A banner year: HHS girls continue to flatten competition

Jag girls clinch another district championship with 3 wins

Patty Hullett and Don Hullett
Mirror correspondents
The Heritage girls basketball team holds a banner celebrating another district championship on Saturday after the Jaguars beat Venus, 69-36.

On Saturday morning, the Venus Lady Bulldogs paid a visit to Midlothian Heritage for a game that if Heritage won would clinch the District 11-4A title once again for the Jaguars.

The Jags came out strong in the initial period showing no affects from having just played against Hillsboro a short 15 hours before. From the start Midlothian played with purpose and determination showing that they were not going to allow Venus to derail their coronation by blowing the doors off the Lady Bulldogs, 69-36.

Heritage was the Webster’s description of balance as they had 4 ladies in double figures and the rest of the team making their mark on the scoresheet.

Jerzie Bryant finished with 14 points, while Elizabeth Schmidt added 12, Kora Huff 10 and Ivy Preusser 10. Other scorers for HHS were Asia Purnell and Cayla Williams with five points each, Elise Stafford and Grace Sweeney with four each, Maddie Berumen with three and Julianna Burrows with two.

In the opening stanza the Lady Jags scored in bunches and combined with a stifling defense en-route to an 18-9 lead. The Lady Bulldogs closed the gap to 18-11, but Venus was not able to stem the growing flood of points as Heritage opened up a 37-16 halftime lead.

Coming out from the break both teams appeared to be starting to show some signs of fatigue as the game bogged down a bit with both teams only able to get 10 points each for the quarter bringing the tally going into the final frame to 47-26 in favor of the home team. With the scent of blood in the water the Lady Jags came out hot and outscored Venus by a 22-10 margin.

Venus (10-10, 1-9) was paced in scoring by senior Shyann Lewis with 12 points and that included 3 baskets from 3-point range. Junior Jackie Brown also added 12 points along with 2 bombs from behind the arch. Junior Kaityan Brown added 7 points.

The Jaguars (19-4, 11-0) continued their winning ways on Friday evening at their home gymnasium at Heritage High School. They once again soundly defeated the Hillsboro Lady Eagles, this time by the lopsided score of 67-11. On Jan. 5, in the previous “away” game, the score had been quite decisive as well, 57-19.

The Jags seemed to be on a mission on Friday night, as nine of their 12 players listed on their varsity roster, scored on their way to an easy victory. On fire in shooting was Stafford, a junior, who wound up as the leading scorer with 22 points. The following girls also contributed: Schmidt with 11; Bryant with 10; Berumen with 8; Sweeney with 6; Purnell with 4; and the other three players added 2 points each –Huff, Williams and Preusser.

The Lady Eagles never gave up trying, but they were unable to keep up with the strong defensive pressure applied by the Jags. And because the HHS girls had such a great night of pinpoint shooting, Hillsboro had very little chance to even get off most of their shots. They were completely outmatched.

Prior to the start of the game, the Jags had a special ceremony to honor their three seniors who will graduating at the end of the last semester of school. The players were given special “senior” gifts, their parents and their siblings were introduced by the P.A. announcer, and the crowd acknowledged their hard work and effort during their years as part of the Heritage girls basketball program.

Those honored were: Megan Hill (who also sang the national anthem prior to the game); Elizabeth Schmidt; and Kylar Kenter.

Last Tuesday, the Jags beat Life Waxahachie, 55-21. Bryant scored 19 for HHS, followed by Schmidt with nine; Stafford, Huff and Preusser with six each; Sweeney with four; Williams with three and Burrows with two.

The Jags had a bye on Tuesday, so to fill-in they were scheduled to host a strong home school basketball team called the Dallas Thunder.

Second-year head coach Angie Evans says, “This added game on Monday evening, February 1, will help us play a tough opponent, in the extra effort of getting ready for the upcoming playoffs.”

Jags top Life, Hillsboro

What a difference a year makes. Last season the Life Waxahachie Mustangs swept both games against Midlothian Heritage, 56-44 and 61-40. This season was somewhat different for the Mustangs as the Jaguars came away with a 42-29 victory last Tuesday.

The Jags were paced by senior Jaydon Hogg with 16 points, and Jacob Bolgiano added 10 points.

From the opening tip off it was evident that Heritage was not going to allow the Mustangs to sweep them again this year. The Jags defense from the start was not going to let the Mustangs get into their normal high-speed offense that thrives on takeaways and fast breaks with open shots.

Heritage came out strong and scratched and clawed their way to an 8-4 lead by the end of period one.

The Jaguars opened the second frame with more stout defense, timely shooting and established an inside presence with senior Nathan Hunter leading the way by not allowing easy layups for points. Hunter ended the evening with a team high three blocked shots and five points. Heritage outscored Life by 13-4 and that made the score 21-8 going into the locker room at halftime.

The Mustangs came out in the third stanza and were able to get some offense going as they matched the Jags output on the scoreboard 13-13. Going into the fourth frame the score was 34-21 in favor of Heritage. Once again in the fourth the teams were even with both getting eight points. Life Waxahachie was not able to close the gap any closer than 13.

Life (15-4, 6-2) was led in scoring for the night by Drake Heads with eight points, and Trenn Marlin and DeShawn McKenzie who added six points each.

On Friday, the Jags hosted Hillsboro and had a fight on their hands, but came away with a 53-48 win after outscoring the Eagles 20-7 in the final eight minutes to avoid the upset.

The visiting Eagles led 16-8 at the end of the first quarter and, after HHS battled back to tie the score at halftime, outscored the Jags 19-11 in the third to go up by eight.

Heritage had an open date scheduled for Tuesday, and will host the Yellowjackets of Ferris (13-9 overall, 6-3 in district) in Midlothian at “The Cage” this Friday at 7 p.m. The Jags will also host Alvarado for their final home game of the season next Tuesday at 7 p.m. before ending the regular season Feb. 12 at Godley.