SPORTS HEADLINES

Basketball: Eagles, Sissies, Texans head to tourney

By Reece Waddell | Published Wednesday, December 27, 2017
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Several Wise County teams will take part in the annual Whataburger Tournament this weekend at various locations across the Metroplex.

MAKING A MOVE – Gage Rieger gets around a defender during the Eagles’ win over Keller International. The Eagles play Seminole Thursday at the Whataburger Tournament. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

The Decatur Eagles, Northwest Texans and Bridgeport Sissies will all be in action beginning on Thursday.

Northwest opens the tournament against Houston’s Sam Houston, the No. 8 ranked team in 6A, at 8:30 p.m. on Thursday at the Thomas Coliseum in Haltom City. The Texans are ranked third in 5A with a 15-3 mark.

“It’s been a pretty good start,” said Northwest coach Mike Hatch. “We’re [15-3], so we’ve won a lot of games, but we’ve had chances to win those three that we lost.”

Two of Northwest’s losses have come by five points or less. The third loss came in the season opener against Denton Guyer, the No. 1 ranked team in the state. The Texans are led by guard Avery Anderson, the No. 7 overall prospect from the class of 2019.

In the blue division, Decatur will square off against Seminole in the opening round at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday at Chisholm Trail High School in Fort Worth.

The No. 3 ranked team in 4A, the Indians come into the tournament on a seven-game winning streak. Decatur coach Drew Coffman said Seminole presents several challenges for the Eagles, including a tall backcourt and a matchup zone that gave Decatur trouble in their loss to Bowie.

“We’ll definitely get tested right off the bat,” Coffman said. “[The Whataburger Tournament] is the best small-school basketball tournament there is. Our kids look forward to that tournament every year.”

Decatur is 9-4 on the season, having already won their own tournament earlier in the month with a 56-54 victory over Eaton. The Eagles went into the holiday break on a high note, routing Keller International 69-16.

Decatur lost in the finals of last year’s Whataburger Tournament to Abilene Wylie.

On the girls side, the Bridgeport Sissies start the tournament with a game against Liberty Hill at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday at Saginaw High School.

Bridgeport has gotten off to a white-hot start to the year, sporting a 13-1 record through the first two months of the season.

The Sissies have also yet to lose a game in December, winning six straight. Bridgeport is ranked 19th in 4A.

The Whataburger Tournament runs until Saturday night. Admission is $9 for adults on Thursday and Friday and $10 on Saturday.

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