With the non-district portion of the schedule coming to an end at last Friday’s 61-52 loss to the Caldwell Hornets the Tiger basketball squad started playing the more important games earlier this week with a trip to Wharton.
Despite an 11-all tie after one quarter and a four-point Sealy deficit at halftime, Caldwell only continued to increase its lead and finished with a nine-point advantage to move to 8-12 overall on the season while the Tigers dropped to 4-7 heading into this week of play.
Of course, it wasn’t for a lack of effort as junior Draper Parker poured in 12 of his team-leading 18 points in the second half (eight in the fourth quarter alone). Senior Ja’Marris Cotton joined him in the double digits with 11 total points but missed the last stretch of the game with a lower leg injury. Classmate Lane Holley was next with nine points ahead of Reece Novicke’s five points.
Fouls also became a problem down the stretch, keeping senior Cody Manna off the floor and closer to head coach Ray Dabney who will look to put the correct puzzle pieces together with the dawn of district play already making its appearance.
Last season’s playoff seedings came down to the Battle of the Tigers between Sealy and Wharton with the fourth and final postseason berth needing a play-in game to determine who earns the extra basketball. After splitting the season series, Wharton took the do-or-die game with a tip-in at the buzzer although didn’t make it out of the bi-district round.
After Wharton, El Campo makes the trip to Sealy ahead of a road trip to Fulshear which precedes a pair of home contests against Stafford and Needville before the Jan. 24 trip to Brookshire Royal to close the first round of district play.