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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 30, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas Tuesday, December 30, 2003 — Herald-Zeitung — Page 5A ^SPORTS COMING WEDNESDAY Hoopiiigilup See how the Unicorns fared Tuesday. Herald-Zeitung To have your event publicized, contact David Rupkalvis at 625-9144, ext. 223, or by e mail at [email protected] hkftt HE DAILY OK-E-T i Capital One Bowl Purdue (9-3) takes oil Georgia (10-3) iii New Year's Day matchup. Time: noon on ABC. El Smithson Valley boys basketball Rangers host Kerrville Tiny in their final game before returning back to school. Time: I p.m. B Canyon boys basketball Cougars open district play on the road as they visit Lockhart to take on the Lions. Time: 3 p.m.Smithson Valley ends losing streak; holds on to beat McCollum By Jason Chlapek Staff Writer The Smithson Valley girls’ basketball team showed that it was not slowed down by the Christmas holidays by defeating McCollum 70-57 Monday. Seneca Guenther had a big night for the Rangers, scoring a game-high 28 points and pulling down IO rebounds. “I just*tried to do what I could tonight in helping the team win,” Guenther said. “We also played great as a team tonight. I couldn’t do it alone.” Monday’s game was also the varsity debut for sophomore point guard Hailee Gordon, who recorded 6 points, four rebounds, three assists and a team-high two steals. “I just tried to play defense and pass the ball to my teammates,” Gordon said. “I need to continue to control the ball and improve defensively" Gordon’s play also earned her praise from Smithson Valley Coach Michael Lannon. “I lailee really stepped it up tonight. She made everyone pick up the pace,” Lannon said. “We need a backup point guard for district play and l lailee proved that she can play. As a team, we played well tonight. We moved the ball well and played good defense." In the first quarter, Gordon provided an early spark for the Rangers, scoring the first four points of the game and assisting Guenther and Jenna Struthoff on baskets as the Rangers ran out to a 9-2 lead. McCollum came back with nine straight points to take an 11-9 lead. But Guenther scored two quick baskets for the Rangers and the quarter ended in a 13-13 tie. See RAMGKRS, Page 6A Rested and ready to go Cougarettes, Rangers shine in early season play By Jason Chlapek Staff Writer As the six area basketball teams come back from Christmas break, most find themselves preparing for district play. TWO teams, the New Braunfels and Canyon girls, have already started district competition. Two weeks ago, the two teams squared off in their district opener and the Unicorns prevailed on a last second shot from Molly Brawner, 56-54. Four days later, the Cougarettes prevailed 55-50 over Del Valle while the Unicorns fell 53-50 at Lake Travis, leaving both teams with l l district records. Through the midway point of the year, the Cougarettes have had the most- success this season. With a record of 14-3, including a victory in the Canyon Classic and a third place finish in the San Antonio ISI) Tournament, the Cougarettes have become a force to be reckoned with. Bo Warm and Courtney Krisch provide the Cougarettes with efficiency on offense, while Julie Jeffers brings a balanced inside game. Canyon resumes play against Lockhart Friday. The New Braunfels girls are 6-9 at the halfway point, but times can be difficult when playing the likes of San Mar cos and Hays. The Unicorns won third place in the Canyon Classic. Seniors Brynna Monk and Sarah Knudson are the team’s leaders and, along with Brawner, give the Unicorns a three-pronged scoring threat. The Unicorns travel to Bastrop Friday. The other area girls’ team, Smithson Valley, currently has a 7-10 record but the Rangers have yet to start district play. Last season, the Rangers struggled in nondistrict play, but came to life when the district opened and finished second, which was good enough to qualify for the playoffs. Behind the shooting of Jenna Struthoff and the inside game of Amber Mueller and Seneca Guenther, Smithson Valley could be back in the playoffs. T he Rangers won the consolation finals in both the llar-landale and Northeast ISH tournaments. After a nondistrict game against Fredricks-burg Jan. 6, the Rangers open district play against East Central Friday, Jan. 9. On the boys’ side, Smithson Valley shook off an 0-2 start and are currently 7-7. The Rangers beat New Braunfels, 53-31, and (Canyon, 56-48, and won the consolation finals in the River City Classic. Erie Icke and Brian Hillman See HOOPS. Page 6A Sloppy Cowboys get ready for Panthers IRVING (AP) —This is not the way Bill Parcells wanted to take the Dallas Cowboys into the playoffs. Instead of carrying the momentum of three straight wins into a game Saturday night at Carolina, Parcells is once again wondering about his team’s erratic, immature tendencies following a 13-7 loss at New Orleans in the season finale. “I told them after the game we could never beat a good team if we don’t play well, and certainly any team in the league would have a really good chance to beat us if we don’t play well," Parcells said Monday. “Even though our record says a little differently, I know that for a fact. That’s where we are.” Parcells has talked often this season about blunders typical of young players. Yet he clearly noted that the mistakes made against the Saints were not tied to experience. They were more indicative of players who don’t completely understand the best way to do their jobs — or, in his parlance, guys who just NFL PLAYOFFS Dallas at Carolina 7 P.M.. ABC “don’t get it.” “That’s where I have the collective thought of, gee whiz, there is a lot of work to do along those lines,” he said. In bouncing back from two straight losses with two straight wins, the Cowboys had clinched a playoff spot the week before the finale. They even prepared for the game thinking they’d have a chance to play for the division title. Although that chance was gone when Philadelphia won Saturday night, Parcells still expected better Sunday. The running game turned out to be unreliable, a big letdown considering the Saints were among the league’s worst at stopping the run. That led to Quincy Carter throwing a season-high 47 passes, three of which were intercepted. Texans excited about future DAVID INGRAM/Herald-Zeitung Canyon's Courtney Krisch and the Cougarettes are 14-3 this season and return to action Nebraska pounds Michigan State in Alamo Bowl SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Bo Pelini tried something a little different in his one-game audition to become Nebraska’s next head coach. Jammal Lord threw for a career-best 160 yards and ran for 79 more Monday night to lead the Cornhuskers to a 17-3 win over Michigan. State in the Alamo Bowl. Running back Cory Ross also had a career night by rushing for 138 yards and two touchdowns for normally run-ori ented Nebraska, which won its 10th game to cap a season in which coach Frank Solidi was fired after finishing the regular season with a 9-3 record “I think we showed the world what Nebraska football is all about,” Pelini said while accepting the winner’s trophy. “I couldn’t be prouder of a group of men.” T he win was the Cornhuskers’ second in the Alamo Bowl in four years. T hey rolled over Northwestern, 66-17, in 2000. While Nebraska’s offense piled up 389 total yards, its defense limited the Spartans’ potent passing attack to 156 yards to go with 18 yards on the ground. Quarterback Jeff Smoker was sacked live times, twice on Michigan Stale’s first possession, and he threw three interceptions. Pelini s only obvious misstep of the night came in the fourth quarter, when the interim head coach was hit with an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for arguing too strenuously. HOUSTON (AP) — The Houston Texans’ expansion honeymoon is over. There will be no more moral victories next season. A seemingly easier 2004 schedule, another offseason to add talent and a chance to recover from the league’s worst spate of injuries all mean the Texans expect to follow their 5-11 finish with a run for the playoffs. “I expected results when I first got here. I’ve been kind of disappointed the last two years,” quarterback David Carr said alter the Texans finished one game better than their inaugural 4-12 season. Carr in some ways epitomized the 2003 Texans. Bolstered by a revamped offensive line and the additions of rookie weapons in tailback Domanick Davis and receiv er Andre Johnson, Carr’s play improved from his rookie year, during which he made his mark by playing every down while absorbing a league-record 76 sacks. Yet Carr was sidelined twice by injuries this year and missed five starts. When veteran backup Tony Banks broke his throwing hand Nov. 30, the offense staffed for two games behind overmatched rookie Dave Ragone. “I wish I could have been on the field a little more,” Carr said. What turned out to be an omen for the Texans occurred before training camp when star left tackle Tony Boselli, the biggest name in their expansion draft, retired with a bum left shoulder having never played a down in I louston. Filming shows can be longer than imagined The truck thermometer said 28 degrees as we headed towards our stand. T his is die 11th day to hunt for a Central Texas whitetail. My cameraman and I are tired and frustrated. This relatively small ranch nas an abundance of deer and we have seen quite a few each time out, but for some reason we haven’t been able to get a mature buck on videotape. In the past IO days of this hunt, I had seen five mature bucks. There is a big difference between seeing one and killing one on camera. On one buck a tree limb was in the way, while two oth er bucks just wouldn’t stand still long enough. T hen the other two bucks came out just as we ran out of camera light. “Today is a new day,” I said quietly as we climbed into the stand. We sat trying to stay warm and waited for enough light to see. Finally, I made out 6 deer at about IOO yards as they moved away. “We’ll have enough camera light in about 15 minutes," my cameraman whispered. I began to question die entire trip and wondered at what point do we caff it quits and go home. Our audience wants to see a hunt ending with a downed animal, but little does the audience know about the investment of time to get a halfhour program shot. For years, the most commonly asked question I receive is how long does it take to do a 30 minute show?’ There is no single answer. Sometimes it does happen quickly, but not very often. In this case, it has taken way too long. As the sun came up over the trees, a group of three bucks headed towards our setup. At 20 yards they stopped and looked us over thoroughly. With them all being young, I chose to pass up a shot. After they left I told my cameraman, “T he first old huck that shows up is in trouble.” I Ie nodded. About an hour later our luck changed. Six bucks headed our way. The last one was mature. I could hear the camera recording over my shoulder and I knew the video had to he perfect. “Shoot him now,” said the cameraman. I did and in a split second the deer was on the ground 30 yards in front of me. We wrapped up the show and headed home. Our luck had finally changed and we were glad. But if we were to tell our viewers how long it actually took, then they would proba bly never believe it. Sometimes our hunts are longer and more difficult than people would imagine. When you deal with unpredictable wild animals and Mother Nature, you do the best you can. The best reward for me isn’t the meat or the antlers, but it is the memories each hunt creates. Keith Warren is the host of two weekly outdoor television programs that broadcast nationwide. ;