Nacogdoches County embraces home court advantage

NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - In past Pineywood Showdowns, it's been a dominant winning streak held by both the Angelina County boys and girls.

Never have the Nacogdoches County boys or girls managed to pull out the win, but they're hoping things will change this year now that Angelina will have to come play on their home ground.

"That makes a big difference. That's what we always have always had to go through in Nacogdoches," said LJ Barnes from Nacogdoches. "When we play in Nacogdoches, our fans come through. We hope to be loud, and if we can get live, we can get the win."

Central Heights head coach Ashley Brown will feel right at home coaching the Nacogdoches girls team this year, as the game will be hosted at Central Heights High School in Nacogdoches.

"I think that will help being a little more local this year," said Brown. "It will be fun and hopefully we have a good crowd."

"We got it in our county and I feel like we got a good group of girls, and a good coach this year," said Lauren Lee from Chireno. "I think we may take home the win."

The Nacogdoches County boys have referred back to Nacogdoches upsetting Lufkin in football this year, as a prime example of what they anticipate to happen in this year's showdown.

"We will have the same luck and pull off the upset against Angelina County," said Patrick Sanders from Nacogdoches.

Playing on the road doesn't seem to be a concern for the Angelina County boys, and they're confident they can bring a crowd of their own to make it feel like home.

"Our fans at Angelina are going to be just as loud, if not crazier and it won't effect any of us," said Chase Ponson from Central. "We've played in hard atmospheres and I believe we're going to bring it too. It's not going to affect us."

"I'm use to that gym. I've played a lot of tournaments and a lot of regular games against Central Heights," said Mitchell England from Hudson. "Knowing how all these guys play, I really don't think it will effect them that much."

The Angelina girls say they are just as familiar with playing at Central Heights.

"There's always a bunch of people, it's loud, it's crazy," said Katie Davis from Huntington. "I know it's going to be at Central Heights and Central Heights fans are always crazy. I'm sure there's going to be a bunch of them there."

Fans from Central Heights, Nacogdoches County and Angelina County, all have one more chance to come out and get rowdy for their respective teams.

The Pineywood Showdown will be this Thursday. The girls play at 6 p.m. and the boys game will start immediately after. Admission is $5 at the door. Children ages 5 and under get in free.

Below are the coaches, charities and rosters for the game:

Angelina girls:

Coached by Laura Jones of Diboll

Playing for Boys & Girls Club of Diboll and Lufkin

2 Sara Gunter, Central

3 Lexxus Hamilton, Diboll

4 Katie Davis, Huntington

10 Paige Funderburk, Hudson

12 Tiara Robinson Lufkin

14 Ciara Harrison, Lufkin

20 Latisha Collins, Lufkin

22 Madison Selman, Hudson

23 Maddison Graham, Huntington

24 Jessica Gillespie, Huntington

25 Shelby Finch, Central

33 Caitlyn Lamber, Zavalla

Angelina boys:

Coached by JT McManus of Lufkin

Playing for Harold's House

2 Brandon Mitchell, Diboll

3 Logan Nerren, Huntington

4 JaMarcus Horace, Lufkin

10 Sammy Scott, Diboll

11 Davis Robinson, Lufkin

12 Jalil Jones, Pineywoods Academy

13 Michael Day, Zavalla

15 DJ Gibson, Lufkin

23 Mitchell England, Hudson

24 Chase Ponson, Central

25 George Brown, Central

32 Brandon Carver, Central

Nacogdoches girls:

Coached by Ashley Brown of Central Heights

Playing for Godtel

1 Nacogoches Emauzja Johnson

2 Jasia Berry, Garrison

3 Christy Whitaker, Nacogdoches

5 Hannah Kimbrough, Garrison

20 Kasha Grigsby, Nacogdoches

23 Mackenzie Tucker, Cushing

24 Claire Pinkston, Woden

32 Justice Lockett, Chireno

45 Lauren Lee, Chireno

Nacogdoches boys:

Coached by Dayna Westbrook, Douglass

Playing for Glory Gang Ministries

3 Kwa Jones, Nacogdoches

5 Patrick Sanders, Nacogdoches

10 Lane Williams, Cushing

11 William Rogers, Garrison

12 Bryce Westbrook, Douglass

13 Josh Johnson, Woden

22 LJ Barnes, Nacogdoches

23 Tanner Garner, Central Heights

25 Keaton Foteno, Central Heights

33 Brandon Alvis, Chireno

34 Tim Ham, Douglass

50 James Hill, Martinsville

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