LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - The UIL girls basketball tournaments are down to just 16 teams in each division. Six of them are right here in deep East Texas. Here is a short preview of each game at this weekend's region tournaments.
Nacogdoches Central Heights 50, #4 Centerville 58, FINAL/DOUBLE OVERTIME
The Central Heights Lady Blue Devils have made another deep playoff run. After wins over Hemphill and Harmony, Central Heights is headed back to the familiar territory of the regional tournament at SFA.
"Last year was huge getting to a regional tournament," said head coach Ashley Brown. "Like I told my team, they have kind of started a tradition and made the other girls believe that they can get here every year."
Brown thinks that last year's experience will help this year's squad.
"It was an awesome experience last year and I am glad to be back," said Brown. "I think that does help us, keep us steady a little bit"
Central Heights is the underdog facing #4 Centerville. But that doesn't bother Brown.
"You never know at regional, anything can happen anyone can beat anyone."
#6 Crockett 46 #14 Crawford 48, Final
We were unable to contact Coach Gary Watkins before their big game against Crawford. However, we will have highlights of the Lady Bulldogs game from the Johnson Coliseum Friday night on KTRE news.
#2 Martinsville 30, #8 Slocum 44, FINAL
The undefeated Martinsville Lady Pirates did not stop with just a perfect regular season. Coach Danny Enloe and the girls are now focused on bigger goals.
"The state tournament is something that we are focused on now," said senior Gabby Spencer. "We have a big game on Friday and another on Saturday so we have to get through those first. But we are not nervous. I mean, we are just ready for the next step."
And while the girls may seem calm, the town is at a fever pitch with support for their team.
"It is exciting around here," said senior Taylor Enloe. "Everyone comes up and hugs you, everyone is excited. Our whole town loves it."
"We've got little kids running around screaming for us," said Spencer. "And even more fans screaming and going crazy in the stands."
As a part of the first undefeated team in school history Enloe says she is proud of what she is leaving behind.
"Everyone says we have made history," said Enloe. "And I know we are leaving a legacy."
#1 Martin's Mill 53, #15 Zavalla 46, FINAL
Joining Martinsville at Tyler Junior College are the Zavalla Lady Eagles. Head coach Jan West reached a big milestone earlier this season, locking down her 500th win at Zavalla. Now the team says their focus is on trying to take down the #1 team in the state, Martin's Mill.
"We don't really think it is intimidating anymore because we are so used to it," said West. "I mean for 7 straight years they have been the Region 3 rep, so it almost like a given. If you are going to get there you have to go through them."
Coach West and the girls say they are confident in themselves after getting experiencing facing this same team in this same spot just two years ago.
"I think two years ago when we went and played them in this round, we were nervous wrecks," said West. "And I think those kids learned from that and I think they realize that we just have to go play."
"We have grown up a lot since then," said senior Shelby Kay. "We have gotten much better as a team at playing together. Last time we were there was sophomore year. But we are ready to show martins mill how much we have improved and show them what we've got."
What they've got, besides skill on the court is a ton of fan support from their community in the stands.
"It is good every year because we are a small town," said senior Sara Dugat. "Everyone gets pumped up for it. And when you make it this far, our town makes us feel really good about it."
The team knows they are in the underdog roll, but the Lady Eagles want to try and steal a page straight out of Hollywood on Friday.
"It's like no one expects the underdog to win," said junior Caitlyn Lambert. "But every movie I have ever seen the underdog always takes the lead."
#14 Chireno 69 Rocksprings 73, Final
In 1A Division 2 Chireno is in for a long drive to New Braunfels for their region tournament. One Lady Owl explains how the team is feeling the night before their big game against Rocksprings.
"It is amazing, it is my senior year and I am glad to make it this far with these girls," said senior Evelyn Gonzalez. "I am ready to get the game going. I'm a little nervous but there is more excitement than nerves."
Others with the Lady Owls told us about the amazing fan support around town.
"We have always been a basketball school and it awesome," said junior Lauren Lee. "I love everyone coming out and support us, it helps us so much at the games."
"The fan support here in Chireno is phenomenal," said Coach Terry Parker. "I think we have the best fans in Texas. They come they are prepared, and stay the entire game. I just hope we can do something really big for them."
Leggett 61, #25 Leakey 67, FINAL
The Leggett Lady Pirates have run through Calvert and Evant in back to back games through these playoffs so far. Coach Terri Barlow and the team have already left for New Braunfels, but over the phone she said:
"It's great to be one of the teams still representing our area. It's unbelievable to be two games away from state. But we are not nervous at all after our last couple of big wins."
We will have many of the highlights and all of the scores on KTRE news at 6 p.m. & 10 p.m. Friday, plus continuous updates to ktre.com.