No. 23 Jags split games vs. ranked foes

HHS girls defeat 2A defending state champ Lipan; Walts leads boys in season opener

Mirror report
Heritage's Elise Stafford (3) drives toward the basket in a District 11-4A home game against Godley last December. The Class 4A No. 23-ranked Jags beat defending Class 2A state champion Lipan on Friday, 43-29.

The Heritage High School girls’ basketball team split their games last week, dropping one at Decatur before claiming a quality home victory over a small-school powerhouse team.

The Class 4A No. 23-ranked Jaguars (2-1) steadily pulled away for the first three quarters before letting up at the end for a 43-29 win over the defending Class 2A state champion and preseason 2A No. 1-ranked Lipan Lady Indians.

HHS got balanced scoring as Jerzie Bryant and Maddie Berumen each finished with nine points and Elise Stafford and Taysie Trejo each added eight. Ivy Preusser added four, Ava Batty and Kora Huff two each and Cayla Williams one.

The only down note in the game was free-throw shooting, as the Jags finished only 9-of-19 from the charity stripe.

Lipan took a early 5-2 lead before the Jags went on a 20-4 run that lasted into the middle of the second quarter to take control en route to a 25-14 lead at the half. In the third, the Lady Indians cut the margin to 10 points on a Chelsea Lott 3-pointer, but HHS took a 37-20 lead into the final eight minutes.

Lipan moved up to 2A last season but won state anyway, beating Martin’s Mill in the championship game, 44-39.

Last Tuesday, the Jags traveled to Decatur for a game against the 4A No. 16 Lady Eagles and were sent home with their first setback of the year, 44-28. Decatur outscored HHS in each quarter.

Stafford, Trejo and Huff each led the way with seven points, with Bryant adding three points and Preusser and Jules Burrows with two each.

The Jags kept it close for the first eight minutes, but Decatur outscored them 8-2 in the second frame to take an 18-11 halftime lead. The margin grew to 34-22 at the end of three.

The gantlet continues in the coming days for HHS’ girls. They were scheduled to host 4A No. 9 Waco La Vega on Tuesday before heading to the Texas Panhandle for the Canyon Shootout this weekend. They will participate in the Glen Rose Showcase on Monday and will host 4A No. 6 Sunnyvale next Tuesday at 12:15 p.m. before breaking for Thanksgiving.

Boys: HHS 56, Abilene Wylie 48

The Heritage Jaguar boys opened the 2021-2022 hoops season on a winning note on Saturday afternoon with a 56-48 non-district victory over Abilene Wylie at HHS Arena.

Senior Austin Walts led the way with 26 points for the Jags, who finished 20-5 last season and won a share of the District 11-4A championship, but graduated five seniors from last year.

Returning players include senior Carrington Casteel and junior Hayden Wilson, both of whom were all-district selections a year ago. Sophomores Matthew Williams and Jordan Texada should contribute as well. The roster should also get a boost from the football team after its season ends.

HHS will return to action on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. at Class 4A No. 16-ranked Kaufman, then will play two games in two days before Thanksgiving. The Jags will host Keller Timber Creek on Monday at 1 p.m., then will travel to Bridgeport to face Wichita Falls Rider on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.