After dropping their regular season opener Tuesday and going 1-2 on Day 1 of the Adidas John Turner Classic tournament Thursday, the Clear Creek Wildcats simply suited up to win Day 2 on Friday and did just that.
“I told the kids there wasn’t anything we could do about yesterday — that’s in the past, that’s done, and all we could do was focus on today,” Clear Creek head coach Scott Simonds said. “The goal from here on out was to win our remaining matches in the tournament, and we’re halfway there.”
Relegated to Division II pool play, the Wildcats dominated the competition Friday, going a perfect 3-0. After walloping District 24-6A rival Clear Lake (25-15, 25-12) and sweeping Laredo Alexander (25-21, 25-17), Clear Creek completed its day with a 25-18, 25-10 win over fellow Galveston County squad Texas City.
“We were better in every phase — there’s no doubt about it,” Simonds said. “We passed a lot better, our defensive effort was a lot better. We hit at much higher percentages, and we connected better off our setter. We served better. There wasn’t one phase that we didn’t do better today.”
A Bella Waggoner kill gave the Lady Stings a 3-2 lead in the first set, but Clear Creek scored seven unanswered points — highlighted by three aces from Briana Zamora and a pair of kills from Shaina Westfall — to take control of the frame. At two different junctures — courtesy of a Haley James ace and a Waggoner kill, respectively — Texas City clawed back to within two points, but a 5-0 Wildcats run featuring three kills from Aaliyah Ellis squashed a potential Lady Stings rally.
Clear Creek raced out to a 12-2 lead in the second set and never looked back en route to wrapping up the match.
The Wildcats’ super sophomores led the way in the win over Texas City, with Reagan Thompson recording eight kills, Sydney Chauvin logging 11 digs and Zamora notching three aces and eight digs. Recent move-in Sam Rocha, filling in for injured starting setter Spencer Plato, served up 21 assists.
Clear Creek will enter the tournament’s flight one bracket Saturday, beginning with a match at 10 a.m. at Berry Miller Junior High, court 16.
Texas City won its other two matches of the day Friday, topping Dallas Ursuline Academy (21-25, 25-22, 26-24) and Atascocita (25-21, 21-25, 25-15). The Lady Stings will compete in the tournament’s flight one bracket at 9 a.m. Saturday at Berry Miller Junior High, court 16.
Also going 3-0 on Friday after a tough 1-2 outing Thursday was Santa Fe, which swept Tarkington (25-15, 25-17), Dickinson (25-20, 25-14) and Addison Trinity Christian (25-15, 25-16).
Against county rival Dickinson, the Lady Indians pulled away late in the first set and early in the second set to record the win.
“I’m liking the aggressiveness; we’re being very aggressive when we’re swinging, and our defense is always working hard,” Santa Fe head coach Jennifer Webb said. “We’re still having our ups and downs with some minor things, but we’re also serving aggressively, too. Overall, they’re just being aggressive, and that’s what we’ve been asking them to do.”
Tied 19-19 in the first set, Santa Fe reeled of five unanswered points, highlighted by back-to-back kills from Rylie Peters, to take control. Leading 7-6 in the second set, the Lady Indians embarked on a 9-2 run to put some distance between themselves and the Lady Gators and never looked back. Cassi Cruz had an ace and a kill, Kassidy Taves had a huge block and a kill, and Peters had two kills during the key scoring spurt.
“They’re already doing things this early in the season that you wouldn’t expect them to do until midway through the season,” Webb said. “We’re definitely not at a peak, we’ve got a long way to go, but their work ethic and their desire to win is what keeps us going. They do not like to lose.”
Santa Fe also will be in the flight one bracket Saturday, starting at 10 a.m. against defending Class 5A state champion Kingwood Park at Berry Miller Junior High, court 15.
Dickinson dropped its opening match against Trinity Christian (26-24, 25-16), but salvaged the day with a win over Tarkington (25-20, 25-22). The Lady Gators will compete in the tournament’s flight three bracket Saturday, starting at 10 a.m. at Pearland High School.
ELSEWHERE IN THE TOURNAMENT
Locals’ hope for advancing to the tournament’s gold bracket evaporated early Friday, as Clear Falls, Clear Springs and Friendswood all lost their respective opening matches in Division I play.
The Chargers had the best showing of the three, bouncing back from a 20-25, 25-19, 25-18 loss to Deer Park with a pair of wins over San Antonio Brandeis (25-20, 23-25, 25-16) and Alvin Shadow Creek (25-14, 25-20). Clear Springs will enter the tournament’s silver bracket, starting at 10 a.m. Saturday at Pearland Dawson High School.
The Knights also rebounded with two wins after their opening loss, falling to Bellaire Episcopal (30-28, 25-23) before topping Austin Lake Travis (27-25, 24-26, 25-17) and Georgetown (25-27, 25-21, 25-13). Clear Falls also will be in the silver bracket, beginning at 9 a.m. at Dawson High School.
The Lady Mustangs didn’t fare as well, going 0-3 on the day against crosstown rival Clear Brook (20-25, 25-23, 25-20), Pearland (25-19, 25-18) and Bellaire (25-23, 25-7). Friendswood will compete Saturday in the copper bracket, with its first match set for 9 a.m. at Pearland Junior High West.