Sealy notches first district win over Needville

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The Sealy Lady Tiger basketball team hasn’t lost to the Needville Lady Jays under head coach Anthony Branch since Jan. 17, 2017, and the most recent victory opened the district portion of the Lady Tigers’ schedule.

Sealy’s 41-39 win on the road on Dec. 20 was the first of two district games to close 2019 (Royal came to town Dec. 30) where 2020 will open with the non-district finale against Brazosport.

Sophomore Evelyn Harrington led the charge with a double-double, scoring 10 points and grabbing 12 rebounds in the district-opening win where junior Heaven Hernandez hit a trio of three-pointers and registered three rebounds. Junior Avery Oliver was next with seven points and eight rebounds, four offensive and four defensive.

Through their first 18 games played, Harrington led the Lady Tigers with an average of 12.3 points per game and Oliver had recorded an average of 6.9 rebounds per game at that point.

After the contest with Brazosport to tip-off 2020 on Jan. 3, Sealy will hit the road for a Jan. 7 contest with Wharton before hosting El Campo to close the week on Jan. 10. Once the Lady Tigers make their road trips to Fulshear on Jan. 14 and Stafford Jan. 17, it will signal the end of the first round of district play.

With a 7-11 overall record, Branch knows this group has more in them and with plenty of games remaining, who knows where it could take them.

“Like I told them; ‘You haven’t even scratched the potential, you can be good,’” Branch said. “We’re kind of at the point where the kids have to do it in practice; it’s gotta be important and if it’s important to them, the sky’s the limit on what this group can do. They’re a great bunch of kids, I enjoy being around them, I told them I love them and they’re great role models.”

At the end of the day, of course, these are the reasons he got into coaching in the first place and always looks forward to getting the best out of his team the next day to continue building on success.

“I’m always encouraged every time,” Branch said. “Going into practice, there’s always something new to work on, there’s something I can do to get better and then we have a game on Friday so there’s another opportunity and we’ll get through that test and then we’ll see what happens in the next week.”

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