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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - November 19, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas Wednesday, November 19, 2003 — Herald-Zeitung — Page 5A Neely Mitchell, 13, and Zach Sprinkle, 11, ride their scooters Tuesday. COMING THURSDAY Uh IK I ^nr i I mjt I (jettingready New Braunfels prepares for rematch with Tivy. Herald-Zeitung To have your event publicized, contact David Rupkalvis at 625-9144, ext. 223, or by e-mail at HE DAILY I* OK* ET a Smithson Volley girls basketball Rangers take to the road to compete in Harlandale Tournament. Information: Competition ends Saturday. I Canyon boys basketball Cougars visit Hays High School for nondistrict game. Time: 8 p.m. New Braunfels boys basketball After opening with a loss, Unicorns visit McCollum for nondistrict game. j^JI Time: 2:30 p. rn. I ADefense key to Canyon’s chances Odell, Cougars hope to slow down Sam Houston attack By David Rupkalvis Sports Editor Canyon will play at home for the second consecutive week against a team that has the potential to score quickly with fast playmakers. After routing Austin Reagan in the bidistrict playoffs, 38-15, the Cougars would be happy with a repeat at 7:30 p.m. Friday against Sam Houston. “It’s going to be a lot like last week, but these guys throw the ball better than Reagan did," Coach Brad Wright said. “They are bigger and they're a well coached team.” Sam Houston opened the playoffs with a 33-22 victory over Fredericksburg. The Hurricanes bring an 8-3 record and five-game winning streak into the game. The Cougars are 9-2 and have won two straight. For Canyon to win Friday, Wright said the Cougars must control their emotions and play disciplined on both sides of the ball. With a team that has more speed, the defense is DAVID INQRAM/Herald-Zeitung Ryan Odell has played tight end. wide receiver and linebacker for Canyon this season. QuickHits ■ Canyon (9-2) will host Sam Houston^ (8-3) in an area playoff game at 7:30 p.m. Friday. ■ Tickets can be purchased .in advance until 2 p.m. Friday at Canyon High School. Tickets cost $5 in advance and $6 at the game. There is no reserved seating. forced to stay in its gaps to ensure that the big plays are shut down. “We’ve got to play great, sound, fundamental defense and control the football on offense,” Wright said. “You’ve got to try to contain the speed and take good pursuit angles.’’ One of the keys to the defensive effort will be senior Ryan Odell, who has played three positions this year before settling in at linebacker. "Everybody has their job on defense," Odell said. “You’ve got to do your job so no one gets around us.” Odell came to Canyon when Wright hired his dad, John Odell, to be the defensive line coach. He started the season on offense, playing tight end and receiver, before moving to defense. Odell said he prefers DAVID INGRAM/Herald-Zeitung Senior linebacker Ryan Odell hopes to lead Canyon over Sam Houston in an area playoff game Friday at Cougar Stadium. the defensive side of the ball. “It’s more physical,” he said. “I’m big and slow, so making big hits and tackles is fun.” Wright said Odell’s arrival this season gave the coaching staff the opportunity to try different things. “He’s done a great job at every position,” Wright said. “Because of his athleticism, we’re able to move him around. We felt like he was one of the best 11 on defense, so we got him on the field. He’s done a nice job for us.” Odell said that as a coach’s son, he has moved around a lot in his life. I Ie was at Gid- ding last season and played in the playoffs. Making the adjustment to Canyon was easy. “They're great here,” the 6-feet, I inch, 210-pound senior said. “It’s a positive atmosphere. Everyone works hard.” The game highlights two of the best offensive teams in the San Antonio area. The Hurricanes average 355 yards and 31 points per game while the Cougars are averaging 336 yards and close to 30 points per contest. Canyon relies heavily on its rushing attack, averaging 279 yards on the ground, junior jeremy Molinet has amassed 1,227 yards despite missing almost two full games. Quarterback James Green is approaching 1,000 yards rushing and and sophomore Jerris Springfield has thrived over the last four weeks. The Hurricanes run for 241 yards per game and throw for close to 90. With two potent offenses on the field, Odell said the Cougars’ hopes will rest largely on the defense. “If we can hold them down, we’ll win big,” Odell said. “The offense will show up, like it always does.” New Braunfels girls top Clemens, 64-53 By David Rupkalvis Sports Editor The New Braunfels girls basketball team overcame a slow start to beat Clemens 64-53 in its season opener Tuesday. The Unicorns had three turnovers in the first two minutes and did not score a point until more than three minutes had passed, but an aggressive full-court defense kept the game close and when the Unicorns came to life offensively, they took control. The Buffaloes opened a 6-1 lead in the first three minutes and maintained the lead for much of the first quarter. But Tracey Whitely came off the bench and sparked New Braunfels with two quick assists, and Molly Brawner hit back-to-back baskets in the final minute of the quarter to propel the Unicorns to a 14-11 lead after one. In the second quarter, Brawner continued the offensive attack and Rachel Brown pitched in with three baskets as New Braunfels slowly began to pull away, taking a 32-21 lead at the half. Both teams came out fired up in the third quarter. With each team using a full-court pressing defense, the pace of the game quickened. The Unicorns took advantage of the defensive effort, turning Clemens turnovers into easy hoops. lust one minute into the quaner, the Unicorns went up 15 at 36-21 and midway through, New Braunfels had an 18-point lead at 43-25. But then the Buffaloes came to life. Over the final four minutes of the third quarter, Clemens went on a IO-1 run to close within nine, 44-35 heading into the final frame. The Buffaloes continued to close the gap in the final quarter, moving within 6 with 4:40 left. But then Brawner and Caitlin Buchanan took over on the free-throw line. Buchanan hit two free throws with 4:35 left and Brawner made four straight over the next minute as the Unicorns regained control of the game. Buchanan added two baskets and the Unicorns made enough free throws to take the win. “We got off to a little bit of a slow start, but they hung in there,” Coach Larry •Schulte said. “I thought we did a good See UNICORNS, Page 6A Canyon boys open with loss to Alamo Heights By David Rupkalvis Sports Editor The (Canyon boys basketball team struggled in its season opener and dropped a 52-30 decision to Alamo Heights. Despite having few experienced players in the game, Canyon used a strong defensive effort to keep the game close early. Alamo Heights led 17-8 after one quarter, but Canyon fought back within 5, 19-14, with 2:30 left in the first half. But over that span, Alamo Heights used a 12-1 run to open a 31-15 lead. “Defensively, we played pretty well,” Coach Kenny Rot- zler said. “We gave up a lot of rebounds. That was a big difference. The biggest thing was we shot 26 percent, and you can’t do that against good teams and expect to win.” In the second half, the Cougars played Alamo I bights close, but never could get enough offense to get back into the game. Canyon outscored Alamo Heights 10-9 in the third quarter, but managed just 5 points in the fourth. Ismael Guillen led the Cougars with 9 points and Cole Clayton added 8. The Cougars will host Hays at 5 p.m. Friday. DAVID INGRAM/ Herald-Zeitung Caitlin Knudson goes up for a shot during the first half of New Braunfels 64-53 win Tuesday. New Braunfels, Canyon place 5 on All District team Rangers fall to Chargers, 67-55 REBECCA t. ROGERS/Herald-Zeitung Smithson Valley's Chris Deuel drives to the basket. By Jason Chlapek Staff Writer The Smithson Valley boys basketball team never recovered from a game-opening technical foul and dropped its season opener to Churchill 67-55. “Once the referees step foot on the court during warmups, no player is allowed to dunk the ball,” Coach Alan Miller said. “One of our kids violated that rule, which led to two free-throw shots for Churchill and the ball. They hit both free throws and their first shot from the field and before we knew it, we were down 5-0 and we never touched the ball.” Despite falling behind early, the Rangers never gave up. Trailing 23-12 after one quarter, the Rangers used a 13-4 mn to cut the Chargers’ lead to 2 points, 27-25. But the Chargers used clutch inside shooting to close out the first half on a 6-2 run and Churchill walked into the locker room leading 33-27. Churchill came out strong in the second half, hitting their first two three-pointers to open a 39-29 lead. But the Rangers kept it close and went into the final period trailing by just 9,53-44. The fourth quarter looked like it belonged to Smithson Valley as the Rangers rallied behind the clutch shooting of Erie Icke and Chris Deuel. The Rangers gradually closed the gap and cut the Charger lead to 4,59-55, with a minute left to play. But with time running out, the Rangers were forced to foul. Churchill took advantage of the free throw line, shooting 8 of 8 in the last minute to secure the win. Icke led the Rangers in scoring with 17 points. Deuel added 9 points and Ryan Slattery chipped in 11. The Rangers visit Seguin at 8 p.m. Friday. By David Rupkalvis Sports Editor The New Braunfels and Canyon volleyball teams each placed five members on the District 27-5A All District squads. New Braunfels seniors Jackie Lucas, Erica Wendell and Brittany Fowler were named to the first team while teammates Jennifer Baerwald and Katie Johnson were named to the second team. (Canyon had seniors Brooke Engel and Tiffany Shedrock and junior Natalie Fey make the first team. Senior Sarah Batey and sophomore Chelsie Zunker were named to the second team. Receiving honorable mention recognition were Uni- Roeder and Cougarettes Whitney King and Carla blink. Wendell led die Unicorns in kills with 436 and had a .502 hitting percentage this season as the Unicorns went 12-0 in district play to claim the district title. Lucas had 328 kills and led the Unicorns in blocks with 86.5. Fowler led the Unicorns in assists with 704, aces with 79 and was third on the team with 269 digs. Fowler also had a team high .557 hitting percentage with 116 kills. Engel led the Cougarettes to a 10-2 district record by recording 437 kills in 978 attempts. Engel also had 78 blocks, 61 aces and 218 digs. Shedrock led the Cougarettes in assists and Fey was second on the team in kills. ;