Lady Tigers to return to tournament action

Photo by David Kapitan

Adrianna Holland (33) puts up a short runner in the lane over the outstretched arm of a Quitman defender. 

The Wills Point Lady Tigers hosted their annual tournament Dec. 1-3, welcoming a field that included Anna, Brownsboro, Dallas Thunder, Edgewood, Heritage, Kaufman, Kemp, Life, Malakoff, Quitman and Trinity Christian Academy.

Wills Point opened tournament play with a contest against Quitman Dec. 1, using a big defensive performance in the third and fourth quarters to register a 56-28 win over the Lady Dogs.

The Lady Tigers returned to the court Dec. 2, taking on Malakoff for a shot to move into a championship bracket semifinal game against eventual tournament runner-up Dallas Thunder.


Coach of the Year

The Texas Tennis Coaches Association recently announced that Wills Point's Len Turner has been named its Tennis Coach of the Year in the 4A classification. Turner, shown with his wife Angel, daughter Hope and son Lance, has been a coach in Wills Point for the past 13 years, will be recognized at the annual TTCA Coaches Convention Dec. 2. Looking back, Turner called the program's 2014 Regional Final win over Kaufman his favorite memory. Along with coach Ann Daniell, Turner has helped guide the tennis program to the State Tennis Tournament four times.  


Clark honored as Co-Defensive Player of the Year

Photo by David Kapitan

Senior Kamree Clark was the lone Wills Point volleyball player to receive Superlative recognition for her play during the 2016 season, earning Co-Defensive Player of the Year honors alongside Alli Lloyd of Van. 

The Wills Point Lady Tigers extended their streak of playoff appearances to five seasons this year, finishing fourth overall in a stacked district that included perennial state title contender Rains, as well as Canton, Van, Mabank and Brownsboro.

With all volleyball matches completed, District 13-4A coaches released their list of Superlative and All-District honorees. Not surprisingly, district champion Rains took home four Superlative honors, while also placing three players on the All-District First Team.

County rivals Van and Wills Point each took home one Superlative honor, with Alli Lloyd and Kamree Clark earning a share of Defensive Player of the Year honors.

Superlative winners included:

-District MVP: Shelbi Sheppard, Rains; Charlotte Bradshaw, Rains

-Offensive POY: Kailey Currington, Mabank

-Defensive POY: Kamree Clark, WP; Alli Lloyd, Van

-Setter of the Year: Rylie Andrews, Mabank


Lady Tigers to host annual tournament

The Wills Point Lady Tigers will get to enjoy an extended homestay Dec. 1-3, hosting 11 other varsity teams as part of the annual Lady Tigers Basketball Classic.

Games were scheduled to kick off as follows Dec. 1: TCA vs. Edgewood, 10 a.m.; Life vs. Heritage, 11:30 a.m.; Kaufman vs. Kemp, 1 p.m.; Brownsboro vs. Dallas Thunder, 2:30 p.m.; Wills Point vs. Quitman, 4 p.m.; Anna vs. Malakoff, 5:30 p.m.

Should the Lady Tigers win against Quitman, they would take the court again at 1:30 p.m. Dec. 2 to play the winner of the Anna-Malakoff game.

Should Wills Point lose its tournament opener, they would move to the consolation portion of the bracket to take on the loser of the Anna-Malakoff game at 3 p.m. Dec. 2.

Final tournament finishes will be determined in games played Dec. 3.

Wills Point is also scheduled to be home next week, hosting Athens Dec. 6.


Football Superlatives, All-District honorees announced

With the season over for all District 6-4A teams, coaches released their list of Superlative and All-District honorees for the 2016 season. Wills Point, which finished district with a perfect 5-0 record overall, topped all other teams taking home three Superlative honors. Superlative winners included:

-District MVP: Sloan Rodberg, WP

-Offensive POY: Devondrick Bynum, Lincoln

-Defensive POY: John Kalala, Lincoln

-Offensive Newcomer of the Year: Jacob Moore, WP

-Defensive Newcomer of the Year: McGwire Martin, Canton

-Coach of the Year: Greg Cranfill, WP


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.  


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