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AUSTIN — The Clarksville Tigers won the Class A, Division 1 state high school basketball championship on Saturday, thumping previously undefeated Mumford 65-47.
The Tigers (31-5) never trailed against Mumford’s Mustangs, who had won their first 37 games.
Radonte Edwards scored 23 points, and Jarrian Roberts added 20 points and 13 rebounds as the Tigers rolled over the previously unbeaten Mustangs before 7,946 fans at the Erwin Center.
Clarksville’s seniors made 18-of-33 shots from the field and outscored Mumford 37-23 in the second half.
LaKendric Hyson scored 19 points and had a team-high 7 rebounds to pace Mumford.
Clarksville’s 41-26 edge in rebounds helped the Tigers gain a 15-6 advantage in second-chance points.
It was Clarksville’s third state championship overall and first boys basketball state championship since 1998.
Mumford 10-14- 6-17–47
By DAVID MORRISON
Opelika, Ala. — Kenny Gabriel didn’t even know there was a “Paris” in Texas. He did know that Texas was “one of the biggest states” in the U.S., but that was about the extent of his knowledge on the place he’d be spending the next year of his life after he graduated from United Faith Christian Academy in Charlotte, N.C., in 2008.
He also knew that succeeding in Paris after hitting an academic roadblock on his way to Auburn was his only chance at playing Division-I basketball. And he’d have to go about 1,000 miles from home to get it.
“I just felt like I was on an island by myself before I really got comfortable with my teammates,” Gabriel said. “Being that far away from home, you get homesick really easy. It was just really tough on me.”
The 6-foot-8 forward shined at Paris Junior College in the 2008-2009 season for Dragons head coach Ross Hodge, qualified at Auburn and was the Tigers’ second-leading scorer and rebounder with 10.3 points and 5.8 rebounds a game last year.
Gabriel, like many other athletes in major college sports, hit a snag in his journey from high school star to Division-I player. He also knew exactly what he was working for the whole time he navigated the junior-college transitional period necessary for a shot at the big time.
“It’s just staying on track, not getting sidetracked because you had to take a detour,” Gabriel said. “Just staying on track and keeping my goal in my mind every day. Knowing what I’m shooting for when it’s all said and done.”
After getting over the initial shock of being there, Gabriel said, the relationships he formed were extremely valuable.
“I remember one time I gave the custodian’s son one of the shooting sleeves I wear,” Gabriel said. “He told me it made his day and he wanted me to sign it for him and everything. It’s just the impact I had on some people down there.”
DENISON, Texas – Grayson County is dropping its men’s and women’s basketball programs.
College spokeswoman Shelle Cassell said the decision is an economic one. The college is expecting a shortfall in state funding of approximately $1.2 million this year, she said, coupled with a 27 percent increase in enrollment.
Men’s head basketball coach Pat Rafferty was told May 18 that his contract would not be renewed.
The head women’s coach, Elena Lovato, was already gone. She left to take an assistant’s job with a Division I school.
The basketball program cost the school about $340,000 a year, including salaries for staff, travel expenses and scholarships.
The program held scholarship spots for about 30 people, Cassell said. She said one young woman and three young men had already accepted basketball scholarships for next year.
The three young men were returning athletes. The young woman is from Grand Prairie and the young men are from Arlington, Las Vegas, and Portland, Ore.
Cassell said Coach Rafferty will try to help the students find schools where they can play. If they decide they want to stay at Grayson, Cassell said, their scholarships will be honored as academic scholarships.
The cost-cutting measure does not impact the college’s baseball or softball teams. Baseball has already come and gone once at the school, having been dropped in the late 1970s and renewed several years later. Cassell said
Among those lamenting the decision was Paris Junior College president Pam Anglin, who went to Grayson College herself and played women’s basketball there.
Ironically, the fallout also touched PJC, which lost a player – sophomore point guard Michael Spease of Arlington – just before the start of last season. He had accepted a scholarship to play at Grayson next season. With Grayson shutting down its program, Kilgore College wanted to sign him, and that requires PJC’s approval since Kilgore and PJC are in the same conference. PJC is balking.
GCC President Dr. Alan Scheibmeir said no one wanted to cut any of the programs, but there were hard choices to be made to deal with the fiscal realities.
He said the baseball and softball teams recruit more from this region, which means more local students on those teams. Additionally, the teams are bigger, which means fewer of the students on the teams are on scholarships. Those local athletes, Scheibmeir said, are also more likely to influence the decisions of their friends and family to attend GCC.
Scheibmeir said it just came down to finances. The college’s administrative team didn’t want to recommend that trustees approve tuition or tax increase to help meet costs, so they had to look at cuts that could be made.
Increasing tuition to the point to make up for the state cuts, Scheibmeir said, would prevent many students from being able to obtain their education. And the local community has already recently provided the college with the money to complete a renovation of the college’s faculties. “We didn’t want to ask them to do even more,” he said.
The men’s basketball program was the one athletic program that has run continuously at the school since the college opened in 1965.
Lovato came to Grayson County last year and took the women’s team to the national tournament at Salina, Kan. The year before, she moved up from assistant coach as interim head coach at Trinity Valley when the head coach was suspended and later terminated for a post-game incident at Blinn College, where he was arrested for rushing a referee after a game.
She took Trinity Valley to the national tournament and landed at Grayson County after Trinity Valley decided to rehire former TVCC coaches Michael and Kenya Landers.
Seven members of the 2010-11 Lady Dragonsof Paris Junior College have made commitments to continue playing their sport at the next level.
Since the end of the spring semester, some have chosen to attend different schools other than those they initially were considering.
According to PJC athletic director and head women’s basketball coach Sean LeBeauf, here is the latest information on those former student-athletes:
Destiny Smith Henderson St. (Arkadelphia, AR) DIV II
Catavia Jones North Dakota St. (Fargo) DIV I
Britney Gaines North Dakota St. (Fargo) DIV I
La’Paris Newsom Northwestern OK St. (Alva) NAIA
Parris Price Mid-American (OKC) NAIA
Malik Stevenson Louisiana-Lafayette DIV I
Ashley Watson Jarvis Christian (Hawkins, TX) NAIA
According to www.njcaa.org, the national ruling body for junior college athletics, the following are the players who have signed national letters-of-intent to play basketball next fall for the Dragons of Paris Junior College head coach Chuck Taylor:
|Adams, Anthony||Pontiac, Mich.|
|Arnold, Antonio||McKinney, Texas|
|Austin, Raymon||Chattanooga, Tenn.|
|Carnegie, Ladon||Grand Rapids, Mich.|
|Holt, Marcus||Aurora, Colo.|
|Hudson, Deontae||Muskegon Heights, Mich.|
|Joiner, Maurice||Chicago, Ill.|
|Leal, Edward||Dallas, Texas|
|Richardson, DeMarcus||Live Oak, Texas|
|Taylor, T.J.||Denison, Texas|