period.

The Cardinal roster also includes Devin Mertle, Tristan White, Nate Brower, Trentyn Sisson, Haylon Dear, Micah Bishop, Tucker Sanders, Lane Sultz and Grayson Smith.

The winner advances to the regional quarterfinals to play either Lindsay or the winner of McLeod and Quinlan Boles, who played Monday at Paris.

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