Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Azle swimming sends 10 to regionals

Lady Pines clinch postseason spot


Led by a new school record, the Azle High School swim program qualified nine swimmers for regionals from the District 5-5A Meet at the Northwest ISD Natatorium in Justin Friday, Jan. 26. They will next compete in the Region 2 Meet in Mansfield Feb. 9-10.

"We had a phenomenal District 5-5A meet!" exclaimed an excited Azle coach Amy Estes. "The district meet is a culmination of 100-plus practices at 5:45 a.m. beginning in August.

"UIL swimming is the longest sport. We travel to Decatur every day in order to have access to a pool. Our swimmers have to be dedicated and committed, and it is exciting to watch them experience this level of success."

Leading the qualifications is the girls 400-yard relay team of senior captains Peighton Berry and Brook Nawokowski, along with Kayley Brekel and Karla Rodriguez, who finished third with a school-record time of 4 minutes, 12.95 seconds. The quartet bested its own previous school record of 4:17.07 set Dec. 9.

The foursome also qualified with a third-place finish in the 200 freestyle relay. Berry also advanced individually by finishing third in the 200 freestyle and fourth in the 100 free, while Nawakowski was third in the 100 backstroke.

The 200 medley relay of senior captain Hailey Fox, along with Emory Hann, Kaylee Daniels and Haven Brown also qualified.

For the boys, Kalen McCullough qualified by finishing third in the 100 backstroke and fourth in the 50 free.

The top six finishers in each event advance from district to regionals. From regionals, the top two in each event qualify for state, along with the next eight fastest times from across all regions. State is Feb. 23-24 in Austin.


The Lady Pines (18-15, 3-4 in District 8-4A) split two games this past week, and in the process clinched a playoff berth. It's the first time since 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons that the Lady Pines have had back-to-back postseason berths.

“I'm really proud of our girls getting into the playoffs. Especially on Tuesday, getting a win over Lake Worth," coach David Sivadon said. "On top of our injuries, we had three others sick and only had five regular varsity players.

"We had three girls step up big for us. Now we work on improving to try and get a better seed and playoff win.”

The week began with a 58-52 home victory against Lake Worth, a game that featured a 28-5 third quarter run by Springtown. Esther Balado scored 19 points with nine rebounds, four steals and two blocks. Chloe Kirk scored 17; Paige Winstead scored eight with four assists; Allison Ford scored seven with nine rebounds and five assists; and Brylynn Bazzell grabbed 19 rebounds, including 13 offensive.

The Lady Pines had 46 rebounds, of which 27 were offensive boards. They also forced 36 turnovers, which included 20 steals.

In an 87-22 loss at league-leading Decatur, No. 7 in the state in 4A, Balado scored 14 points with five rebounds.

The Lady Pines are one win away from clinching their first winning season since 2013-14. They are just two victories away from their first 20-win season since 2009-10.

Springtown, which has clinched no worse than fourth in district, hosts third-place Bridgeport Friday, Feb. 2, and travels to Castleberry Feb. 6 to end the regular season. Tipoff in both games is 6:15 p.m.


The Porcupines (15-10, 3-2 in District 8-4A) continue to hold onto third place in district after a thrilling 44-42 loss at runner-up Decatur Friday, Jan. 26. Previously, in an 83-28 home victory over Lake Worth, senior Dayne Thompson scored the 2,000th point of his high school career.

Thompson led the scoring against the Bullfrogs with 30 points, while Dylan Crutchfield scored 20. Braylon Easter led against Decatur with 11 and Thompson added 10.

Decatur started out red hot in the first half while Springtown struggled to get anything going offensively. The script was flipped in the second half as the Porcupines battled back from a 15-point halftime deficit (32-17) to take the lead with just under a minute left.

Unfortunately for Springtown, a foul allowed Decatur to tie the game and the Eagles regained the lead with 20 seconds left. Despite Decatur being outscored by the Pines 25-12 in the second half, Springtown was unable to complete the comeback win.

Springtown hosts Bridgeport Friday, Feb. 2 and travels to fourth-place Castleberry Tuesday, Feb. 6. Both games tip off at 7:30 p.m.


The Lady Hornets (14-15, 3-6 in District 5-5A) posted a pair of victories, winning 54-44 at Wichita Falls Rider Jan. 23 and 50-24 at home against Northwest Jan. 26.

Abbey Natusch paced the win over Rider with 14 points, with Cheryl Grubbs scoring 12 and Vielka Gonzalez adding eight. Grubbs led against Northwest with 15 and Gonzalez scored seven.

Azle, Saginaw (3-6 in district) and Northwest (3-7) are battling for the fourth playoff berth from 5-5A. The Lady Hornets were playing at Saginaw, who defeated them 37-36 in Azle Jan. 5, at press time. Azle and Northwest split and Northwest split games with Saginaw.

The Lady Hornets host Aledo Feb. 2 at 6:15 p.m. and host Brewer Feb. 6 at 6:30 p.m. to end the regular season.

The JV defeated Rider 42-36 and the freshmen defeated Northwest 43-20.


The Hornets tied 1-1 in a contest at Wichita Falls Rider Jan. 23. Statistics from the match were not available at press time. Braden Forsythe scored Azle's goal off an assist by Anthony Rodriguez.

"Wichita Falls is highly ranked in most coaches’ polls, so going there on a weekday was already a daunting task. Wichita Falls came out to apply pressure from the very first minute. They held the ball well and really tested our defensive abilities," Azle coach Diego Oliveros said. "Both goalkeepers Evan Calvert and Dylan Dorris had some great interventions to keep us level.

"Our defense held on and we kept a clean sheet in the second half. A draw that very much felt like a win for us."

Azle (4-4-1) travels to Wichita Falls Rider Feb. 2 for a 5:45 start, then visits Northwest Feb. 6 at 7:30 p.m.


The Lady Hornets (7-2-1) continued their strong start to the season with a 2-1 home win over Wichita Falls Jan. 23. Lily Hudman scored the game-winning goal with an assist from Sophie McIntyre.

Sarae Perez also scored a goal.

Azle visits Wichita Falls Rider Feb. 2 with a 3:30 p.m. start and hosts Northwest Feb. 6 with a 5:30 p.m. start.


The Fighting Crusaders (18-10, 3-1 in TAPPS 2-1A) split two games this past week, falling 65-32 at Weatherford Victory Baptist Jan. 23 and winning 34-25 at Granbury Cornerstone Jan. 26, a game in which they trailed 20-14 at the half.

Andy Wisniewski led the scoring in both game with 13 against Victory Baptist and 22 against Cornerstone. Jake Schartvedt scored nine against Victory.

ACS hosts Valor Prep Academy Feb. 3 at 1:15 p.m. and Waxahachie Prep Feb. 6 at 7:30 p.m.


The Porcupines (1-6-1) dropped a 4-1 contest at Mineral Wells Jan. 23 and came away with a 2-2 tie at Wichita Falls Hirschi Jan. 26. Statistics were not available at press time.

Springtown opens District 8-4A play at Bridgeport Feb. 2 at 7:15 p.m., followed by a visit to Collegiate Academy Feb. 6 at 5:30 p.m.


The Lady Pines (6-3) had no games scheduled this past week. They host Bridgeport in their District 8-4A opener Feb. 2 and visit Collegiate Academy Feb. 6, both games starting at 5:30 p.m.


The Hornets (4-22, 0-8 in District 5-5A) fell 58-26 at Wichita Falls Rider Jan. 23 and 60-42 at home to Northwest Jan. 26.

Against Northwest, Cason Cook led with 14 points, while Britt Haas added 10. Stats were not available against Rider.

The Hornets host Aledo Feb. 2 and visit Brewer Feb. 6, both games tipping off at 7:30 p.m.


The Lady Hornets took home second place as a team at their home meet Jan. 24. Ryleigh Myers, Ella Swaim, Raegan Williams, Cooper Yates and Ryann Baker finished first in their respective weight classes. Kyndal Robbins, Haley Carlson and Jessie Johnson took home second, with Mckynleigh Sisk, Hannah Johns, and Ryleigh Cire all finishing third. Williams also received the best overall lifter award for the light platforms.

“We are so proud of all our Lady Hornet lifters, and we look forward to the rest of the season,” said coach Tanner Street.