By MICHAEL S. ADAMS

H-P Sports Writer



GRAPELAND — The Grapeland Sandiettes may have not had a season that would be considered memorable.

However, there is plenty of room for hope due to the play of sophomore guard Christy Willis, who has been named Dogwood Circle Offensive Player of the Year.

Willis, who playing in her first full year on the varsity team, led Grapeland by averaging 18 points, eight rebounds and three assists per game. She was a 48 percent free-throw shooter and made 38 three-point field goals on the season.

“Christy doesn’t believe she can be beat and realizes her promise on the basketball court,” Grapeland head coach Felicia Meador said in a previous interview. “She thrives on challenges and this year she was a young player put into the role of a leader and did a really good job at it.”

The sophomore sensation scored a career and season-high 35 points in Grapeland’s second game of the season against Little Centerville and finished the double-double with 12 rebounds and four assists.

Westwood had its problems with Willis when the two teams met up Nov. 29 at Panther Gymnasium.

Willis led a Grapeland comeback in the second half after the Sandiettes fell behind by 20 points at halftime. Willis recorded another double-double with a team-high 25 points and pulled down 10 rebounds against the Lady Panthers.

“We couldn’t stop her in the second half,” Westwood head coach Wade Holder said. “We tried everything on defense we could, but nothing would work.”

Willis worked her magic again in the opening round of the 2005 Grapeland Sandiette Basketball Classic.

In the first-round game against Iola, Willis aided the Sandiettes in fighting off a late Iola comeback in the fourth quarter.

Willis scored a game-high 24 points while shooting 50 percent from the floor, making 9-of-18 field goal attempts, and recorded nine steals in the 57-56 victory.

In district play, Willis created headaches for opposing District 21-2A teams. Against Frankston Dec. 20, Willis led the Sandiettes with 13 points, six steals and five rebounds and was 2-for-4 from behind the three-point line.

The young Sandiettes finished the season winning just four games with Willis but the future is shinning bright for the Grapeland girls’ basketball program.

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Michael S. Adams may be contacted via e-mail at sports2@palestineherald.com

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