And then there was one.
The Lady Lions of Teague stand out as Central Texas’ last hope of reaching the UIL state basketball tournament in 2017. It’s a unique place for Teague to be, as the Lady Lions (22-5) will be making their first trip to the regional tournament in school history.
“If you’d have seen us earlier in the year, in November, you probably wouldn’t have expected us to be here,” Teague coach Chris Nickleberry said. “We’ve just gotten better and better as the season progressed, and we’re playing our best basketball right now.”
How much has Teague changed over the course of the year? Well, one of the driving forces of the team’s playoff run wasn’t even on the varsity roster at the start of the year.
Sophomore post Destanee Roblow is averaging 21 points and 20 rebounds in the postseason after opening the season on the junior varsity squad. Roblow produced a monster effort on Tuesday, scoring 27 points and corralling 28 rebounds as Teague held off Franklin, 58-55, to earn its spot in the Region III-3A tournament.
Nickleberry thinks where his team has grown up the most is in its approach to the game.
“Earlier in the year we had a loss to Kerens and we also had a close game against a team that we usually beat pretty good,” he said. “I think that really opened our eyes. We realized we had to bring our best each and every game, until the clock hits zero.”
Teague will face Crockett (22-7) in the regional semifinals at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Midway High School. Should the Lady Lions win that game, they’d play the winner of the Buffalo-Hitchcock semifinal for the regional title at 1 p.m. Saturday.
After making history with this breakthrough trip to regionals, Teague would like nothing more than to pen another chapter about a trip to the state tournament in San Antonio.
“Before the playoffs, we said, ‘Seven (Games) to Go,’” Nickleberry said. “Then when we won one, we said, ‘One down, six to go.’ We’ve been keeping that countdown going. But we also know not to overlook anyone, because we can’t afford to do that.”
Whitney set to unveil new baseball/softball complex
Thursday could be the busiest athletic day of the school year in Whitney.
And, probably, the most exciting.
Whitney ISD will hold a grand opening for its new baseball/softball complex, tennis facility and its new track on Thursday.
“It’s really exciting,” said Scott Estill, president of the Whitney Athletic Booster Club. “I neve thought we’d see a day like this in Whitney, Texas. This gives us the best facilities in the state of Texas for a 3A school.”
The project was part of a $11.075 bond that was approved by voters in May 2015. Whitney introduced its new $6.4 million football stadium last fall; now the other facilities will get their debuts.
The baseball and softball diamonds feature full turf fields as well as turf batting cages and bullpens. Nearby are eight new tennis courts, while the new track encircles the football field at Wildcat Stadium.
By 3 p.m. on Thursday, all the facilities will be in use, as Whitney will host baseball and softball tournaments, a tennis tournament and a track meet.
“It should be a wild and crazy day, but a lot of fun,” Estill said.
Robinson’s Cervenka celebrates 400th career win
Now in its 18 year as a head softball coach, Robinson’s Bobby Cervenka knows not to get too animated about nondistrict wins in February.
Nevertheless, he experienced a special one last Friday.
Cervenka tallied his milestone 400th career victory as Robinson defeated Nederland, 4-3, in the Brenham Tournament.
“The kids found the ball for me, and 10 or 15 years down the road maybe I’ll look at it,” Cervenka said. “I’ve been very fortunate, 18 years into this, I’ve coached a lot of winning teams. But as far as (the milestone), it’ll probably be a bigger deal after I retire.”
Cervenka has been one of the area’s most successful coaches over the past 18 years, as he had a successful stint at Troy prior to joining Robinson in the summer of 2007.
The Rockettes, ranked No. 1 in TxPrepSoftball.net’s Class 4A poll, went 5-1 at the Brenham tourney.