With Clear Creek ISD serving in its annual hosting roles, the Carlisle-Krueger Classic boys basketball tournament and the Peggy Whitley Classic girls basketball tournament commenced Thursday.
Both tournaments feature 24 teams, and each will continue today and Saturday.
In the Carlisle-Krueger Classic, CCISD teams weren’t exactly the most welcoming of hosts as four of the five schools swept pool play and will make up half of the eight teams in gold bracket play, which begins today.
“I’m excited to play for the gold bracket championship, if we can be lucky enough to win a couple games here,” Clear Creek head coach Wes Bryan said.
Clear Creek relied on discipline and defense in its two wins Thursday. After topping Fort Bend Clements, 48-30, led by 16 points from Nick Shipley, the Wildcats remained true to their defensive style and stayed patient on offense in a 50-42 win against Manvel.
“We played extremely well defensively today,” Bryan said. “We had a couple breakdowns here and there, like high school kids are going to do. They’re going to have mental lapses and stuff like that, but, for the most part, we played incredible man-to-man defense. And as long as we do that and rebound, we’re going to be OK.”
Manvel raced out to a 7-0 lead against Clear Creek, but eight unanswered points by the Wildcats — sparked by consecutive 3-pointers by Bryce Lovejoy — got them back in the contest.
With the Mavericks back out in front, 12-8, Clear Creek closed out the first quarter on a 7-0 run — fueled by a pair of 3-pointers from Nate Jackson and Hunter Smith — to take a lead that they never relinquished, although Manvel kept things close throughout.
Hanging on to a 42-40 advantage late in the fourth quarter, a 7-0 run highlighted by solid defense and rebounding, clutch free throw shooting and a drawn charge by Lovejoy finally put Manvel away.
Lovejoy led the Wildcats in scoring with 14 points. Jackson chipped in 12 points, and Shipley had 12 points and nine rebounds.
For Ball High, its opening game in the Carlsile-Krueger Classic gave the Tors signs that a rugged early-season schedule is starting to strengthen the team, as they scored a decisive 70-46 win against Clear Falls on the Knights’ home court.
“Their whole challenge is to try to figure out how to become a team,” Ball High head coach Jerald Temple said. “We have to care about each other on and off the court. In that aspect of it, they’ve grown so much. I think that’s really going to help us in a tough district.”
The Tors never trailed in the Clear Falls game and took full advantage of a slow start by the Knights to take an 18-5 lead by the end of the first quarter.
After Ball High took a 34-22 lead into the halftime break, a sharper-looking Knights team was able to get the Tors’ lead down to single digits, but Ball High never allowed Clear Falls to mount too much momentum.
After a bucket by Clear Falls big man Rhys Harris cut the Tors’ lead to 58-46 midway through the fourth quarter, Ball High finished in emphatic fashion, closing the game on a 12-0 run.
Ball High was led by Josh Fields (18 points, six rebounds), Brian Ball (15 points), James Landor (13 points) and Kevin Shinette (nine points).
Clear Falls got a strong all-around showing from Taylor Vessel, who shined on defense and with his passing and finished with seven points and nine rebounds. Harris chipped in eight points and seven rebounds.
Ball High was defeated in its second game of the day, 74-58, against Port Arthur Memorial, and the Titans also topped Clear Falls, 54-35.
The Texas City Stings came achingly close to punching their ticket to the gold bracket. Led by 11 points from Tee’Shawn Garrett, the Stings won their first game against Pasadena Memorial, 52-38, and then saw what would have been a near-miraculous rally fall just short in a 41-40 loss to North Shore.
Texas City trailed, 39-23, midway through the third quarter against North Shore, but then clamped down on defense and allowed only two more Mustangs points the rest of the way.
Behind, 41-36, late in the fourth quarter, the Stings followed an offensive rebound and put-back by Demont Booker by forcing a 5-second inbound pass turnover. Then, a put-back bucket by Jacoree Evans made the score 41-40.
North Shore missed the front end of a one-and-one to give Texas City a chance to win the game in the final seconds, but the Stings’ final shot clanked off the rim. James Scott led Texas City with 11 points.
While traditionally, the Carlisle-Krueger Classic features teams mostly from the largest classifications, Galveston County’s Class 3A teams, La Marque and Hitchcock, opted to enter the fray this season and test themselves against the giants.
La Marque hung around but were topped by Clear Springs, 62-50, in the Cougars’ first game of the day. The Cougars’ Raymond Stubblefield scored a game-high 23 points, while Grannan Long (16 points) and Jalen White (13 points) led the Chargers.
After that, La Marque walloped Corpus Christi Tuloso Midway, 82-47, with four Cougars scoring in double figures — Desmond Murray (14 points), Stubblefield (12 points), Jauron Freeman (12 points) and Jordan Curry (11 points).
“It’s great for us to see these teams, these 6A schools, and compete against them,” La Marque head coach David Montano said.
Hitchcock was defeated, 66-39, by Aldine Nimitz in the Bulldogs’ first game, and then fell, 54-41, against Pasadena. Marvin Johnson had a team-high 13 points against Nimitz, and against Pasadena, Kenneth Taylor put up 13 points, while John Scott had 12 points.
Clear Springs followed up its win against La Marque with an 81-46 drubbing of Tuloso Midway. Four Chargers — Julien LeGrant (16 points), Christian Waller (15 points), Christian Diaz (13 points) and Jalen White (12 points) — scored in double figures.
Today’s Carlisle-Krueger gold bracket games will be played at Clear Lake’s Krueger Fieldhouse, and the schedule is as follows:
Clear Brook vs. North Shore, 3 p.m.
Clear Creek vs. Nimitz, 4:30 p.m.
Cy-Falls vs. Port Arthur Memorial, 6 p.m.
Clear Springs vs. Clear Lake, 7:30 p.m.
Other county teams in action today will be:
Texas City vs. Hastings, 3 p.m. at Clear Lake’s main building gym (silver bracket)
Ball High vs. South Houston, 6 p.m. at Clear Lake’s main building gym (silver bracket)
La Marque vs. San Antonio Brennan, 7:30 p.m. at Clear Lake’s main building gym (silver bracket)
Hitchcock vs. Clements, 4:30 p.m. at Clear Lake’s ninth grade center gym (bronze bracket)
Peggy Whitley Classic results
Clear Creek 38, Richmond George Ranch 37
In an exciting game that went down to the wire, George Ranch led at halftime 19-17, and Clear Creek used a strong third quarter to take a 27-26 lead.
Trailing 36-37 with 5 seconds left, Keondra White received a midcourt inbound pass and immediately drove to the basket and was rewarded with two free throws thanks to a blocking foul with 1.8 seconds left.
White made both free throws for the fourth lead change in the fourth quarter, and Alex Simmons intercepted a Lady Longhorn inbound heave to end the game in the Wildcats opening-game Peggy Whitley Classic win.
The five Clear Creek starters combined for all of the Wildcats’ points: Alex Simmons (10 points, 13 rebounds), Lacee Savage (nine points, 11 rebounds), Caitlyn Burroway (seven points, nine rebounds), Hannah Zajac (six points) and Keondra White (six points).
Sam Simmons pulled down five rebounds for Clear Creek.
Pearland 54, Clear Creek 49
After the game’s fourth tie (11-11), Pearland closed out the first quarter on a 5-2 run for a lead they would never relinquish, and costly third-quarter turnovers (seven) by Clear Creek helped the Lady Oilers win the quarter (16-10) to take a 42-33 lead going into the final quarter
The Wildcats tried to rally, winning the fourth quarter 16-12, but it was not enough in the loss.
Zajac (19 points and nine rebounds) and Burroway (16 points and eight rebounds) had monster performances as the duo combined for 35 points and 17 rebounds. Alex Simmons corralled 11 rebounds.
Clear Creek will close out tournament play when the Wildcats face Ball High today at 3 p.m. at Clear Springs High School’s gym No. 2.
Clear Springs 64, Willis 18
Clear Springs ran Willis off the court in the first quarter to take an imposing 21-6 lead and cruise to an opening tournament victory.
The Chargers held the Lady Wildcats to only one made basket in both the third and fourth quarters.
A combined 16 first-quarter points from Dymond Gladney (16 total points) and Sierra Cheatham (19 total points and five rebounds) paced Clear Springs’ early run.
Tasharian Robinson chipped in with eight points for Clear Springs. Eleven Chargers scored at least two points, and five Clear Springs players hauled in four or more rebounds.
Other rebound leaders were Taylor Singleton (six), Audrey Wandji (six), JaNay Redic (five)
Clear Springs will tangle with Atascocita in the second round of the Peggy Whitley Classic at 10:30 a.m. today at their home school’s gym No. 1.
Clear Falls 51, Magnolia West 21
Clear Falls forced 14 of Magnolia West’s 36 total turnovers in the first quarter to take a 14-1 first-quarter lead (with the Lady Mustangs’ only point coming with 20.7 left), and held Magnolia West without a field goal until 6:47 remaining in the second quarter to take a commanding 24-9 halftime lead.
Eleven different Clear Falls players scored and grabbed at least one rebound in the contest.
Madison Lussier scored 10 of the Knights’ 21 bench points.
Tallying seven points each were Annalise Brisco, Ariel Wolfe and Cortisha Elias (who also had eight rebounds). Madison Nicholas added six points for Clear Falls.
Clear Falls 53, Klein Oak 37
The Knights used a strong second quarter (17-5) to take a 27-11 lead into halftime and extended their lead thanks to a 8-0 scoring run to start the third quarter that aided Clear Falls to go 2-0 in Day 1 of the Peggy Whitley Classic.
Hannah Falls scored a team-high 10 points for the Knights. Brisco added eight points and a trio of Knights chipped in with seven points (Wolfe, Elias, Lussier).
Elias corralled six rebounds, and Lussier had five boards.
Clear Falls will have a tough early test as the Knights play North Shore in the final six at noon today at Clear Springs High School gym No. 1
Editor’s note: Scores and player statistics for Ball High were not immediately available.