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Three volleyball squads go down in sweeps 30 October 2007

Posted by Observer Sports in Game recaps, Kingwood Park, Splendora, Spring, Updates.
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Splendora and Kingwood Park both bowed out of the UIL Region III-3A playoffs tonight at the bi-district round.

I went to Tarkington, where Kingwood Park took on Silsbee, a better-than-average No. 2 seed that lost a playoff for first place in District 21-3A. With a good Kingwood Park crowd on hand and the Panthers taking the opening point to a big roar, you never knew what could happen, but Silsbee pulled away for the three-game win.

Kingwood Park used more substitutions than I’ve ever seen, trying to mix and match, and put together its best block of the season, in my opinion, at the net. They stayed close to the 10-8 mark in the first game, then fell behind 18-11 to a timeout and eventually lost 25-15.

In the second game, Silsbee went on a 7-0 run on which Kingwood Park was called for lifts three separate times. It may have been nerves or a ticky-tack ref or just one of those nights, but I’ve never seen Kingwood Park called for that many lifts, double-hits, and in the nets, not to mention service errors. K-Park went down 9-2, 17-6 and 20-8 in Game 2 before a big rally got them to within 22-16 and 23-17. Silsbee pulled away, though, thanks to an athletic back row and better timing of dumps and tips. The Lady Tigers dumped into the middle of the defense all night.

In the third game, Silsbee ran off a 5-0 run to go up 8-3. Kingwood Park never got closer than 11-9 in the game, eventually losing 25-16.

The loss does not taint at all an awesome debut season for K-Park, which was fun to watch all year and showed great heart and character to force a second-place playoff with Splendora and rally in that match to force a fifth game. I think the Panthers will be every bit as competitive at the 4A level next year.

I can’t speak to the Splendora game, since I wasn’t there, but I do know Hamshire-Fannett won in three. With Spring’s 3-0 loss to Magnolia, Kingwood and Atascocita are the last Observer volleyball squads remaining.

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Atascocita & Kingwood roll in bi-district round 29 October 2007

Posted by Joe Musarra in Atascocita, Game recaps, Kingwood, Updates.
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Atascocita and Kingwood both opened playoff action at Channelview tonight in the bi-district round and both teams looked very impressive.

Atascocita opened the action against Dobie and rolled easily over the Longhorns, who finished third in in District 22-5A, in three games, 25-13, 25-17, 25-20.

Dobie was no match for the Eagles along the net, as Isis Smalls and Christina Hobbs had spectacular nights. Smalls led the team in kills with 12, while Hobbs shut down Longhorn hitters with seven blocks on the night.

Courtney Carrell had an impressive night for the Eagles defensively, racking up 13 digs.

Kingwood served up part two of the night’s doubleheader against La Porte and handily took down the Bulldogs in three games as well, 25-18, 25-10, 28-26.

LaPort put up an impressive fight in the third game, battling point for point with Kingwood for most of the game, before Kingwood took a 27-26 lead and then won the match when setter Lauren Drabing spotted a hole in the La Porte defense and dumped the winning the point over the net while the Bulldogs frantically tried to set up their block.

Both teams advance to the area round and games are set for November 1-3. Atascocita will face the winner of Elkins vs. Clear Lake, while Kingwood will take on either Clements or Pearland.

What a weekend! 28 October 2007

Posted by Sarah Parker in Analysis, Editorial, Game recaps, Spring, Westfield.
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As a fan of both Spring teams, I needed a weekend like this one. Spring and Westfield both played two fantastic games.

What’s amazing is that although both games were blow-outs – Spring shut out Klein Collins 35-0 and Westfield pummeled Klein 41-17 – our teams played such good football, you never lost interest in the games for a second.

Unless you’re a Klein fan, that is. Saturday, Klein Memorial Stadium was conspicuously lacking in yellow-and-blue apparel by the time the fourth quarter came.

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Weekend volleyball update 28 October 2007

Posted by Observer Sports in Atascocita, Game recaps, Kingwood, Kingwood Park, New Caney, Splendora, Spring, Updates.
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Here’s what went down this weekend and what’s coming up this week in volleyball action:

New Caney lost to Little Cypress-Mauriceville 23-25, 25-16, 25-23, 25-18 on Saturday in bi-district play, ending a strong season from the Eagles.

Splendora beat Kingwood Park in a thrilling second-place playoff on Saturday, 25-21, 25-21, 25-27, 18-25, 15-10. Splendora plays Hamshire-Fannett at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Woodville High School. Kingwood Park plays Silsbee at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Tarkington High School.

Kingwood and Atascocita will play a playoff doubleheader at Channelview on Monday. Atascocita will face Pasadena Dobie at 5 p.m., followed by Kingwood against La Porte at 6:30 p.m.

Spring plays at District 15-5A winner Magnolia Tuesday at 7 p.m.

Great night for Observer football! 26 October 2007

Posted by Observer Sports in Atascocita, Game recaps, Humble, Kingwood, New Caney, Splendora, Spring, Updates, Westfield.
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We at the Observer offices are celebrating tonight.

On an awesome night for football from the Observer coverage area, our teams went 5-1. I was at Splendora, where the Wildcats pulled out an improbable, exciting, last-second 24-21 win on a Drew Purdy field goal. Splendora was aided by one of the worst coaching decisions I’ve ever seen on the Liberty sideline. Read my online recap here.

Joe was at Turner Stadium, where Humble pulled off a huge 21-12 win over Baytown Lee to stay in a tie for the District 21-5A lead. Here’s the online recap of another defensive gem. Humble is far and away the District 21-5A leader in points against.  

Kingwood won 40-30 to take over as the favorite for the fourth and final playoff spot. Here’s the recap of a wild one at Channelview. Atascocita got the first district win in school history, 34-14 over Baytown Sterling. Here’s the online recap.

Spring beat Klein Collins 35-0 to get back to 2-2 in district play and stay in playoff contention. Kenric McNeal threw for two touchdowns, and Josh Carr ran for two. Sarah has the details with her online recap.

New Caney played strong defense in a 19-0 loss to unbeaten Galena Park. Here’s The Courier‘s game report. Westfield plays tomorrow.

Thursday postseason update 25 October 2007

Posted by Observer Sports in Atascocita, Game recaps, Kingwood, Kingwood Park, New Caney, Splendora, Spring, Updates.
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I take a day and a half off, and things get all hectic. Crazy. Anyway, here’s what’s going on as of Thursday afternoon.

In the District 22-3A cross country meet on Wednesday, Kingwood Park won the title on the girls side (racing only freshmen) and finished second on the boys side, qualifying for the Region III-3A meet Nov. 3. I know the Splendora girls qualified for that meet, but the boys did not finish in the top two.

This morning, the District 21-5A cross country meet took place at Atascocita. All the schedules I was looking at had the event at North Harris College, but we do have the results. Kingwood swept the events easily, with Ryan Bennett and Kristen Hanselka winning individual titles. Humble edged Atascocita for third place, and a berth at next week’s Region III meet, 99-101 on the girls side. Atascocita finished second in the boys race, with Humble seventh. Kingwood and Atascocita went 1-2 in all the sub-varsity action.

In volleyball, here’s where we’re at:
Kingwood: won District 21-5A with a 13-1 record. Will face loser of La Porte-Pasadena Dobie playoff in the bi-district round Monday at 6:30 p.m. at Channelview.
Atascocita: lost 3-0 to Lee Tuesday in a stunning upset to finish second at 12-2. Will face La Porte-Pasadena Dobie playoff winner in the bi-district round at 5 p.m. Monday at Channelview. We’re excited about that first-round doubleheader.
New Caney: Finished third in District 21-4A (10-4) and will open the playoffs Saturday at 3 p.m. at Barbers Hill against Little Cypress-Mauriceville.
Kingwood Park and Splendora: Tied for second in District 22-3A (9-3) and will face each other in a playoff for second place Saturday at 11 a.m. at Caney Creek High School. The winner will face the winner of the Orangefield vs. Hamshire-Fannett playoff for third place in District 21-3A. The loser will face the loser of the Bridge City vs. Silsbee playoff for first place in District 21-3A. Those bi-district matches will be early next week.
Spring: Tied for third place in District 16-5A with an 8-4 record. Spring will play Klein Oak in a third-place playoff Friday at Klein Collins, then will begin the playoffs next week against a District 15-5A opponent we haven’t figured out yet.

In tennis, the Region III tournaments start to tomorrow. Kingwood and Atascocita will compete in the 5A tournament at Deer Park; New Caney will compete in the 4A tournament at Barbers Hill. That’s all I know about tennis.

K-Park beats Splendora, forces playoff 23 October 2007

Posted by Observer Sports in Game recaps, Kingwood Park, Splendora, Updates.
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I was a bit surprised at Splendora’s 3-1 win over Kingwood Park in volleyball earlier this year. I was surprised not because I don’t respect Splendora’s program but because I think K-Park has such potential as a volleyball powerhouse.

The Panthers showed it tonight, beating the Ladycats 25-19, 24-26, 29-27, 25-17 at home to tie Splendora for second place in District 22-3A and force a one-game playoff Saturday at noon at a neutral site to be determined. Both teams finished 9-3 in district play, trailing 12-0 Tarkington. Both teams will make the playoffs, but the winner of Saturday’s playoff will face the No. 3 finisher from District 21-3A instead of the runner-up.

Tonight, Kingwood Park led from the start in all three games it won and was really powered by the hitting of Larla Brown. Splendora held off K-Park, barely, to win Game 2 and mounted an amazing comeback only to lose in a heart-stopping Game 3. The difference in the match was Kingwood Park’s ability to defend Splendora senior Sam McKenna, one of the best hitters around at the 3A level, both at the net and in the back row. The Panthers repeatedly blocked, tipped and dug McKenna’s kills, while Brown had more success hitting due to her truly impressive vertical leap. For more details, read on …

Kingwood Park led 7-2 and 14-7 early in the first game. Splendora got within three but never closer, and K-Park won 25-19.

In the second game, Splendora took early leads of 7-4 and 11-8. Kingwood Park repeatedly closed to within one point (11-10, 14-13, 20-19) before finally tying the game 23-23. It went to 24-24 before a controversial point that appeared to be tipped (Splendora would say it was justice for an earlier non-call) was called out, giving Splendora the go-ahead point. The Ladycats won it at 26-24.

In Game 3, Kingwood Park went ahead 10-2 and led 23-15 when Splendora made its move. The Ladycats went on a 9-1 run to tie the game 24-24. This is when it started to get nuts. With the whole crowd – and there was an enthusiastic crowd on hand from both sides – standing, K-Park took the lead on a Caleigh Koshnick tip. Splendora came right back on a Shelby Ruderman tip. With the score 25-25, McKenna powered through a block to give Splendora the lead, and it looked like the Ladycats’ experience might pay off. On the next point, Brown was stopped on three consecutive attacks – twice by Kaycee Bryan – but powered home the fourth through a block to re-tie the score at 26-26. After a service error gave Splendora another chance for the win, Kingwood Park’s Sydney Overhoff came up with a crucial dig of a McKenna hit, and Brown’s kill tied the game 27-27. On the next play, Rachael Doyle dug McKenna’s hit, and Brown’s kill gave Kingwood Park the lead. To top things off, Brown came up with an improvised, one-handed dig on the next play, then powered home the kill for the 29-27 win.

Game 4 was a bit of a letdown, as it had to be, with Kingwood Park going ahead 9-3 and breezing to a 19-12 advantage. Brown had three kills in a row at one point. Splendora then ran off a 5-0 run, but it was fitting that Brown came up with a kill to end that stretch, then served out the match with three straight points.

I think Saturday’s match is likely to be just as entertaining, and I’m really hopeful about both team’s chances in the postseason. I might be uninformed, but I feel like 22-3A volleyball is pretty decent. I guess we’ll find out next week.

Monday Morning Quarterback 22 October 2007

Posted by Observer Sports in Analysis, Atascocita, Humble, Kingwood, Kingwood Park, New Caney, Splendora, Spring, Updates, Westfield.
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Okay, so it’s really afternoon. I’m exhausted from the weekend, but we’ve got a lot of exciting things going on this week in our coverage area.

First of all, the volleyball regular season wraps up Tuesday with Splendora visiting Kingwood Park trying to wrap up second place in District 22-3A. Atascocita and Kingwood both need wins to force a one-game playoff Friday night, and Humble will be going for its first win of the year against Port Arthur Memorial after the Wildcats won their first game of the district season in Friday’s 3-1 loss to West Brook. Spring will be playing for playoff seeding against Klein. Westfield closes its season against Klein Oak.

The one team I did not mention, New Caney, starts its 4A playoff run on Saturday with a 3 p.m. game against Little Cypress-Mauriceville (henceforth referred to as LC-M) at Barbers Hill.

On Friday, we’ve got plenty of good football action, with Humble hosting Baytown Lee and Splendora hosting Liberty among the best games. Atascocita will be favored in a district game for the first time ever, playing at Baytown Sterling, and Kingwood will try to keep its playoff hopes alive with a road game against Channelview. New Caney hosts highly-ranked Galena Park. Spring should even its record with a home game against a pesky Klein Collins squad. Perhaps the biggest game of the week will be Saturday, when Westfield travels to Klein.

District cross country meets are Wednesday (22-3A), Thursday (21-4A) and Friday (21-5A) and there are probably some more I don’t know about. In tennis, Kingwood and Atascocita will be competing in the Region III-5A tournament at Deer Park Friday and Saturday, while New Caney will play in the Region III-4A tournament after finishing second in its district at 6-1.

Whew. That’s a busy week. And I didn’t even get into swimming, water polo or JV sports. But stay tuned to the blog for updates on all of the action.

The Cita goes for first district football win 20 October 2007

Posted by Observer Sports in Analysis, Atascocita, Updates.
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I’ll be posting updates from Atascocita-Channelview tonight, starting with the 6 p.m. kickoff. For all football action around the area, don’t forget to check out HCNFootball.com.

Here’s the FINAL scoreboard and online recap:

Channelview 0 7 0 7 14
Atascocita 3 0 10 0 13

1st
3:01 Atsc – FG Reading Cotton 26

2nd
3:54 Cview – Zachary Loudd 28 pass from Garrett Beal (Jonathon Acuna kick)

3rd
7:05 Atsc – Quentin Parks 30 pass from Daniel Tatman (Reading Cotton kick)
0:28 Atsc – FG Reading Cotton 43

4th
4:28 Cview – Jackie Hinton 4 run (Jonathon Acuna kick)

With running commentary continued below …

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Kingwood volleyball knots it up at one apiece 20 October 2007

Posted by Joe Musarra in Analysis.
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After an incredible first match-up earlier this season, there was no letdown tonight in the rematch of Kingwood-Atascocita as Kingwood evened the score by defeating the Eagles 25-13, 17-25, 25-10, 26-24.

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