Tigers earn split ahead of Edgewood Tourney

Photo by David Kapitan

Tyler James battles a Caddo Mills player in the paint for a rebound. James finished play with a game-high 10 points for the Tigers. 

The Wills Point Tigers moved two steps closer to tournament play as well as the start of district play over the course of the past week, taking on T.K. Gorman at the 20th annual Tyler Area Basketball Officials Scholarship Classic and Caddo Mills at home.

The game between the Tigers and the Panthers was a low scoring affair, with the two teams combining for just 60 points in a 33-27 win by Gorman.

Play between the two teams was evenly matched through the first quarter, with the Panthers and Tigers trading baskets to a 9-9 tie after eight minutes of play.

Gorman began to gain separation in the second quarter, edging out Wills Point by an 11-8 score to take a 20-17 lead into the half.

Points were hard to come by following the break as Gorman and Wills Point tied 2-2 on the scoreboard in the third quarter, leaving the Panthers in front 22-19 entering the final frame. Gorman held on to its lead down the stretch to close out the 33-27 win over the Tigers.


Lady Tigers hold of Ferris, 51-47

The Wills Point Lady Tigers traveled to Ferris Nov. 21, taking on the Yellowjackets in an early non-district contest for both schools. Wills Point took advantage of a fast start in the contest, building up a 19-point halftime lead before holding off a late challenge to take home a 51-47 victory.

Wills Point gradually worked its way into a first quarter lead, using five points from Harley Sieber, four points from Emily Smith and three points from Dawn Smith to build a 16-10 lead.

The game appeared to turn into a blowout in the second quarter with the combination of Brooklyn Futch and Dawn Smith combining to score 14 of Wills Point's 21 points in the quarter.

Heading into halftime, the Lady Tigers held a 37-18 advantage.

Wills Point found itself losing momentum in the third quarter, getting just two field goals as Ferris narrowed the gap down to 44-33 heading into the final frame.


Season ends with Area round loss

Photo by David Kapitan

Brandon Smith scored his 12th rushing touchdown of the season during the final quarter of play against Pleasant Grove.

Two of the hottest 4A teams in Texas met at Longview Pine Tree Nov. 18 as the District 6-4A champion Wills Point Tigers, owners of a seven-game winning streak, tangled with Texarkana Pleasant Grove, itself on a four-game winning streak, in the Area round of the playoffs.

Despite some big plays on both sides of the football, Wills Point could not capture the program’s first Area title since the 1988 season, falling to the Hawks by a score of 31-13.

Pleasant Grove opened play with a similar offensive game plan against the Tigers as the one used by Bonham the week prior in the bi-district round, putting together physical, time consuming drives to wear down the Wills Point defense.


Tiger anglers compete at Lake Fork Open

Four of the seven Wills Point High School Fishing Teams were in action over the weekend, traveling to Lake Fork Nov. 12 to compete in the Lake Fork Open Tournament.

Participating teams included Cameron McAnally and Matthew Sprague, Zach McEnturff and Kasey Saxon, Brandon Sprague and Jaron Wise, and Troy Atchley and Jaden Newton.

The team of McAnally and Sprague finished first overall out of 164 teams, bringing in a combined weight of 9.64 lbs. Additionally, McAnally also took home Big Bass honors with a fish weighing 2.89 lbs.

The team of Zach McEnturff and Kasey Saxon also placed highly, finishing 11th overall in the field.


Tigers end bi-district drought with 20-13 win

Photo by David Kapitan

Coach Greg Cranfill and the Wills Point Tigers added a bi-district title trophy to a season that already included a District 6-4A title. 

The Wills Point Tiger varsity football program entered play against Bonham Nov. 12 carrying a surprising streak, having not won a playoff game since the year before this year’s senior class entered the first grade.

Aided by a handful of key plays, most notably an electrifying 97-yard touchdown run by Brandon Smith and momentum shifting 84-yard interception return by Trey Patterson to set up another Tiger score, Wills Point ended the lengthy drought with a 20-13 win over the Warriors to advance to the Area round.  

Bonham began play on offense, showcasing their blueprint for the rest of the afternoon by running the ball eight out of 10 plays on the drive while chewing up the game clock before turning the ball over on downs at the Tiger 35-yard line.

Wills Point managed just one first down on its opening drive before being forced to punt the ball back to the Warriors.  


Basketball season to tip-off for Wills Point teams

Photo by David Kapitan

Senior Meredith Edwards puts up a jump shot near the baseline during a scrimmage against Edgewood and Kaufman Nov. 3.

As the calendar continues to wind down towards the end of another year, a new season of Wills Point Tiger and Lady Tiger basketball is scheduled to tip-off shortly.

Lady Tigers

After a scrimmage against both Edgewood and Kaufman Nov. 3, a new season of Lady Tiger basketball was officially set to begin on the road against Kemp Nov. 8.

The Lady Tigers, under the direction of Coach Dane Morgan, enter the season returning three starters to the fold, including seniors Emily Smith, Meredith Edwards and Brooklyn Futch.

Smith finished last season as a Second Team All-District performer, and Edwards finished as an Honorable Mention All-District performer.

According to preseason rankings published in Dave Campbell's Texas Basketball, Wills Point is currently predicted for a sixth-place finish in District 13-4A.


Tigers stay red-hot in 30-0 win over Ferris

Photo by David Kapitan

Tiger players get pumped up along the sidelines as they get set for the opening kickoff.

Wills Point had little to play for heading into its regular season finale against Ferris Nov. 4, having already locked up the top spot in District 6-4A play the week prior with a win over Dallas Lincoln. Despite the low stakes, the Tigers still rose to the occasion by gashing the Yellowjacket defense for 343 rushing yards in a 30-0 shutout win.

Ferris won the coin toss and opted to defer, putting the ball in Wills Point’s possession to open the game. The Tigers made the most out of the opportunity, marching down the field in just five plays to take an early lead.

Wills Point started fast courtesy of excellent line play, and picking up a big chunk of yardage on a 27-yard Tyler James to Seth Wilson pass completion. Set up deep in Yellowjacket territory, the Tigers scored on a 10-yard Vernon Morrow run through the middle. Vincent Tobias added the PAT, giving the Tigers a 7-0 lead with 10:23 still left to play in the first quarter.


Volleyball season ends in bi-district round

The Wills Point Lady Tigers have been no stranger to overcoming the odds in bi-district round play, having bounced highly regarded teams including the Paris Lady Cats (in both 2012 and 2013) and Kaufman Lady Lions (in 2014) to reach the Area round of the playoffs.

The Lady Tigers had the opportunity to add another team to the growing list Nov. 1, taking on a Paris North Lamar team that entered the postseason with a sterling 30-6 record overall this season and a 14th place ranking among all 4A teams in the state according to the most recent Texas Girls Coaches Association Weekly Poll.

Despite some gritty play, Wills Point could not get over the hump against the Lady Panthers, falling in three sets.

The Lady Tigers struggled early against North Lamar, falling behind quickly and never quite recovering to drop the first set 25-10.


Tennis team finishes second at Regionals

Courtesy Photo

The Wills Point Tiger tennis team finishes its fall season as one of the top eight teams in the state. P

The Tiger tennis team finished its fall season by placing second in the Regional Tournament held in Grapevine Oct. 27-28.

Coach Ann Daniell stated, "Only one team from the Regional Tournament advances to the State Tournament. We couldn't be more proud of our kids. We didn't play our best in the finals but our kids played hard. Senior Maddie Baker had one amazing tournament. She is our only player that did not lose a match in District, at Area and at Regionals. She won the match to win our nail biter against Center to make it to the finals!"

Tigers defeated Carrollton Ranchview 10-1 in the first round of competition. Not every Tiger player was finished with their match because of the team reaching 10 wins so quickly. Results included:

-Chase Daniell def. Jung Choi, 6-0, 6-0

-Jack Johns def. Kian Ghalibah, 6-3, 6-2

-Daniell/Johns def. Jung/Mistry, 6-0, 6-1

-McCormack/Adams lost to Ghalibaf/Iwama, 6-3, 2-6


Defensive stand, late touchdown secures 24-22 win

Photo by Tonia Edwards

Tiger captains Caden Bennett, Lamont Thomas, Brody Bushnell and Sloan Rodberg make their way to midfield for the coin toss. 

Tigers wrap up district title 



Wills Point has shown plenty of resiliency throughout the 2016 season, bouncing back from an 0-4 start and season ending injuries to multiple key contributors to run off five consecutive wins and claim the top spot in District 6-4A.

The latest chapter to Wills Point’s story was written at Forester Field on Friday night, with the Tigers facing off against a Dallas Lincoln team that entered play with an identical 3-0 record in district play.

Down a quarterback due to an injured ankle suffered by Caden Bennett near the final stages of Wills Point’s 21-7 win over Emory Rains Oct. 21, the Tigers got a solid performance under center from junior quarterback Tyler James in a 24-22 come from behind win over Lincoln that wrapped up the top seed in district play.


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