From the Pressbox
By John Kastner, Correspondent
Canyon basketball coach Kenny Rotzler has known that his Cougars had the potential to march into the 4A playoffs with a group of players that may have been the best of the last several years.
This past Wednesday, the Cougars (22-3, 8-2) downed arch-rival New Braunfels 75-55 to advance to the bi-district playoff game against Kerrville-Tivy, held Tuesday night.
Once again it was awesome backboard and mid-floor tactics that spelled victory. Isaiah Jackson pounded-in 22 rims and Austin New added 15 to ignite the tought, playoff-bound Cougars.
"I'm real proud of our kids, we got out early on them...better than we did in the first half," Rotzler said.
"With the fact that we got into some early foul trouble, but the guys really found the range and things really fell into place."
New said that the Cougars have "been playing like a team all season long and if we can continue to play like this during the playoffs, we have a chance to go all the way."
After a 14-15-1 regular season record and a slow 6-5 third place finish in 25-4A last season, Canyon softball coach Kevin Randle remembers the 2-1 loss to Medina Valley in the 4A Area playoff last year and hopes that he can buy some added offense when the season cranks up.
"We want to improve in each and every game we play this season and that is why we play a tough schedule," Randle said.
"We have a lot of work to do on our hitting, which right now is perhaps our biggest weakness."
Randle will toy with Nikki Cruse, who had a 4-5 record and a 3.23 earned-runs average. Heather Monroe is the top hitter on the squad, slugging for a .337 mark last year with 19 RBIs. Chelsea Riley is also a top-notch slugger with a .296 average.
In a nutshell, 27-4A will be extremely tough this season. New Braunfels is ranked No. 4 in the Texas Girls Coaches Assocation's state pre-season polls. They have perhaps one of the smartest pitchers in the district with Quinn Koelfgen, who had a 22-7 season and a second-place, 7-3 record after losing to Crowley in the 4A State Semi-finals.
In the just-released high school soccer top 10, Churchill remains the top boys' unit in 5A with an 11-1 record. MacArthur is No. 1 in the girls' division at 8-2, with NB Canyon ranked No. 4 at 12-1. Georgia Haas is ranked fourth with 20 goals, while Sarah Redwine has 17.
In the final 26-5A girls' basketball standings, Judson advances to the playoffs with a 13-1 record along with Churchill, 10-4. The Rangers finish seventh with a 2-12 note.
The SV Ranger softball team is ranked No. 1 in San Antonio-area, 26-5A polls.
As usual, fire-balling Taryn Munoz needed no introduction last Tuesday as she hurled the Rangers' softball team to a 3-2 victory over a stubborn SA Holmes.
The Rangers whipped out seven hits, including a game-winning RBI single by Dominique Salazar in the seventh inning to seal the win.
"Since this was our first game we made some mistakes, but we quickly made up for them in the last inning when we really played hard," softball coach Wayne Daigle said.
Jessica Batey made her first hill-start and pitched in a most fashionable style, keeping the Lady Tigers off-balance with her outstanding fastball to seal a 4-1 win over Floresville.
Batey struck-out four, and Gabbie Vargas went two-for-three for the Cougarettes.
This past weekend, the Cougarettes captured fourth place in their own tourney. After dropping a close 5-4 game to Floresville, Boerne won the championship by ousting Seguin 1-0.
Heather Monroe and Blanca Avalos were tabbed to the all-tourney squad.
"We made way too many errors and also we were always solid of late, but not this game," Randle said.
The Ranger girls' soccer team fell 1-0 to a good SA Reagan team last Tuesday. This past Friday the Rangers quickly rebounded to whip SA Lee 11-0 to give them a 3-2 district record. This was perhaps the biggest offensive output of the season, as it was a total team effort.
"Sara Curry really stepped up for us tonight. She has really played hard for us the last several games," coach Jason Adkins said.
"Hopefully we'll keep playing like this for the rest of the season."
SV boys' soccer
All that Smithson Valley boys' soccer wants now is a "rainbow at the end of the valley." They have not won a single district game, and their problems continue to mound. After having things under control last Tuesday, no one could find the net and the end result was a 0-0 knot. This Friday, SA Lee shutout the Rangers, 2-0.
Both the Canyon boys' and girls' soccer team won; the boys beat SA Burbank 5-0, while the girls downed Burbank 6-1 behind the unique running of Sarah Redwine.
On Friday, the girls beat SA Lanier 8-0, while the boys lost to Lanier 3-1. The girls remain undefeated at 6-0. The boys are now 4-2 in district action.