The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

Local Sports

February 24, 2014

H.S. Basketball: Grapeland, Oakwood take on two tough teams on Tuesday night

PALESTINE — The Grapeland Sandies and Oakwood Panthers are the last two teams left in the Dogwood Circle in the basketball playoffs, and both teams will be in action tonight in the Regional Quarterfinals.

For Grapeland, it will play at 7 p.m. in Fairfield against Kerens. The proximity of these two teams should be close enough to bring out a good amount of fans from both sides to make an exciting atmosphere.

Grapeland coach Owen Clifton said the hour-long drive shouldn’t be too far for the Grapeland fans who want to attend, but that the location wasn’t a huge factor for the

Sandies’ fans.

“I think our fans would drive anywhere for our team,” Clifton said. “Shoot, we could have a tournament game in the middle of the afternoon and still have a ton of fans there. It’s going to be nice to have all of the fans come out and be supportive.

“We know Fairfield well,” he added. “We’ve played them before and Kerens has played them before, so we know what the facility and venue have to offer for us, and we like it there. It’s going to be another great atmosphere just like Frankston was last weekend.”

Clifton is expecting a good matchup against Kerens.

“Kerens is going to play very well and hard,” Clifton said. “They’ve got a great tradition there. They’ve been to the regional tournament the past two years, and they’ve been to the state tournament two years ago. They have a lot of tradition, and I expect them to be a great challenge for us. They’re well-coached, and they’re going to be ready to play.”

In the game Friday against Martin’s Mill in Frankston, Grapeland was forced into overtime and was able to come away with the three-point

win, 61-58.

Clifton said he was proud that his team was able to come away with a solid win against a tough team on Friday night.

“We didn’t shoot the ball too well in that game, and Martin’s Mill played an excellent game,” Clifton said. “They executed their game plan, and we played their type of basketball, which is not good for us. The kids never gave up, though. The win in overtime was good for us, especially since we haven’t been to overtime all year.”

For Oakwood, it is coming off a 94-56 walloping of Lometa on Friday night.

Tonight, they travel to Normangee to take on Dime Box at 7 p.m. in a battle for the next round of the playoffs.

Dime Box is coming off a close win against Premier Academy, 44-42, and should be a good challenge for the Panthers.

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