Alvord School Board meets, calls election

Meeting at 2 p.m. Wednesday afternoon to make up for Monday’s ice-storm-postponed meeting, the Alvord School Board was barely able to get four members together to make up a quorum.

Still, they were able to call their May 9 school board election, issue the election order and vote to combine elections with the city of Alvord.

It took about 10 minutes.

Board members Charlie Matthews, John Schedcik, Vic Czerniak and Larry Nivens voted to call the election for places 1 and 2 on May 9.

Combining elections with the city is a requirement, according to Superintendent Bill Branum.

“If the city does not have an election, we’ll have to regroup and do it ourselves,” he said. “But we have to try and have a joint election.”

Branum read aloud the order of election detailing early voting days, hours and location, and it was all approved unanimously.

“That’s all we needed to do because Friday’s the deadline,” he said. “And it’s supposed to snow again Friday.”

The meeting adjourned at 2:10.

The board’s next meeting is Monday evening at 6.

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Basketball: Santo holds off Lady Bulldogs’ rally – Alvord shoots 34 percent in area round loss

The Alvord Lady Bulldogs caused 25 turnovers and took 10 more shots than the Santo Lady Wildcats in Tuesday’s 2A Region II quarterfinal.

End of the Line

END OF THE LINE – Alvord coach John Shelton and players watch from the bench during the final minutes of Tuesday’s game. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Alvord did many of the things that have served them well in the past, but ultimately Santo weathered the storm and ended the Alvord season with a 65-58 victory.

“They hit a lot of shots in transition, pulling up and shooting,” said Alvord coach John Shelton. “They shot real well and made their free throws. Their shooting was better than ours and that was the difference in the game.”

The Lady Wildcats’ 48 percent shooting from inside the 3-point line was far better than the uncharacteristic 34 percent that Alvord posted.

With every failed Alvord shot attempt, Santo’s turnovers became less of a factor in the game.

It wasn’t all about the statistics.

Early in the third quarter, Alvord senior post Brianna Ponder exited with headaches and dizziness.

“I had a migraine and started getting dizzy and spacing out a little bit,” Ponder said. “I figured that if I couldn’t go 100 percent, then I couldn’t really help the team.”

Without Ponder, a big piece of Alvord’s offensive plan was unavailable.

It left Cierra Rangel without another major scoring threat down low. In a physical game, the Santo defense took advantage of the lost dimension.

“We had to start doing a lot of things that we hadn’t done since Christmas,” Shelton said. “We’ve been riding that high post/low post game between Brianna and Cierra offensively. It was getting hard to score. Cierra did a great job but she was getting double-teamed.”

An early run in the first quarter gave Santo the small lead they preserved for the entire game.

The Lady Bulldogs cut Santo’s lead to four points several times.

In the second half when Alvord worked back to get it within two, a stream of foul calls came down against them.

For the game, Alvord was called for 24 fouls to the Wildcats’ 12. The second-half foul disparity was 14-4 in favor of Santo. A few of those final Alvord fouls were attempts to stop the clock late in the game.

“Our young kids gained a lot of experience and we had a good season,” the coach added. “I just hate it for the two seniors.”

Ponder and Katie Claborn, Alvord’s two seniors played significant roles in the starting lineup.

“It ended shortly and it ended too soon,” Claborn said. “I’m very proud of the team and how far we’ve come. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I love my teammates. We played together and fought together and learned this new system and stuck together.”


Alvord … 17 … 15 … 16 … 10 … – … 58
Santo … 22 … 18 … 11 … 14 … – … 65

Alvord: Cierra Rangel 25, Katie Claborn 15, Brianna Ponder 7, Brittany Gayler 6, Paycee Edgett 3, Bailey Hamilton 2.

Santo: Chasen Howard 15, Jaci Trotter 11, Makaylee Steiner 11, Sage Sparks 8, Reagan Raffaele 8, Lilly Motley 8, Caitlin Finley 2, Victoria Gilbreath 2.

Field goals – Alvord 16-46; Santo 20-41. 3-pointers: Alvord 5-19; Santo 2-14. Free throws: Alvord 10-15; Santo 15-25.

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Remington Davis

Chad and Tiffany Davis of Alvord announce the birth of their third son, Remington Davis, Feb. 20, 2015, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur.

He weighed 7 pounds, 13 ounces and was 20 inches long.

He has two brothers: Ty Davis, 9, and Kasyn Davis, 7. His sister is Haley O’Meara, 19.

Grandparents are Bill and Jane Lewis of Decatur and Tommye Markham of Decatur.

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Basketball: Alvord wears out Tolar

The run-and-gun style of the Alvord Lady Bulldogs proved to be overwhelming for the Tolar Lady Rattlers Friday night.

Alvord won the final three quarters of its 70-56 Class 2A Region II area victory over Tolar to keep its playoff dreams alive.

LEADING THE CHARGE – Alvord’s Cierra Rangel tosses in two of her 28 points during the Lady Bulldogs’ win over Tolar Friday. Messenger Photo by Mack Thweatt

In Alvord coach John Shelton’s system, the Lady Bulldogs are constantly running, shooting, trapping and substituting. The pace is meant to do a lot of things, including exposing teams that are limited depth-wise and forcing teams to play out of rhythm and rushing shots and passes.

“I am so happy for the kids, because we started off in this system that is totally different from anything they’ve done in the past four or five years,” Shelton said. “They were hesitant at first, but I think we showed tonight what it’s all about. That’s why Tolar got into foul trouble, because when you get tired you start to foul.

“That’s part of the whole system we run. You get tired and you don’t move your feet on defense. That was really the difference tonight in that they got tired and we didn’t.”

The Lady Rattlers held on as long as they could, but eventually their 21 turnovers caught up to them.

The Lady Bulldogs turned the ball over only 15 times while shooting 62 percent from inside the 3-point line.

From beyond the 3-point line, Alvord shot a respectable 31 percent and made just over half of their free throws.

Cierra Rangel found a mismatch early that the Lady Bulldogs exploited all night.

Rangel gashed and fought her way to the basket, earning 15 free-throw attempts.

She ended up scoring 14 points in each half, finishing with a game-high 28 points.

“I felt good,” Rangel said. “I knew we could get some things going in the inside. Once I got my groove going, I felt like I could get some good shots up.”

Katie Claborn made two of her nine 3-point attempts and finished the game with 14 points.

Despite foul trouble for virtually the entire game, Brianna Ponder managed to score 11 points while shooting 62 percent from the field.

Bailey Hamilton made both of her 3-pointers to help her get to nine points for the game.

Meanwhile, the Alvord defense gave the Lady Rattlers fits.

Tolar shot 7 percent from beyond the arc, making only one of its 13 attempts.

After tying in the first quarter, the Lady Bulldogs pulled away in the second scoring 17 points while holding Tolar to nine.

Both teams ramped up the scoring in the third quarter, with Alvord taking the slight 21-16 advantage.

With a 13-point lead heading into the final period, Ponder and Hamilton each scored four in the final frame to help the Lady Bulldogs outscore Tolar 14-13 to end the game.

“We work hard. It’s all worth it in the end,” Rangel said. “You’re so tired when you play in it, but it’s very rewarding after the game. You worked your tail off and you feel like you really earned it when you win.

“We came in here and really wanted it bad but we knew we would have to earn it, and it wasn’t going to be given to us. Every girl on our team earned tonight and we worked hard for it.”


Alvord … 18 … 17 … 21 … 14 … – … 70
Tolar … 18 … 9 … 16 … 13 … – … 56

Alvord: Cierra Rangel 28, Katie Claborn 14, Brianna Ponder 11, Bailey Hamilton 10, Mikena Mader 3, Reagan Guthrie 2, Katelyn Schedcik 2

Tolar: Hannah Peregrino 20, Marlee Thomas 8, Shelby Nunley 7, Meredith Caudle 6, Michaela Phillips 6, Laura Anderson 5, Elizabeth Bonnell 4

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Gay marriage not in God’s plan

As I read Mr. Alford’s lengthy article, “Gay marriage no concern” (Messenger, Feb. 21), I feel that someone should respond.

First of all, the list of things a couple in Texas needs to do to get married left out the fact that it should be between a man and a woman. This is the Texas law. Is he calling that “bunk” (his word)?

When God created the world, He made male and female. He told them to go and multiply (procreate). Later He put in place the institution of marriage, between a man and a woman.

Nowhere does He suggest a sexual bond of any kind between two people of the same sex. In fact, He speaks against the homosexual act in the first chapter of Romans.

Christians in this country have been bombarded by things they do not believe are right – abortion, taking prayer out of schools, prime-time television programs not suitable for families, and now acceptance of same-sex marriage.

God teaches us these things are wrong. It concerns Him, and it concerns us.

David Goodwin

Posted in Letters to the Editor1 Comment

Meeting Agendas for Saturday, February 21, 2015

DECATUR CITY COUNCIL – The council will gather at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 23, for annual reports from the finance, planning, public works and fire departments prior to its 6 p.m. meeting. On that agenda is presentation of an “initial period study” for Project Sidekick, under development by the Decatur Economic Development Corp., with a request for possible action to continue moving the project along. There will also be a resolution calling for the May 9 election to be held jointly with Decatur ISD, a request for street closings for Cruise Nights on the Courthouse Square May 2, June 6, Sept. 5 and Oct. 3, and the presentation of the city’s annual audit report by accountant Scott Siegmund. The meeting is held at City Hall, 201 E. Walnut, and is open to the public.

DECATUR HOSPITAL AUTHORITY – The board that governs Wise Regional Health System will meet at 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 23, at the hospital’s board room. After administrative and financial reports and an update from the Foundation, the board will review, consider and take action on floor plans for the fitness/sports medicine/physical therapy complex. They will also elect a new vice-president, consider authorizing CEO Steve Summers, CFO Todd Scroggins and Director of Accounting Kala Walsh to sign on a security procedure agreement with Wells Fargo Bank. Purchase of an imaging processor for $89,850 is also on the agenda prior to a closed session. When they come out, they will consider a slate of new medical staff appointments as well as biannual and first-year reviews.

ALVORD SCHOOL BOARD – Alvord school trustees will call a May 9 election for two places on the board when they meet Monday, Feb. 23 at 5 p.m. at 100 Mosley Lane. The only other agenda items are holding the election jointly with the City of Alvord, publishing a notice of the election and possible executive session. The meeting is open to the public.

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Basketball: Ponder, Alvord push aside Itasca

Pressing, running the floor and firing up 3-pointers, the Alvord Lady Bulldogs set a torrid pace in the first quarter Tuesday.

SETTING THE PACE – Alvord’s Brianna Ponder led the Lady Bulldogs to a 72-30 win over Itasca, scoring a game-high 21 points. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Alvord forced 13 turnovers and hit four treys in a 28-point opening frame on the way to a 72-30 victory over the Itasca Lady Wampus Cats in the 2A Region II bi-district title game at Byron Nelson High School.

“The kids came out with a lot of energy,” said Alvord coach John Shelton. “It’s playoff time. This is what we’ve been working for since the first day of practice. They came out and showed it.”

The Lady Bulldogs advance to the area round to face District 10-2A champion Tolar at 7 p.m. Friday in Springtown.

“From losing a coach [last year] and getting a new one, we were very apprehensive,” said Alvord senior Katie Claborn. “Now, we’re bi-district champions. That gives us a lot of confidence going into the next game.”

In their first year under Shelton, the Lady Bulldogs learned to play their up-tempo system throughout the season. In their first playoff game, Alvord came out looking like a well-oiled machine as they hit three 3-pointers and forced nine turnovers in the first four minutes, building a double-digit lead.

“He wants to do what we do, so we ran from the get-go and started pressing them,” Claborn said. “We started running and they got really worn down.”

Itasca turned the ball over 36 times – 23 in the first half.

Mikena Mader hit the first 3-pointer less than two minutes into the game. Alvord hit six of its 36 3-point attempts. Claborn, Brittany Gayler and Mader drained two each.

“Our game plan is to go down and shoot as many open 3s as we can get,” Claborn said. “Everyone was hitting when they got the open shot. That really helped our momentum.”

Gayler’s banked-in 3 put Alvord up 28-4 after the first quarter.

The Lady Bulldogs led by as many as 26 in the first half and held a 37-14 halftime lead.

In the second half, Alvord started getting the ball inside to Brianna Ponder. The senior, who is playing on a torn anterior cruciate ligament, punished Itasca inside with eight points in the third quarter.

“We started hitting the 3s and that opened things inside,” Shelton said. “I told them at halftime to start looking inside because I didn’t feel we looked inside as much as we should have.”

Ponder scored 14 of her game-high 21 in the second half. After a driving layup with 4:15, Ponder had to be helped from the floor.

“She was awesome,” Shelton said. “We’re hoping we can rest her tomorrow and she can come back Friday.”

Ponder was one of four Lady Bulldogs in double figures. Gayler and Cierra Rangel tossed in 11. Mader finished with 10.

Alvord 72, Itasca 30

Alvord … 25 … 12 … 17 … 18 – 72
Itasca … 4 … 10 … 7 … 9 – 30

Alvord – Katelyn Schedcik 3, Cydney Bailey 2, Brittany Gayler 11, Cierra Rangel 11, Katie Claborn 8, Paycee Edgett 2, Brianna Ponder 21, Mikena Mader 10, Darby Moak 4.

Itasca – Shannon Rodriguez 2, Callie Pittman 7, Dana Schuman 4, Brittany Woods 4, Macy Arellano 2, Miranda Valeriana 6, Shaq Ashford 5.

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Rodeo: Alvord pair win rookie honors

Wise County was represented well at the North Texas High School Rodeo Association event hosted by Springtown over the weekend with nine top-three finishes in several different events.

Two Alvord participants walked away with individual awards. Tanner Baker was awarded Rookie Cowboy honors for amassing 121 points. He finished first in team roping heeler and fourth in ribbon roping.

Mikayla Cox was named Rookie Cowgirl, earning 129 points with her first-place finish in poles and her third-place in barrels.

Paradise’s Taylor Carwile and Majia Bennet finished second and third in steer undercoating.

Northwest’s Grady Payne won steer wrestling with his time of 7.105, while teammate Alexis Barfield came in third in poles.


Steer Undercoating: 2. Taylor Carwile, Paradise, 1.903, 65 points; 3. Majia Bennet, Paradise, 3.533, 57

Ribbon Roping: 4. Tanner Baker, Alvord, 9.506, 49; 10. Jake Cobb, Decatur, 21.274, 13

Walk-up Goat Tying: 5. Eliesha Hobbs, Northwest, 8.830, 42

Goat Tying: 9. Kimberly Luco, Decatur, 12.239, 19

Steer Wrestling: 1. Grady Payne, Northwest, 7.105, 72; 2. Chase Wilson, Decatur, 8.278, 65

Team Roping Header: 4. Ty Meals, Paradise, 15.003, 49; 7. Paitane Brown, Paradise, 18.782, 31

Team Roping Heeler: 1. Tanner Baker, Alvord, 8.095, 72; 3. Ty Meals, Paradise, 13.271, 57; Logan Adamson, Northwest, 16.917, 37

Barrels: 3. Mikayla Cox, Alvord, 16.292, 57

Chute Dogging: 5. Grady Payne, Northwest, 3.975, 42; 6. Cole Gerrek, Northwest, 4.506, 37; 9. Vinny Morris, Decatur, 8.367, 19

Poles: 1. Mikayla Cox, Alvord, 20.378, 72; 3. Alexis Barfield, Northwest, 21.033, 57; 5. Samantha Hernandez, Peaster, 21.221, 42

Rookie Cowboy: Tanner Baker, Alvord, 121 points

Rookie Cowgirl: Mikayla Cox, Alvord, 129 points

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Basketball: Alvord falls, keeps second

The Alvord Lady Bulldog’s four-point lead drifted away in the second quarter and never returned Tuesday night against the Lindsay Lady Knights.

MAKING A MOVE – Alvord’s Brianna Ponder drives to the basket against Lindsay. Ponder scored 22 points in the loss. Messenger Photo by Mack Thweatt

The Lady Bulldogs were outscored in each of the final three quarters in a 67-52 loss.

Lindsay tied Alvord for second in 11-2A with the victory. Alvord won the coin flip and took the second playoff seed. Lindsay was third.

After the game, Alvord coach John Shelton said his team was simply outplayed.

“They hurt us the whole game,” Shelton said. “They shot the ball really well and they handled our pressure. We didn’t shoot the ball well. There isn’t that much to say. They just played better than us tonight.”

He hopes the game was a learning experience for the Lady Bulldogs before the playoffs.

“There’s a lot of adjustments we need to make on our press,” Shelton said. “We gave up a lot of easy layups because we weren’t running our press like we have been all year. Our half-court defense wasn’t very good, but those are things we can work on and fix.”

The Lady Knights put up 24 points in the second quarter attacking the Alvord press.

Brianna Ponder tried to keep her team in the game with eight points in the second frame, and a total of 22.

The Lady Bulldogs struggled shooting from long range. Out of more than 20 attempts from beyond the arc, only four fell.

Three of those 3-pointers came from Katie Claborn, who finished with 12 points.

Lindsay closed the game out by making seven of its eight free-throw attempts in the fourth quarter.

Alvord went into Friday night not knowing its playoff opponent. The Lady Bulldogs will face the third-place team out of District 12-2A – Itasca or Gateway Charter.

“We’re going to do what we do,” Shelton said. “We’ll play man-to-man and attack. Once you’re in the playoffs, it’s not a matter of tricking people.”

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Basketball: Knights hold off late Dogs charge

A two-point deficit was the closest the Alvord Bulldogs got to the Lindsay Knights in a 79-70 loss Tuesday night.

After a rough start and falling down 28-13 in the opening quarter, the Bulldogs surged in the second quarter and got within reach of the Knights. Coming out of the half up 43-35, the Knights won the third quarter by a point, leaving the Bulldogs with a nine-point deficit to overcome in the final period.

Despite getting eight fourth-quarter points from Heath Walker and getting the score to 70-68, a few late easy baskets for Lindsay sealed the game.

The loss is the final nail in Alvord’s playoff coffin, mathematically eliminating them from the postseason. Alvord coach Tony Brazeal says his team has two games left and they are going to play to the best of their abilities.

“We’re playing for pride,” Brazeal said. “We’re playing to get better. We’re laying a foundation. I told the seniors the other night that they can come here in five years and the Bulldogs will be winning and they’ll be a part of that.

“We’ll have more than 30 people in the stands then too. It’s embarrassing to me that a large group of our people leave after the girls get done and don’t stay to support the boys. It’s embarrassing to this school and this community. We’re here to support the girls, we expect the same support from them and the fans. A good fan base tonight might have pushed us over the hump when things got close.”

Brazeal went on to say that he thinks the culture of the program, and a history of losing, has conditioned the typically-supportive fans of Alvord to leave after the girls play.

“It’s not that people aren’t good, because these are good people,” he said. “It’s become a habit for people to leave the games because of where the program was, but this team is playing hard and that’s something we can all be proud of and support.”

One thing that made the Alvord coach excited about his team and its future was the way his players executed defensively in the fourth quarter.

“I’m not sure I’ve seen a high school team at any level run a defense as intricate as what we ran in the fourth quarter with that kind of success,” Brazeal said.

That defense got the Bulldogs a bucket shy of their opponent, before ultimately suffering the loss.

Though the season will not go down in Bulldog history, Brazeal says that it has been the foundation for a better future.

“I don’t know that I could have asked any more out of these boys tonight,” Brazeal said. “They’re not happy because they didn’t win, but we have to understand where this program was and the steps we’re taking.”

Offensively, the Bulldogs were led by Walker who totaled 17 points. Joe Randall finished with 14 and Damon Ledet added all 13 of his points in the first three quarters.

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Heart Heroes

Heart Heroes 1

Brittani Hutson jumps rope with her daughter, Brylie Hager, 5, at Alvord Elementary’s Jump Rope for Heart event Friday. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Heart Heroes 2

John Barringer, 2, wrangles a jump rope to join in the fun Friday. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Heart Heroes 3

Lillie Manning, 6, adds a fancy move to her jumping. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

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Morgan Ranea Hanshew and Kevin Scott Weathers

Morgan Ranea Hanshew of Jacksonville, N.C., daughter of John and Angel Hanshew of Raleigh, N.C., will marry Kevin Scott Weathers of Jacksonville, N.C., son of Jim Weathers of Sunset and Pam Weathers of Justin, on April 4, 2015, at River Landing in Wallace, N.C.

Hanshew Weathers

Morgan Ranea Hanshew and Kevin Scott Weathers

The bride operates Morgan Hanshew Photography, and the groom is in the U.S. Navy. He is from Alvord.

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Local winery celebrates 20 years with Stock Show awards

Les Constable always knew he wanted to make wine – but he didn’t expect to be making wine for so long, or making wine that won so many awards.

Tradition of Excellence

TRADITION OF EXCELLENCE – Brushy Creek Vineyard owner Les Constable points out one of the winery’s most popular wines, the Tempranillo red wine. It won a silver medal at last year’s Lone Star International Wine Competition and won Texas Class Champion at this year’s Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo International Wine Competition. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Constable, winemaker and owner of Brushy Creek Vineyards in Alvord, is celebrating 20 years of pressing wine this year. He kicked off the anniversary year by winning several awards at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo’s International Wine Competition.

“I’m just as astonished as anyone else,” he said. “When we started, we knew we could make good wine, we just didn’t think it would be great.”

AGING WELL – Brushy Creek Vineyard owner Les Constable stands next to a newly-labeled barrel of 2013 Tempranillo red wine. Constable estimates the winery makes between 2,000 to 4,000 gallons of wine each year. He is celebrating 20 years at Brushy Creek this year. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

At the competition, Brushy Creek’s wine was judged on its aroma, body, flavor, color, clarity, acidity and balance. Its 2012 Tempranillo red wine won three awards, including Texas Class Champion for its class.

That wine is made entirely from Texas grapes, grown on site and aged in American Oak barrels for about a year-and-a-half.

Constable takes pride in growing the wine entirely from Texas resources.

“We learned some good techniques along the way, like our cold fermentation technique that lets us keep wine cooled even in really hot Texas temperatures,” he said. “We’re just all about making good wine that we would want to drink.”

Constable said Brushy Creek makes about 2,000 to 4,000 gallons of wine each year, depending on what the grape harvest is like. Winning awards isn’t really on his mind while he’s working, though.

“There’s never a point when we’re pressing the wine or making a barrel where we think, ‘Oh, we should submit this one.’ We just pick a bottle off the shelf and submit it if we’re invited to a competition. We don’t really know until it’s done and we taste it.”

In addition to the Tempranillo, Brushy Creek’s Tannat Ruby Port, 2010 Tempranillo Reserva, Boom Chocolatte and Trois Amis wines also won several awards from the Houston competition. The Tannat and Boom Chocolatte also won Class Champion Honors.

The winery also won seven awards at last year’s Lone Star International Wine Competition.

Brushy Creek Vineyards is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. To schedule a tour of the area, call 940-427-4747.

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Basketball: Lady Bulldogs stop Era

The Alvord Lady Bulldogs narrowly slid past Era Friday 61-59.

Alvord looked to have control after the first half, taking an 11-point, 35-24, lead into the break.

The Lady Bulldogs increased their lead in the third quarter, going up 54-36.

The Lady Hornets rallied in the fourth with a monstrous 23-7 run, but ultimately ran out of time before completing the comeback.

Katie Claborn led the Lady Bulldogs with 15 points, followed by Cierra Rangel with 12 and Mikena Mader with 11.

The Lady Bulldogs entered the District 11-2A finale in second place. Alvord could earn the second seed Tuesday with a win over Lindsay.

As the second seed, Alvord would play the winner of Gateway and Itasca in the opening round of the playoffs.

Updates on playoff games, times and locations will be posted online at as soon as that information becomes available.

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Basketball: Hornets stave off Dogs

The Alvord Bulldogs came close but couldn’t get past Era in Friday night’s 56-52 loss.

Alvord’s Damon Ledet had a strong showing with 20 points and Joe Randall contributed nine.

The loss puts the Bulldog’s district record at 5-6 and puts Era at 6-5, at fourth place in District 11-2A.

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Basketball: Alvord bids for playoffs

A new coach and a new philosophy. The Alvord Lady Bulldogs came into the season with both, creating an uphill climb.

“What we try to do is totally different from what these girls have done in the past,” said Alvord coach John Shelton. “Kids are adapting. We want to push the ball and shoot a lot of threes.”

With two games left in the regular season, the Lady Bulldogs appear to be peaking at the right time. They entered a pivotal game Friday against Era at 17-13 and more importantly, 10-2 in district.

Alvord could lock up a playoff spot with a win Friday, and Tuesday against Lindsay they can earn the league’s second playoff seed.

“We’re gelling at the right time,” Shelton said. “We’re finishing with two really tough games. We won’t have a warmup game but these two will be sufficient.”

In implementing his system, Shelton had a pair of strong options in the post area with Brianna Ponder and Cierra Rangel to build with.

“With them, we can work the defense from the inside out,” the coach said. “That keeps the defense honest and obligated to cover the entire floor.”

As for those outside shots, Alvord couldn’t be in much better shape. Last season, Katie Claborn led the state in made 3-pointers.

She’s made 91 treys this season, shooting 29 percent and leading her team with 14.2 points per game.

Mikena Mader has provided a second option on the perimeter.

Bailey Hamilton has taken over at point guard after starter Lacy Watkins tore her anterior cruciate ligament earlier in the season.

Defensively, the Lady Bulldogs want to wear teams down with constant full-court pressure.

Of the Lady Bulldogs’ 13 losses most are against larger schools. Their non-district schedule was littered with bigger schools like Granbury, Stephenville, Kennedale and Bridgeport.

Shelton said the Lady Bulldogs are seeing the dividends of that tough non-district schedule now.

Tuesday, Alvord drilled Collinsville 85-41.

Claborn and Ponder led the team with 16 points each. Rangel and Mader each had 14. Paycee Edgett finished with 13.

Reagan Guthrie picked up two charges in the game to bring her season total to a stunning 23 this season.

Entering the final week of the season, Shelton expects his team to continue to improve. He also believes his squad can play with anyone in the region, as long as the shots keep falling from the outside.

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Basketball: Bulldogs outlast Pirates

Five Alvord Bulldogs finished in double figures Tuesday in an 82-74 overtime win over the Collinsville Pirates.

After giving up a 47-41 lead going into the fourth quarter, Alvord rallied to outscore Collinsville 13-5 in the extra period.

The Bulldogs led by seven, 20-13, after the first quarter and held a 33-26 halftime lead.

Heath Walker finished with 22 points. Damon Ledet added 17. Joe Randall scored 14, Kory Maag 13 and Riley Davila 12.

Alvord went to Era Friday and will take on Lindsay Tuesday.

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Alan ‘Lance’ Alverson

Alan “Lance” Alverson

Alan “Lance” Alverson, 45, of Granbury, formerly of Alvord, died Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015.

Funeral was Feb. 4 at Lucas Funeral Home in Fort Worth with burial at Mount Olivet Cemetery.

Lance was born Feb. 25, 1969, in Fort Worth to Ken and Patsy Alverson. He attended Eastern Hills High School 1984-1986. Lance loved his job as a truck driver and enjoyed sharing his daily “My View From Work” pictures and posts with his Facebook family and friends.

He was an avid Pittsburgh Steelers fan his entire life, and he also loved the great outdoors, enjoying fishing and camping. He loved music of all kinds, from Metallica to Neil Diamond. Lance loved the Lord with all his heart and openly shared his faith with everyone he encountered. He was often eager to pray for anyone he felt was in need of or was asking for prayer.

Lance was loved by many people and will be greatly missed.

He was preceded in death by his father, Kenneth Dean Alverson; his maternal and paternal grandparents; and his best friend, Jojo.

He is survived by his wife, Shari Alverson; daughter Ciera Alverson Rog and husband, Joseph; parents Henry and Patsy Cowan; stepmother Vet Alverson; grandchildren Gavin, Kenna and Ryleigh Jo; brothers Dean, Chris and Tommy; sisters Valerie, Wendy, Tami and Sherri; and many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

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Basketball: Alvord routs Chico

The Alvord girls handled the Chico Lady Dragons Friday night, winning 65-29.

Brianna Ponder and Cierra Rangel scored more than half of the Lady Bulldogs’ points.

Ponder led Alvord with 20 and Rangel finished with 14.

With the win, the Lady Bulldogs remain two games behind undefeated Muenster in District 11-2A at 9-2.

Alvord will take on Era Friday. The last time the two teams met, Alvord came away with a closely contested 51-42 win.

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Basketball: Alvord rolls past Dragons

A hot start put the Alvord boys up 25-9 over Chico in the opening quarter Friday night.

Alvord went on for the 67-48 victory.

Alvord’s Riley Davila led the way with 27 points. Joe Randall added 13.

The win gives the Bulldogs their fourth win in District 11-2A, moving them into a tie with Era for fourth place. Chico fell to 2-7 in district.

Alvord took on Collinsville Tuesday and will play at Era Friday.

Chico faced No. 2 Muenster Tuesday. The Dragons head to Poolville Friday.

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