Following Daddy’s lead

Daddys Girl

DADDY’S GIRL – Skyler Rhodes giggles as her dad, Rick Rhodes plants a kiss on her cheek at the Daddy-Daughter Dance in Bridgeport Saturday night. The annual event is put on by Bridgeport Parks and Recreation. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Following Daddys Lead 1

Fathers and daughters shared a special night Saturday at the Bridgeport Parks and Recreation’s Daddy-Daughter Dance. Girls take to the dance floor to do the macarena. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Following Daddys Lead 2

Clay Sparks dances with his daughter, Reece, 8. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Following Daddys Lead 3

James Odea shares a quiet moment with daughter Tezzy, 3, during Saturday night’s event. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

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Basketball: Bulls warm up with victory

The Bridgeport Bulls warmed up for the playoffs Saturday by outlasting Fairfield in a battle of top 11 teams in 4A.

Behind 22 points from Devonte Patterson, the Bulls held on for the 56-51 victory at Chisholm Trail High School.

“It was what we needed,” said Bridgeport coach Alan Green. “They were very competitive. It was a good game.

“They were really physical and played tough and fast. It’s been a while since had a game of that speed.”

Fairfield fought back from a 25-19 halftime deficit to take the lead in the third quarter. Patterson hit a basket to end the third and give the Bulls a 37-36 lead.

Patterson then opened the fourth with a 3-pointer as part of a 9-3 run that pushed Bridgeport to the 44-39 lead with six minutes to go.

Caleb Smith joined Patterson in double figures with 18.

The Bulls will open the playoffs at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Boswell against Venus.

“It’s a new season,” Green said. “Whoever gets an “L” at this point is done. We’ve got to make sure we’re focused every day.”

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Basketball: Sissies, Garcia celebrate area title

Basketball: Sissies, Garcia celebrate area title

Diana Garcia proved to be the Bridgeport Sissies’ spark plug Friday night.

With her on the floor to lead the press at the start of the game, Bridgeport jumped out to a 17-point lead. Then after a busted lip forced her to miss almost a quarter, the Sissies’ lead dwindled to four.

Rising to Occasion

RISING TO OCCASION – The Bridgeport Sissies lift the Class 4A Region I area trophy after taking down Burkburnett Friday in Henrietta, 57-42. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

With Garcia plugged back in the lineup early in the third quarter, the Sissies built the lead back to double digits on the way to their 57-42 victory over the Burkburnett Lady Bulldogs in the 4A Region I area tilt at Henrietta High School gym.

Garcia finished with 12 points to go along with her six steals and 10 rebounds.

“She’s obviously a defensive MVP tonight,” said Bridgeport coach Dallas Taylor. “Just a motor and engine and another example of how we can’t play without each other.”

Bridgeport (26-5) moves on to the 4A Region I quarterfinal to face Abilene Wylie. The game is set for 6 p.m. Wednesday in Graham.

For the Sissies, they are looking forward to the next step in their turnaround season after a pair of winless district campaigns.

“It feels pretty awesome,” said Bridgeport senior guard Bailey Thompson, who led the Sissies with 14 points. “We put a lot of work into it and have come really far.”

Taylor, who is in her fourth season with the Sissies, added: “It stays true to what we’ve been telling them for four years. Hard work is going to pay off. It’s paying off now. They believe in the system and each other and it works.”

The Sissies never trailed, jumping out to an 18-0 lead. Forcing 10 turnovers in the first quarter, Bridgeport held Burkburnett scoreless for the first seven minutes.

“Defensively we started off in the press and that really set the tone for the game. They couldn’t get past it,” Thompson said.

The Sissies did get into some foul trouble in the second quarter, forcing two starters to the bench. Then with 6:47 left in the half, Garcia took a scary spill, tripping while trying to split defenders.

“The girl behind me fell on me and my head went to the floor,” Garcia said. “I saw blood. I thought it was my nose too. But it was just my lip.”

Burkburnett trimmed the 19-2 deficit after the first quarter to just four, 32-28, at halftime with Angel Sims hitting a second-chance 3-pointer at the buzzer.

Garcia didn’t start the second half. But soon into the third quarter she rejoined the lineup bringing a renewed energy.

“They asked to go back in at the beginning of the third and I said no,” Garcia said. “Coach [Katie] Paul said, ‘we’re going to need you.’ Coach Taylor said the same thing ‘without you we’re not going to do this.'”

“As soon as I got put back in, the crowd went wild and I was like, ‘This is cool.’ Everyone was encouraging me.”

With Garcia back on the floor, Bridgeport turned the pressure back up. The Sissies also found some offensive rhythm with Thompson hitting her third 3-pointer to start a 13-4 run that covered the remainder of the frame. Bridgeport regained a 13-point lead, 47-34.

“They listened in the locker room,” Taylor said about the third-quarter adjustments. “It’s a compliment to them for being coachable and understanding what we want and need to get the job done.”

After Burkburnett pulled within seven with 1:21 left, the Sissies closed the game out by hitting six of their final eight at the line. Garcia’s hustle earned two of the free throws, grabbing an offensive rebound.

BRIDGEPORT 57, BURKBURNETT 42

Burkburnett … 2 … 26 … 6 … 8 … – 42
Bridgeport … 19 … 13 … 15 … 10 … – 57

Burkburnett ( 17-10) – Jennifer Joss

6. Angel Sims 6, Arianna Camerlin 2, Brittani Joshua 2, Paradize Jackson 10, Mi’Kaila Billinger 8, Chloe Gibbs 6, Kaci Trahan 2.

Bridgeport (26-5) – Diana Garcia 12, Bailey Thompson 14, Elaina Peyton 2, Lauren Stowers 7, Landrie Walsh 10, Megan Sturdivant 7, Gabby Mindieta 5.

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Solar energy may come to Bridgeport

The average cost of electricity for a Bridgeport resident is 7 cents per kilowatt hour. Mayor Corey Lane said Tuesday that he has a plan to make that price go down to 5 cents/kWh while also earning the city a profit.

Lane’s plan involves entering into a four-year contract with a solar energy company. Under the terms of the contract, solar power will be sold back to the city’s electric power supplier, then re-purchased by the city at a discounted rate, thereby lowering the cost of the electricity for residents.

When the contract expires, the city will have access to its own solar energy and prices should drop even lower.

“We told the citizens of Bridgeport we would get them an equitable deal, and that’s what we’re trying to do,” Lane said during his presentation to the council. “I have all the confidence in the world this is going to pan out, but we’ll just have to see where it goes.”

Lane also expanded on the possibility of building a 10- to 12-acre solar panel field and leasing panels to businesses and homeowners at a discounted rate as a way to help cover the cost of implementing the plan.

“If this works here, we could be the flagship of the country,” he said.

The rest of the meeting was less idealistic, as a workshop was held on the allowance of more than one platted structure on building lots that are only designated for one structure.

City secretary Jesica McEachern said any future changes to that policy should include allowing more than one structure, with the same owner.

The council also approved an 8-month lease for the old high school building at 1407 Carpenter St. where Robert Chaney has hosted a haunted house in the past. Chaney’s previous lease was for four months, from August to November.

The current lease runs from December 2014 through July 2015 and costs $1,000. Chaney also said he was interested in buying the property from the city at some point, since he hosts the haunted house every year.

Read more about Chaney’s haunted house at wcmess.com/hauntedhouse.

OTHER BUSINESS

Ryan Nolting from Bridgeport Parks and Rec gave a presentation highlighting events P&R has hosted over the past year and explained some new projects they would be working on in 2015.

Those include a new door for the library, a new chlorinator and new lifeguard stands at the city pool, new security vehicles for NW Park and new hiking, biking and equestrian trails in the city’s parks.

Council members also met in closed session for an hour and 15 minutes discussing the city administrator position. No action was taken.

The council’s next meeting is 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 3, at 900 Thompson St. The meeting is open to the public.

Follow live updates of this meeting and others in Wise County on Twitter @jakeharris4.

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Byrd earns Realtor honors

Realtor Ron Byrd, originally from Bridgeport, was recently named Top Producer 2014 and Rookie of the Year 2014 for Tina Hearne Realtors Inc. The firm has offices in Fort Worth and Southlake.

Ron Byrd

Tina Hearne Wallis, broker of Tina Hearne Realtors, believes Ron’s success in his real estate career is due to his exceptional work ethic, communication skills and ability to build strong relationships. In addition to Ron having his real estate license, he is a seasoned investor owning six of his own investment properties.

Ron grew up in Bridgeport and graduated in 2001 from Immanuel Baptist Christian Academy in Decatur. He also has experience in the oil and gas industry.

He and his wife, Haylee, live in Haslet. They have two children.

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Basketball: Bridgeport closes out perfect district run

The Bridgeport Bulls put an exclamation mark on their perfect run to the 8-4A title Tuesday, blasting Springtown 73-49.

Caleb Smith led a trio of Bulls in double figures with 27 points. Keenan Holdman and Ethan Chapman added 13 each.

Fresh off their first district title since 2004, the Bulls (26-4) will open the playoffs at 6 p.m. Tuesday against Chisholm Trail High School.

The Bulls jumped on Springtown 21-11 in the first quarter and led 37-19 at halftime.

“We came out with a lot of energy and made it tough on their guards,” said Bridgeport coach Alan Green. “We need to do a better job of keeping the ball out of the paint.

“Ethan Chapman again hit some big shots for us in the first half, and Justin Meyers came in and had five big points for us at a time when we had two starters on the bench for foul trouble.”

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Basketball: Sissies scalp Alvarado for bi-district

The Bridgeport Sissies were a patient, disciplined and versatile team Tuesday night in Boswell, overmatching their bi-district foes from Alvarado.

RISING TO THE CHALLENGE – Bridgeport’s Bailey Thompson shoots for two of her game-high 19 points in the Sissies’ win Tuesday. Photo courtesy Judy Peyton

Everything Bridgeport did seemed to work in the Sissies’ 66-34 victory in the Class 4A Region I bi-district tilt.

When the Sissies went to a full-court press, Alvarado gave the ball away.

When the Lady Indians pressed, Bridgeport pushed the floor with little resistance for comfortable three-on-two situations on the other end.

When Bridgeport set up the half-court offense, rapid-fire skip passes along the perimeter opened up 3-point opportunities for the guards and created holes in the paint for the Bridgeport posts.

Perhaps more importantly, the Sissies showed more hustle and willingness to “get dirty.”

“We showed a drive to play as hard as we could for a full 32 minutes,” said Bridgeport coach Dallas Taylor. “Our versatility makes us special. The heart of our team is that each kid brings something different to the table. On any given night, any given kid we have can lead us.”

For the players, getting an elusive playoff win is something they have long awaited.

“It feels good,” Landrie Walsh said. “I feel like we’ve been playing together for so long. We’ve been on teams together since we were tiny kids, so getting this trophy together is special.”

Bailey Thompson added that the reality of the playoffs forced the Sissies to be focused.

“We all came here knowing that our next loss is the end,” Thompson said. “So, our goal is to get things going early and then never let the other team back into the game.”

The victory earned the Sissies a date with Burkburnett Friday in the area round.

Against Alvarado, the Sissies got out to an early lead as Thompson dropped 11 of her 19 points in the opening period.

Meanwhile, Diana Garcia was relentless defensively, turning every Alvarado attempt to cross half court into a challenge.

Though it was clear early on that the Sissies would eventually pull away, it didn’t really happen until the third quarter. That’s when the Sissies expanded their 29-18 halftime lead to 49-23.

Five players scored for the Sissies in the frame.

Senior Lauren Stowers made a 3-pointer early before one of the best individual plays of the game.

Stowers got an offensive rebound, went right back up with the ball while getting fouled and still made the bucket. She then made the free throw to complete the 3-point play.

Walsh made six of her seven free-throw attempts. Gabby Mindieta was skilled and heady in the paint.

The Bridgeport reserves came in and executed with a high energy level in the fourth quarter.

In the final frame, the Sissies outscored Alvarado 17-11 behind the play of Elaina Peyton, Taylor Stone and Abbi Hatton.

BRIDGEPORT 66, ALVARADO 34

Bridgeport … 15 … 14 … 20 … 17 … – … 66
Alvarado … 6 … 12 … 5 … 11 … – … 34

Bridgeport (26-5) – Bailey Thompson 19, Landrie Walsh 10, Taylor Stone 6, Gabby Mindieta 10, Elaina Peyton 7, Lauren Stowers 6, Diana Garcia 4, Abbi Hatton 4

Alvarado – Lucinda Rettig 15, Darci Pack 5, Brianna Thomas 5, Acacia Dotson 4, Damyani Collier 3, Cassidy Johnson 1, Allison Thompson 1

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Yolanda Ann Gachuzo

Yolanda Ann Gachuzo

Yolanda Ann Gachuzo, 49, a homemaker, died Sunday, Feb. 15, 2015, in Bridgeport.

Funeral was Feb. 19 at Hawkins Funeral Home in Bridgeport with Pastor Rick Cooper officiating. Burial was in Mexican Cemetery.

Pallbearers were Antony Siletti, Paul Ramirez, Junior Lenard, Calvin Morales, Leandro Lopez and Wito Hernandez.

Yolanda was born May 24, 1965, in Bridgeport to Daniel Nuncio and Frances Huerta. She was a member of Grace Fellowship Church.

She was preceded in death by her parents.

Survivors include her brothers, Oscar Martinez of Bridgeport and Darrell Lopez of Decatur; nieces Rylie Bonham of Weatherford and Samantha Blocker, Sabrina Blocker, Sean Blocker and Emily Blocker, all of Fort Worth; and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.

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Alyssa Renee Greever and Christopher Ross Meekins

Alyssa Renee Greever, daughter of Chuck and Carrie Greever, all of Decatur, will marry Christopher Ross Meekins, son of Donald Meekins and Traci Meekins, all of Bridgeport, on May 2, 2015, at the First Baptist Church in Decatur.

Meekins Greever

Alyssa Renee Greever and Christopher Ross Meekins

Pastor Ken May will officiate.

The bride-elect is a graduate of Decatur High School and Texas Woman’s University. She is a teacher at Bridgeport Elementary School.

The prospective groom is a Bridgeport High School graduate. He is employed by Conoco Phillips.

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Lakyn Oakley Thames

Miguel and Alayna Thames of Bridgeport announce the birth of a daughter, Lakyn Oakley Thames, on Feb. 12, 2015, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur.

She weighed 6 pounds, 12 ounces and was 19 inches long.

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Police chase ends in Taco Mayo parking lot

A man was arrested in Bridgeport Friday night after he led Texas state troopers and at least three Wise County sheriff’s deputies on a cross-county chase that reached speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour.

Dustin Earl Orr

Dustin Earl Orr, 33, of Oklahoma City fled from officers at a traffic stop about 5:30 p.m. near the Wise/Denton County line on U.S. 380. Orr traveled up to 130 mph before the pursuit ended when his black BMW struck a Wise County sheriff’s deputy’s car in the parking lot of the Taco Mayo restaurant in Bridgeport.

Orr was arrested for evading arrest, driving while intoxicated, possession of less than 2 ounces of marijuana, possession of a dangerous drug and possession of less than a gram of a controlled substance.

Wise County Sheriff David Walker said Orr may be charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon for hitting the deputy with his car.

The deputy was taken by ground ambulance to Wise Regional Health System as a precaution where he was treated and released.

Orr remains in the Wise County Jail with bonds totaling more than $300,000.

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School board adds soccer to roster

The details haven’t been finalized yet, but Bridgeport students will have the option to play another sport next spring.

The Bridgeport School Board unanimously voted Monday night to add soccer to its list of activities, following a series of discussions that have lasted for almost a year.

“We haven’t nailed down all the details yet, but it will be 4A and we will start playing next [school] year,” Bridgeport High School athletics director Danny Henson said Tuesday.

Henson added that he is still deciding who will coach the sport and if there will be both junior varsity and varsity teams.

“We’re not sure at the moment if we would hire an outside coach or go with someone already employed with the district,” Henson said.

The soccer program will cost the district about $23,000 in start-up expenses, plus the cost of hiring two new coaches and an athletic trainer.

The school board released a survey to students last month to gauge their interest in the program, which was overwhelmingly positive.

CONSTRUCTION UPDATES

An updated blueprint for the new agricultural studies barn was presented at Monday night’s meeting. The new plans have the barn at 11,250 square feet with open space to practice showing animals.

“Ideally, we’d like to drive through, but if you do that, you lose [animal] pen space,” said high school ag teacher Becky DeShazo.

The barn plans should be finalized and approved during the board’s March 16 meeting.

As for the updates to Bull Memorial Stadium, sealed competitive bids for construction are due to the district March 5 and will be awarded at the board’s March 16 meeting.

Electronic marquee signs for all campuses in the district should be fully operational by the end of May.

STUDENT DRUG TESTING

The final discussion Monday night had to do with rewriting the high school’s drug testing policy for extracurricular activities. Normally, the school contracts random, once-a-month drug screenings with an outside company. The tests typically involve urine samples and can be given to any student who participates in an extracurricular activity, not just sports.

The changes, Superintendent Eddie Bland said, would involve changing the wording and some of the approaches to how the screenings are conducted.

“Right now it’s set up as a deterrent and [drug disciplinary action] doesn’t show up on their records, but we’ve started to see some problems come up with the screenings due to advances in technology,” Bland said.

Those advances in technology range from something as mundane as cell phones, which could potentially be used by a student to alert others about random screenings, to something as extreme as students buying synthetic urine to beat the test.

Bland said one way to combat this is changing the screening method from urinalysis to cheek swab samples, which is less time consuming for the drug screeners and less invasive for students.

Bland said a solution to the cell phone problem would be to ban the devices during the procedure and to automatically fail any drug test from a student who used a phone during a screening.

“Even if it’s a call that your granddaddy’s dead, he’ll still be dead in five minutes. Just take the cheek swab,” Bland said.

Athletics director Danny Henson said he is “looking to make the policy as current as it can be without making any drastic changes” and will present a final version of the new policy to the board as soon as it’s finished.

The board’s next meeting is 7 p.m. Monday, March 16, at 2107 15th Street. It is open to the public.

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Basketball: Bulls look for playoff success – Bridgeport eyes first postseason win since 1998

Alan Green was a sophomore in 1998 when the Bridgeport Bulls captured the bi-district title with a 66-51 win over Glen Rose.

That was Bridgeport’s last playoff victory.

“The memories of that excitement are great. We had a great group of seniors,” the Bridgeport coach recalled. “I hope these kids when they are my age can look back and have the same memories.”

Bridgeport (25-4) will take on Venus at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 24, at Chisholm Trail High School for a Class 4A Region I bi-district title. The 8-4A champions looked to finish off a perfect run through the league Tuesday against Springtown. The Bulls also have a warm-up game scheduled for Saturday during a basketball showcase at Chisholm Trail.

“At this point, we’ve been at it so long that we’re just focused on what we can control and preparing ourselves mentally on and off the court,” Green said. “These guys have worked so hard in and out of practice for this.”

The Bulls were off Friday. Green got a chance to watch Venus.

“They are young but play very hard,” he said. “We have to be focused and control what we can control.”

In the past few games, the Bulls defense spearheaded by Keenan Holdman has controlled the action. Holdman has provided big minutes for the Bulls, playing against posts as well as guards.

“He is our leader. He brings such a toughness,” Green said. “He’s a very good post defender and has done a good job in that role.”

Andrew Horton and Jacob Tibbels have provided solid minutes off the bench.

“They played good and their minutes have risen,” Green said. “We’re definitely going to need that going into the playoffs.”

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Bobby Ray Winebrinner Sr.

Bobby Ray Winebrinner Sr., 53, of Bridgeport died Friday, Feb. 13, 2015, in Tarrant County.

Funeral is 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 21, at First Redemption International Ministries, 5822 E. Berry St., in Fort Worth. Alpine Funeral Home is handling arrangements.

Bobby was born June, 28, 1961, in Decatur to Thelma Cansler and Mickey Winebrinner.

He was preceded in death by his mother.

He is survived by his wife, Augustina Winebrinner; his father; daughters Tamara Winebrinner, Olivia Pollock, Michelle Kirchner, Michele Brian and Rachel Winebrinner; son Bobby Winebrinner II; brother Freddy Winebrinner; and sister Sandra Winebrinner. He is also survived by his numerous grandchildren.

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Meeting Agendas for Saturday, February 14, 2015

BRIDGEPORT – The Bridgeport School Board will decide Monday whether or not to create a soccer program. They will also approve the school calendar for 2015-2016 and will discuss stadium renovations and the animal science barn. The meeting is 7 p.m. at 2107 15th Street. The meeting is open to the public.

DECATUR – The Decatur School Board’s open session will take place earlier than normal Monday. The meeting begins at 6 p.m. with the closed session at the end of the meeting. The closed session usually takes up the first hour of the meeting. The open meeting agenda items include calling a trustee election and routine items such as monthly recognitions of students and employees, employment of personnel, superintendent communications and financial information. The meeting will be at the DISD Administration Building, 307 S. Cates St. It is open to the public.

CHICO – The Chico School Board will consider calling a bond election at its meeting Monday night. They will also call an election to fill three trustee positions and will hold a public hearing on the 2013-2014 Texas Academic Performance Report. The board will consider accepting donated materials, supplies and labor to construct two batting cages for softball and baseball. The meeting is at 6:30 p.m. in Chico Elementary School, Room 150, 1120 Park Rd. The meeting is open to the public.

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Basketball: Sissies ready for playoff return

Diana Garcia quickly points out how far the Bridgeport Sissies have come in one year.

“For two years we didn’t win a district game,” said the Bridgeport senior. “That pushed us. Going from fifth to second [in district] is a pretty good accomplishment.”

After taking second in 8-4A, the Sissies will return to the playoffs Tuesday for the first time since 2012, with a 4A Region I bi-district game against Alvarado at Boswell High School.

The Sissies head into the playoffs at 25-5 and went 6-2 in 8-4A. Bridgeport improved by 13 wins this season.

Bridgeport coach Dallas Taylor took over the program when this year’s seniors were freshmen.

“It’s nice to see the kids get to where they need to be and be rewarded for their hard work,” Taylor said.

“The kids are playing well and responding to what we’re doing with them. I feel we’ve got a good chance of winning [Tuesday].”

Alvarado finished third in 7-4A, going 4-4 and 16-14 overall.

Taylor said the Lady Indians present some challenges down low with center Allison Thompson.

“They are post-oriented and have a lot of big players,” Taylor said. “It should be a good matchup for our posts. Besides Landrie [Walsh] all our posts are younger but they are responding to what we want to do.”

The Sissies should have the advantage in the backcourt. Senior point guard Bailey Thompson is coming off a 15-point effort Tuesday in the Sissies’ 76-27 victory over Castleberry. Walsh added 14 points.

Thompson said the Sissies are ready for the playoffs and in no hurry for this season to end.

“We know with the next loss our season will be over,” Thompson said. “That’s a big motivator.”

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Basketball: Bulls wrap up 8-4A crown

The Bridgeport Bulls put away Castleberry early Tuesday and wrapped up the District 8-4A title.

The Bulls opened the game on a 35-4 run and went on for an 84-50 victory.

Bridgeport (25-4) moved to 7-0 in 8-4A. It was off Friday and will look to close out a perfect run through the league Tuesday at home against Springtown.

Ethan Chapman led the Bulls with 20 points. Keenan Holdman added 16. Caleb Smith chipped in 11 and Chayton Stotts 10.

“Ethan got us off to a quick start in the first quarter and our momentum continued into the second quarter,” said Bridgeport coach Alan Green.

After taking a 51-15 halftime lead, the Bulls’ bench got extended playing time in the second half.

“It was a great game for us to get guys some good minutes that usually don’t see the court,” Green said. “John Freeman and Dillon Banner are both very hard workers and come to practice every day with a great attitude and give 100 percent effort knowing heir playing time will be limited.”

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Dayana Del Carmen Teo

Leslie Teo of Bridgeport announces the birth of a daughter, Dayana Del Carmen Teo, on Feb. 7, 2015, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur.

She weighed 6 pounds, 6 ounces and was 20 1/2 inches long.

Grandparents are Tracie Howard of Bridgeport and Julio Teo of Maryland.

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Basketball: Soaring back to the top – Lady Eagles capture second straight title

In the final minute Friday, Decatur coach Billy Garner called a timeout and for the last time Lady Eagles seniors left the floor. But it was not until after garnering more hardware.

STEALING A WIN – Decatur’s Makayla Mayfield steals the ball from Bridgeport’s Bailey Thompson during the Lady Eagles’ win Friday. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Led by seniors Jasmyne Tate and Makayla Mayfield, the Lady Eagles celebrated a second straight district title with a 57-31 win over the rival Bridgeport Sissies.

Tate poured all of her game-high 14 points in the second half, including six in the Lady Eagles’ 23-7 closing run.

“This means a lot to me to get to celebrate with my group of girls,” said Tate, who missed all of last season and much of her sophomore year because of knee injuries.

Mayfield finished with 11 points to go along with five steals, four assists and five rebounds.

“I just wanted to leave it all on the floor with this being my last time to play here,” said Mayfield, who also helped the Decatur volleyball team to four district titles and a pair state titles on the floor.

The Lady Eagles improved to 7-0 in 8-4A and 20-6 overall. The district champions will look to close out a perfect run through the league Tuesday against Springtown. But Garner did not downplay the significance of winning a second straight title.

“I’m very proud of them,” Garner said. “We lost four seniors [from last year]. To come back and do it again especially with Jasmyne coming back was really fun to watch.”

The Lady Eagles relied on their trademark defense to put the finishing touches on the title. Decatur held Bridgeport to 31 percent shooting (14-for-44). Bridgeport was 4-for-19 in the first half, scoring just 10 points. Decatur led 20-10 at the break.

“Our defense was great. They changed the lineup on us and took out No. 3 [Diana Garcia],” Garner said. “So, we switched and put Jasmyne on [Landrie] Walsh and Makayla on [Bailey] Thompson. Our help defense was also good in the lane.”

Bridgeport coach Dallas Taylor said they were hoping to exploit some matchups with changes.

“It helped our matchups and we were supposed to take advantage of it,” Taylor said. “We didn’t execute.”

Mayfield said she didn’t know she would be on Thompson until the start of the game. She stayed with Bridgeport’s leading scorer, holding her to six points – all in the second quarter.

“I just tried my hardest to not let her get the ball,” Mayfield said.

Along with keeping the ball out of Thompson’s hands, Mayfield made five steals and deflected another three passes. Two deflections came in the final 42 seconds of the first half in which she also hit a 3-pointer, blocked a shot, got a steal and nearly hit a runner at the buzzer.

“Makayla disrupted a lot of what they wanted to do,” Garner said.

Decatur went up by 16 midway through the third quarter on a Tate layup off a pass from Mayfield.

With six points inside from Gabby Mindieta, Bridgeport closed the third on a 10-4 run to get back within 10, 34-24.

The Sissies’ run didn’t last. Decatur scored the first nine points of the fourth, going up 19 on Shelby Drews’ 3-pointer. Drews finished with nine.

Hannah Dunning had 12 for the Lady Eagles. Macen Stripling, who battled foul trouble all night, scored seven.

Walsh led Bridgeport with seven.

Bridgeport fell to 5-2 in 8-4A and 23-5 overall. The Sissies will go into the playoffs as the league’s second seed. “We’ll be ready for that first playoff game against Alvarado,” Taylor said. “I feel there will be two good teams representing our district in the playoffs.”

DECATUR 57, BRIDGEPORT 31

Bridgeport … 4 … 6 … 14 … 7 … – … 31
Decatur … 9 … 11 … 14 … 23 … – … 57

Bridgeport (23-5, 5-2) – Diana Garcia 4, Bailey Thompson 6, Lauren Stowers 2, Taylor Stone 2, Abby Hatton 2, Landrie Walsh 7, Megan Sturdivant 2, Gabby Mindieta 6.

Decatur (20-6, 7-0) – Makayla Mayfield 11, Shelby Drews 9, Hannah Dunning 12, Savannah Thompson 4, Macen Stripling 7, Jasmyne Tate 14.

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Basketball: Bulls sweep Eagles – Bridgeport wraps up 8-4A title

After the Decatur Eagles erased an 11-point, third-quarter deficit to tie the game, the Bridgeport Bulls used the final 78 seconds of the frame to put their stamp on it.

BATTLING INSIDE – Decatur freshman Mason Hix tries to grab a rebound away from Bridgeport’s Keenan Holdman and Caleb Smith Friday during the Bulls’ district-clinching victory. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Back-to-back 3-pointers from Andrew Horton and Caleb Smith ignited a 10-2 run to close the frame and put the Bulls back up eight. Behind that surge, the fifth-ranked Bulls went on to complete the season sweep of the No. 15 Eagles with the 65-54 victory at Decatur High School gym.

“What I told our guys is big-time players make big-time plays. These guys did,” said Bridgeport coach Alan Green.

“What a great atmosphere. These are the type of games that you want to compete in. I’m proud of my guys. They’ve worked so hard in practice and come together. I’m just really proud of them.”

Bridgeport (25-4, 6-0) took a two-game lead on Decatur and wrapped up at least a share of the District 8-4A title.

“This means a lot, but we’re not satisfied. We have bigger goals,” said Bridgeport junior Keenan Holdman, who led all scorers with 21 points to go along with his eight rebounds. “We are also not going to discount this win in a tough place against a good team. It’s another step moving forward.”

Holdman had 10 points in the fourth quarter to help the Bulls put the game away.

Decatur (21-10, 4-2) remains in second place in the district with two games left. Decatur coach Drew Coffman felt his team showed some things they can build on Friday.

“I was proud of our fight. We were disappointed the first time we played them. We didn’t feel like we competed like we should have,” Coffman said. “We learned a lot about ourselves [tonight]. We’re as good as anyone in this region if we play well and compete.”

TIGHT DEFENSE – Bridgeport’s Keenan Holdman guards Decatur’s Cade Lamirand during the Bulls’ win Friday. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Decatur came out firing, taking an 11-4 lead just more than four minutes in. Horton then hit the first of his two big 3-pointers that ignited a 9-0 run for Bridgeport to end the first quarter with the Bulls up 13-11.

Horton had eight points, going 3-for-3 from the field.

“Those were two huge shots Andrew had for us,” Green said. “Like we talked about after the first game with Jacob [Delangel], when you do things right and work hard, you shouldn’t be surprised by success.”

Bridgeport locked down defensively, holding Decatur to just three field goals in the second quarter, building the lead to as many as 13. The Bulls took a 29-18 lead into halftime.

“You win the game on the defensive end,” said Holdman, who helped lead the defensive effort in the second, while also scoring nine of the Bulls’ 16 points in the frame.

Decatur senior Holt Garner got dialed in on the perimeter in the third quarter, knocking down three 3-pointers in five trips down the floor in a 12-2 run that trimmed the Bulls’ lead to one.

“Holt got hot for a stretch and it opened things up,” Coffman said.

Decatur tied the game at 38 with Parker Hicks’ putback with 1:36 remaining in the third. The tie lasted only 18 seconds before Bridgeport put together the game-defining spurt that included a trey and pair of layups for Smith, who finished with 19 points.

Decatur never could make another run as Bridgeport tightened up the defense again.

“We didn’t shoot well in the first half and that opened opportunities. But once we did hit a few shots, they reacted accordingly,” Garner said. “Toward the end, we didn’t focus enough on getting the ball inside.

“They are a good test. That’s the caliber of teams we’ll be looking at in a few weeks. We learned what we need to work on.”

BRIDGEPORT 65, DECATUR 54

Bridgeport … 13 … 16 … 19 … … 17 – 65
Decatur … 11 … 7 … 22 … … 14 – 54

Bridgeport (25-4, 6-0) – Jacob Delangel 11, Keenan Holdman 21, Caleb Smith 19, Andrew Horton 8, Chayton Stotts 6.

Decatur (21-10, 4-2) – Holt Garner 9, Parker Hicks 13, Cade Lamirand 11, Aaron Shetter 6, Ethan Sij 2, Mason Hix 13.

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