DATCU

Prairie View Hawks serve community

Prairie View Elementary Student Council in Northwest ISD raised money for Cook Children’s Child Life Zone in January by collecting $1 from each student who wanted to wear a hat on Fridays. They also collected coats and blankets to donate to a local charity.

Beginning Feb. 3 and running through the 14th, the Student Council will collect food snacks to assist the Orange Out Organization that provides “snack packs” to families staying on the oncology floor at Cook Children’s Hospital.

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Eagles, Bulls await split-up; Rivals to land in different districts

The historic district football rivalry between Decatur and Bridgeport will become part of the past Monday morning.

The University Interscholastic League (UIL) will unveil its biennial realignment at 9 a.m. Monday and the two Big Sandy rivals will end up in separate Class 4A divisions for football. Decatur will be a 4A Division I school, and Bridgeport heads to 4A Division II.

In an unprecedented move, the UIL released the cutoffs its six classifications and the division breaks in the lower four leagues in December. Previously, the organization had waited to release those numbers along with realignment in the first week of February.

“The UIL coming out with that information took some of the shock value out of it,” said Danny Henson, Bridgeport football coach and athletic director. “It also allowed coaches to figure out their non-district schedules.”

The UIL also renamed its classifications for this realignment. The previous 5A division became 6A and the next four leagues elevated in class. The previous Class A Division II will now be Class A, and Class A Division I is now 2A.

While schools know what classification they will be in for 2014-2016, they are still left to wonder what league they will end up in when the UIL releases the new district alignments.

“I don’t make any guesses because I’ve never been right,” said Kyle Story, Decatur football coach and athletic director.

Carl Padilla of San Antonio, creator of the Padilla Poll, has compiled his list of district projections and is confident with his picks.

“I do but there’s always different ways of doing things,” Padilla said. “One of the tougher things to project is what they will do with the bigger schools in the Metroplex.”

Here are a few items to watch for Monday:

DECATUR, BRIDGEPORT SPLIT

Since 1998, the Bridgeport Bulls and Decatur Eagles have shared a football league.

With a big-school, small-school division split being introduced to Class 4A this realignment, they will go their separate ways.

“Since I’ve been here at Bridgeport, there’s been two cycles (1994-96 and 1996-98) that we were not in the same district,” said Henson, who started with the Bulls in 1993.

Story, who arrived in 1999 in Decatur, has always been paired with Bridgeport.

Both coaches have already vowed to keep the Battle of Big Sandy alive as a non-district game. It it tentatively set at the fifth non-district game for each.

“We still plan to play each other,” Story said. “If we end up with a bigger district, we’ll move the game up.”

The division split that will put the two in separate districts for football is supported by both. In 4A-II, Bridgeport, whose enrollment is 627, will be paired with schools that have between 465 and 685 students.

“Football takes so many resources and there’s a big difference in the big schools and smaller schools,” Henson said. “The UIL is doing something to help.”

Decatur, with an enrollment of 876, will be with schools with between 686 and 1,059 students in 4A Division I.

“It levels the playing field and there won’t be as wide of a range,” Story said. “It will be good for equality.”

The division split is only for football. Decatur and Bridgeport could end up in the same league for volleyball, basketball and the spring sports.

Padilla expects Decatur to end up in District 4-4A Division I with Sanger, Lake Worth, Gainesville, Springtown and Argyle. He projects Bridgeport to be in the expansive District 3-4A Division II with Celina, Anna, Aubrey, Iowa Park and Vernon.

NORTHWEST, BYRON NELSON TO BE IN 6A

Northwest and Byron Nelson are expected by both Northwest ISD officials and Padilla to be together in a 6A league Monday.

“That’ll be a good rivalry,” said Northwest football coach Bill Patterson.

Who will join the two Northwest ISD schools is anyone’s guess.

“I’ve been here five years, and this will be the third realignment and it’s always been different,” Patterson said. “We’ve always been with the Keller schools but the other schools have been different.”

Padilla projects Northwest and Byron Nelson to stay with the Keller schools and add Denton Ryan and Guyer.

BOYD, PARADISE STAY PUT

Boyd and Paradise will be in Class 3A Division I and don’t expect to see much change.

“I think things will stay pretty much the same,” said Boyd football coach and athletic director Brandon Hopkins. “We could lose Pilot Point or Whitesboro. Maybe we’ll get a six-team district.”

Boyd turned in an enrollment of 350 to put it in the Division I that has a range of 315-464.

Paradise has an enrollment of 337 – 12 over the cutoff for Division II.

“It makes it tough being one of the smaller schools in the division – but it’s not something you can control,” said Paradise football coach and athletic director Scott Broussard. “You control what you can, and that’s getting your kids ready.”

The two are not sure how newcomers to 3A Division I – Brock, Glen Rose, West and Hillsboro – may affect where they go.

Padilla expects Paradise and Boyd to be with Ponder, Whitesboro, Callisburg and Bowie in a six-team league.

ALVORD IN NEW TO 2A

After battling in the old Class 2A the past few years as one of the division’s smallest, Alvord will stay in the new 2A and suddenly be one of the biggest.

With an enrollment of 202, Alvord fit under the cutoff of 219 for Class 2A Division I – the old Class A Division I.

“It’s a good move for our athletic program,” said Alvord football coach and athletic director Curtis Enis. “We’ve been a small fish in a large pond for the last few years. When we first went to 2A and had an enrollment of 230 we were fine. When we dropped to 204, it hurt us to compete against much larger schools.”

Alvord will be in the same division with Chico, which turned in 185.

SLIDELL COULD GO IN MULTIPLE DIRECTIONS

With an enrollment of 66, Slidell will be in the smallest classification – Class A.

But athletic director Todd McCormick is unsure if the school will stay with its current district mates that include Forestburg, Midway, Gold-Burg, Saint Jo and Prairie Valley.

“The key will be what they do with Tioga,” McCormick said. “No one is near them. They could pull us east with Dodd City and Roxton. They could also bring Tioga in with us to make an eight-team district.”

UIL realignment will be announced at 9 a.m. Monday. See where Wise schools land at wcmsports.com

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Texans clinch spot in playoffs

The Northwest Texans clinched a playoff spot and kept their District 4-5A title hopes alive Tuesday.

Led by 18 points from Josh Tatum, the Texans hammered Keller Timber Creek 52-37.

Northwest (21-5) moved to 8-2 in the league – one game back of district leader Keller (9-1). The Texans played fourth-place Richland Friday and will play last-place Keller Central Tuesday.

Northwest closes with the other two district leaders – Keller and Keller Fossil Ridge (8-2).

The Texans jumped on Timber Creek early 14-8. Northwest built the lead to 32-14 at halftime.

Jesse DeVries added 12 points for the Texans. Taylor Johnson finished with nine points and 11 rebounds.

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Northwest falls to 5th place

The Northwest Lady Texans fell a game out of the race for the fourth District 4-5A playoff seed Tuesday.

The Lady Texans were knocked off by Keller Timber Creek 47-42.

The loss drops Northwest (12-13) to 4-8 in 4-5A. With two games to play entering Friday, Northwest trailed Keller Fossil Ridge by a game.

Northwest got off to a slow start Tuesday, falling behind 16-9. Northwest tied the game at 22 by halftime. Timber Creek inched ahead 33-28 in the third quarter and held on down the stretch.

Bailey Porter paced Northwest with 13 points eight rebounds. Alexus Brigham added nine points and six boards. Tara Crumpton had eight points.

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Northwest ISD trustees to consider Superintendent’s contract

Northwest ISD officials will consider holding onto their district leader a little longer.

After meeting in closed session on the matter, trustees will discuss extending the contract of Superintendent Karen Rue Thursday.

Officials delayed the meeting from the traditional Monday date due to board training.

Last January, Rue’s contract was extended through June 2017. She joined the district in 2005.

During budget-writing in the summer, she received a 2-percent salary increase. Her new salary as of July 1 was $252,144.

Also during the meeting, trustees will consider increasing by $35,728 the contract for improvements to the Northwest High School subvarsity stadium. These enhancements include mounting speakers on poles rather than on the press box, installing an HVAC system in the press box and adding a discus and shotput area.

They will also discuss setting a guaranteed maximum price of $5,080,727 for expansion at Peterson Elementary School.

Incorporating what was discussed at its last meeting, the board will outline the parameters for the 2014-2015 budget.

Trustees will hear a five-year financial forecast and reports on December financials, construction and the crisis communication center.

The meeting begins at 6 p.m. with a closed session. It will be held at the Northwest ISD Executive Boardroom, 2001 Texan Dr., in Fort Worth.

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Texans remain in 4-5A race

As the final seconds ticked down Friday, the Northwest Texans needed a defensive stop to hold off the Southlake Carroll Dragons and stay in the race for the District 4-5A title.

David Ogunwolu delivered, blocking a layup attempt as time expired to preserve the 51-50 win for the Texans.

“I just read the play,” Ogunwolu described. “I was the backside help and as soon as I saw him take off, I timed it right and got the block.

“That was a big, big win. We’re trying to win a district championship.”

Northwest (20-5) moved to 7-2 in the tightly packed conference. The Texans entered Tuesday’s game with Keller Timber Creek tied for second with Keller Fossil Ridge. Both are a game back of Keller.

After dropping back-to-back games to Keller and Fossil Ridge, Northwest has steadied the ship and won two straight.

Northwest coach Michael Hatch said praised his team’s resilence after the disappointing setbacks, including a one-point loss to Fossil Ridge.

“They were disappointed especially with the loss to Fossil Ridge,” Hatch said. “We played good. We feel we’ll get them at our place. It’s such a long race.”

Northwest point guard Josh Tatum, who scored 10 points against Carroll, said the Texans have kept their emotions in check throughout the season.

“We never get too high or too low. We know there are going to be setbacks,” Tatum said. “We just keep working hard in practice.”

Like Friday when the Tatum and Taylor Johnson combined to go 6-for-6 from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter, the Texans are making key plays late in games to win close games. Of Northwest’s nine district games, five have been decided by five points or less.

The Texans are 4-1 in those games.

“All the district games are going to be like that,” Tatum said. “It’s good when you can overcome that type of adversity. We have a lot of winners on this team.

Ogunwolu added: “When things are going tough, this team finds a way to win. We practice hard every day, and this team has a lot of heart.”

The Texans are averaging 61.5 points per game on their way to 20 wins. Three Texans finished in double figures against Carroll. Elijah Christman led the way with 15 points. Johnson added 14.

But Hatch still wants to see the team clean things up on the defensive end in the final five-game stretch.

“Defensively, we are getting better but still have a ways to go,” Hatch said. “We’ve not played the solid defense we are used to around here yet.”

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Texan relays make regionals

The Northwest swimming team will send five relays to the Class 5A Region I meet Feb. 7 and 8 at the Pete Ragus Aquatic Center in Lubbock.

The Texans’ five relays posted top-six finishes Saturday at the 5-5A meet held in Southlake at the Carroll ISD Aquatics Center.

The Northwest boys 200 medley squad of Jare DeVries, Cole Watts, Brandon Langer and Trey Bailey finished fourth in 1:51.22.

Langer, Bailey and DeVries joined Bashir Dennis on the 200 freestyle relay, which also finished fourth in 1:37.74. That same quartet took fifth in the 400 relay in 3:40.84.

The Northwest girls 200 freestyle relay team of Kendal Irwin, Blue Davis, Genevieve Weaver and Audry McCreary finished fifth in 1:52.37. That group also finished fifth in the 400 relay in 4:14.63.

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Soccer: Eagles drop 3

The Decatur Eagles couldn’t come home with a victory in their three games at the Cross-Town Shootout Tournament over the weekend in Boswell.

Boswell blanked Decatur 1-0 Thursday. Gainesville then topped Decatur 2-1 Friday. Saturday, O.D. Wyatt handed the Eagles a 2-0 setback.

The Lady Eagles dropped three games at the tournament. Decatur fell 9-0 to Lindale with Sara Webster, Alina Riebel and Reagan Johnson getting off shots.

In a 7-0 loss to Western Hills, Johnson managed two shots. Webster and Riebel took one each. Keeper Jasmin Villarreal made seven saves.

Boswell beat Decatur 9-0. Webster and Johnson each got away shots. Mirtha Camacho made seven saves in goal.

NORTHWEST 3, L.D. BELL 1

The Northwest Texans picked up their first win of the season Friday, blasting L.D. Bell 3-1.

Estevan Vazquez, Parker Bishop and Rodrigo Rojas put goals in the back of the net for the Texans (1-6).

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Carroll stops Northwest

The Southlake Carroll Lady Dragons stayed unbeaten in District 4-5A Friday with a 77-37 win over the recently hot Northwest Lady Texans.

Carroll broke the game open with a 21-7 run in the fourth quarter.

Northwest (12-12) had won two straight before the loss. The Lady Texans fell to 4-7 in 4-5A.

Northwest went into Tuesday’s game with Keller Timber Creek tied with Keller Fossil Ridge for fourth in the league. The Lady Texans have two games remaining.

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Lady Texans play way into race

Entering his first season on the Northwest Lady Texans’ bench, coach Rusty Johnson set one goal for his squad.

“When the last game happened, I wanted it to be relevant,” Johnson explained.

After the Lady Texans’ 37-36 victory over Haltom, they are well on their way to making that final game occur in the postseason.

The Lady Texans (12-11, 4-6) took over fourth place in District 4-5A with their second straight win Tuesday.

“With four games to play, they are all going to be relevant,” Johnson said. “It’s going to be a tight race. But we’re a game up. It’s exciting. We have two left at home and control our own destiny.”

Two of the Lady Texans’ remaining games are against Keller Timber Creek and Keller Central, who trail them in the standings.

The Lady Texans’ latest two wins have come in dramatic fashion, starting with the Jan. 17 triple-overtime victory over Keller Fossil Ridge. Northwest battled back from a 19-point deficit in the third quarter.

“We just continued to fight and cut the lead in half going into the fourth quarter,” Johnson said. “We made free throws and key stops down the stretch.

“We’ve been playing hard and now we’re believing in each other.”

Tuesday against Haltom, the Lady Texans fell behind 11-8 early before coming back to tie the game at 16 at halftime. Down two going into the fourth quarter, the Lady Texans outscored Haltom 10-7 to get the win.

Equalya Smith and Alexus Brigham scored 12 points apiece for Northwest.

“Early in the year, we were not finishing games,” Johnson said. “Now, we’re starting to finish games. We’re making free throws and the positive plays.”

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Texans regain winning form

The Northwest Texans put an end to their two-game skid Tuesday to stay in the thick of the District 4-5A race.

Elijah Christman led a trio of Texans in double figures with 23 points in a 77-50 victory over Haltom at Texan Gym.

Northwest (19-5) moved to 6-2 in 4-5A and stayed a game back of league leader Keller (7-1). The Texans are tied with Fossil Ridge for second.

Northwest shot 47 percent against Haltom. Christman led the strong offensive showing, hitting three 3-pointers. Taylor Johnson added 18 points, and Josh Tatum 11.

Northwest broke open a tie game with a 24-point second quarter to take a 39-26 lead at halftime. The Texans added to the lead in the third quarter, outscoring Haltom 18-13. Northwest ended the game with a 20-11 run.

Northwest went to Southlake to play Carroll Friday. The Texans will return home Tuesday to play Keller Timber Creek.

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Northwest wins in three OTs; Lady Texans rally from 16 down at half

The Lady Texans battled through three overtimes for a much-needed victory over Fossil Ridge Friday night in Keller.

RISING TO CHALLENGE – Northwest’s Brianna Barnhill reaches for a tipped ball at the beginning of one of the three overtimes. She finished with 10 points in the win over Fossil Ridge. Messenger photo by Jimmy Alford

Northwest (3-6) downed the Panthers 64-62 to fight their way into a tie for fourth place in District 4-5A with Haltom (3-6) and Fossil Ridge (3-6).

The Lady Texans’ Bailey Porter led all scorers with 21 points. The Panthers’ Maurisha Peyton added 17.

Northwest lost by three to Fossil Ridge in their first meeting in December. Northwest coach Rusty Johnson said they prepped for the tough play they saw that night, but got a surprise.

“The first time we played Fossil Ridge they used a double-post offense, so that is what we prepared for,” Johnson said. “Then they came out with five guards. They went to up-tempo trapping and we had to adjust.”

The first half was brutal for the Lady Texans as the Panthers controlled the boards. Northwest trailed 32-16 at halftime.

Johnson said the Lady Texans only took one shot outside the paint in the half.

The tables turned in the third period as Northwest doubled the Panthers’ efforts.

“Brianna Christensen came off the bench in the second half and did a fantastic job, as did Brianna Barnhill and Porter,” Johnson said. “Our guards did an awesome job knowing what we were trying to do, not forcing things and getting the ball where it needed to be.”

Northwest had just taken the lead in the third when a last-second, three-quarter-court 3-pointer gave Fossil Ridge back the advantage going into the fourth.

“To their credit [the Panthers] battled,” Johnson said. “We survived a fluke shot at the end of the third, and we made progress.”

Northwest scored more than double the Panthers’ points in the fourth, tying the game and sending it into overtime.

Each team scored six in the first overtime and four in the second. Both times, the Lady Texans survived two last-second Panthers possessions where Fossil Ridge could have put the game away.

The Lady Texans caught a couple breaks when two of the Panthers’ best players, Peyton and Madison Crawford, fouled out. In the third overtime, Northwest outscored the Panthers 7-5 to seal the win.

“It’s been a process for the Lady Texans to get to this point,” Johnson said. “It’s been a process all year of believing in ourselves. Tonight showed growth and that we could handle that pressure a lot better. ”

Vying for a potential playoff spot, the Lady Texans played the first of their tiebreakers Tuesday night at home against Haltom. Fossil Ridge’s Tuesday game was against Keller, who defeated Northwest 59-34 Jan. 14.

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Lady Texans score 2-1 victory

The Northwest Lady Texans soccer team pulled out a 2-1 victory Friday over HSAA.

Zanie Mungia and Lexi Ihrig punched home the two goals for Northwest.

The Texans struggled through the Iron Bridge Classic in Denton over the weekend, dropping three games.

Lewisville beat Northwest 4-0. Wichita Falls Rider scored a 3-0 win over the Texans and Dallas Jefferson topped the Texans 3-1 with Chase Bowler netting the Northwest goal.

Northwest fell to 0-6 on the year.

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Texans drop second straight; Fossil Ridge trips up Texans

Fossil Ridge and Northwest battled to the end Friday night in Keller, with the Panthers coming out on top, 65-64.

The Texans (5-2) had been tied for first in district 4-5A with both Keller (6-1) and Fossil Ridge (6-1). After two straight losses, the Texans are in third alongside Richland.

Just Out of Reach

JUST OUT OF REACH – Northwest’s Darriel Eyaa fights for a rebound with a Fossil Ridge player during the Texans’ one-point loss Friday. Messenger photo by Jimmy Alford

The Panthers’ victory Friday was hard fought against the previously fifth-ranked Texans.

Northwest’s Taylor Johnson and Josh Tatum led all scorers with 21 and 17 points respectively.

Fossil Ridge made a better showing at the free-throw line, sinking 85 percent of their shots compared to Northwest’s 72 percent.

The Texans seemed in control through the first period, jumping ahead by five early on. The Panthers took control in the second, forcing Northwest to play catchup. They ended the first half ahead 35-32.

In the third, the Texans fell further behind at 48-40 but ramped up their efforts in the fourth to get back into contention, scoring 24 points to the Panthers’ 17.

Tatum scored 15 of his 17 points in the fourth period to close out the game.

The Panthers’ Chris Kovakou scored 16 points. Bryce Jackson and Cameron Montgomery scored a dozen points each for Fossil Ridge.

After two consecutive games against their toughest foes, the Texans are looking at a lighter workload this week.

They faced off against Haltom (2-5) Tuesday night at home. Northwest demolished the Buffaloes 90-44 in their last meeting.

Friday night, the Texans play Carroll (3-4) in Southlake. They slew the Dragons 47-44 in December, earning coach Mike Hatch his 500th victory.

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Keller upsets No. 5 Texans

The fifth-ranked Northwest Texans went cold in the third quarter and couldn’t rebound, suffering their first loss in District 4-5A Tuesday night.

Keller went on a 12-5 run in the third to take the lead and hold on for a 55-47 victory at Northwest’s Texan Gym.

The loss dropped the Texans (18-4, 5-1) into a three-way tie in 4-5A with Keller and Fossil Ridge. The Texans went to Fossil Ridge Friday.

Northwest shot 29 percent from the field (16-for-54). Keller outscored Northwest 34-23 in the second half.

The Texans led 12-9 after the first quarter and took a 24-21 lead into halftime. Keller took the lead with its third-quarter run and never gave it back.

Elijah Christman led the Texans with 14 points, including three 3-pointers. Taylor Johnson added 12. David Ogunwolu added seven points and pulled down eight rebounds. Josh Tatum handed out six assists to go along with five points.

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Lady Texans fall at home

The Northwest Lady Texans never rallied from a slow start Tuesday.

The Lady Texans managed only six points in the opening frame, falling behind 18-16 in an eventual 59-34 setback against visiting Keller.

The loss dropped Northwest to 2-6 in District 4-5A. The Lady Texans remain a game back of Haltom and Fossil Ridge for fourth place in the league.

The Lady Texans shot 34 percent from the field, but managed only 34 shots due to 21 turnovers.

Keller built a 35-16 halftime lead and held a 47-29 lead going into the fourth.

Bailey Porter led the Lady Texans with nine points. Alexus Brigham chipped in six points.

Northwest took on Keller Fossil Ridge Friday.

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Newman Smith 1, Northwest 0

The Northwest Lady Texans fell 1-0 against Carrollton Newman Smith Tuesday.

The Lady Texans started play in the Byron Nelson Tournament Thursday.

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Texans soar to 5th in rankings

The Northwest Texans are no longer flying under the radar.

After their 18-3 start, including 5-0 in District 4-5A, the Texans jumped to No. 5 in the Class 5A poll released Monday by the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches.

It’s been a rapid rise for Northwest, which didn’t enter the poll until Jan. 6 at No. 9.

“People know who we are now after the way we started off the year,” said Northwest coach Michael Hatch. “We felt like we were going to be a good team. The kids are playing with a lot of confidence right now.”

The Texans are coming off a 76-40 dismantling of Keller Central Friday to maintain a game lead over the pack of Richland, Keller and Fossil Ridge. Elijah Christman paced the Texans with 24 points. Taylor Johnson added 14 points and six rebounds.

The victory was the sixth straight for the Texans since the second-round loss at the Whataburger Tournament to Jonesboro, Ark. It was only the second double-digit win for the Texans during the streak. Northwest escaped with a five-point win over Keller Timber Creek and a three-point victory against Richland. Three of the Texans’ five league wins are by three points or less.

“Just about all the games in district have been grinders,” Hatch said. “In those games, you have to execute. The guys are doing that.”

The Texans are averaging 59 points per outing. Three players are averaging double figures in scoring with Christman leading the way at 16.3. Johnson is adding 14.7 points, and Josh Tatum 10.2.

Tatum is also handing out 6.4 assists per game on a team that averages 12.8.

“It’s a very unselfish group,” Hatch said. “We’ve got kids that can shoot the ball. But they are not worrying about who is scoring. They are passing and rebounding. They all have one goal – to win.”

Starting with Tuesday’s game at home against Keller, the Texans face a tough stretch against two league contenders. Northwest will play at Fossil Ridge Friday.

“It’s the biggest week of the year so far,” Hatch said. “If we get two wins this week, we’ll be in great shape.”

But it will not be easy against the two Keller schools that feature contrasting styles. Hatch said Keller will slow the pace and play tight defense.

“We’ve got to take care of the ball,” he said.

An athletic Fossil Ridge team features a pair of Division I recruits in guard Ryan Parker and center Bryce Jackson.

“They will play man-to-man and go up and down the floor,” Hatch said.

The Northwest coach explained his team can adapt to either style.

“Our kids can play either way,” he said. “That’s the good thing about this team.”

Everyone around the state is noticing a lot of good things about the Texans these days.

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Northwest 48, Keller 39

The Northwest Lady Texans rode a strong first half to a 48-39 victory over Keller Central Friday.

The Lady Texans used a 17-5 spurt in the second quarter to build a 28-13 halftime lead.

Bailey Porter paced Northwest with 21 points, nine rebounds and four assists. Brianna Barnhill added 12 points and eight rebounds. Brianna Christensen scored six and grabbed eight boards.

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Northwest board to begin budget process

This fiscal year’s budget was just enacted, but Northwest officials will soon begin preparing the 2014-2015 financial plan.

At its meeting Monday, the school board will outline the budget parameters and process.

Trustees will also review the high school course description guide and hear reports on instructional technology, November financials and the impact of House Bill 5 on graduation.

The meeting, which begins with closed session at 6 p.m., will be held in the Northwest ISD Executive Board Room at 2001 Texan Drive in Fort Worth.

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