Zack Shaver scored 21 points, Eli Pittman and Shane Roach added 17 apiece and the Salado Eagles upset No. 17 Liberty Hill 79-74 on Tuesday in Salado to move into a first-place tie with the Panthers in District 27-4A.
It was the fifth straight win for Salado since an 86-59 beatdown in Liberty Hill on Jan. 11 in the 27-4A opener.
The Eagles (5-1 27-4A) clearly put that behind them, and were unfazed Tuesday by the Panthers' long-range barrage. Liberty Hill made 25 baskets, and 17 of them were 3-pointers.
Carson Perkins made seven of them and led all scorers with 25 points. Kaleb Bannon added six 3s to finish with 18 points.
Liberty Hill made seven of their triples in the final period as it tried to rally from a 58-52 deficit, but the Eagles made 8 of 9 free throws to hold on down the stretch.
Pittman made five of Salado's seven 3-pointers. Peyton Miller added 12 points for Salado, and Reece Brown had nine.
Liberty Hill had won eight straight since losing in a tournament on Dec. 28.
CHINA SPRING 55, GATESVILLE 41: At China Spring, Macie Reeves scored 20 points and the Lady Cougars clinched a playoff spot with a sweep of the Hornets.
The two teams could still finish in a fourth-place tie if Gatesville (2-6 18-4A) wins its remaining two games and China Spring (4-4) loses its remaining games, but the Lady Cougars now have the head-to-head tiebreaker.
Ainsley Warren and Allaiya Jones each had nine points for the Hornets, who were ranked 20th before falling out of the rankings on Jan. 7.
NO. 22 LIBERTY HILL 45, SALADO 42: At Salado, four days after their 58-game district winning streak ended, the Lady Panthers had to rally in the fourth quarter to avoid a losing streak.
Buoyed by the celebration of its 1998-99 and 2008-09 state tournament teams, Salado jumped out to a 25-15 halftime lead.
Kaia Philen led the Lady Eagles with 10 points. Lorena Perez added nine points and eight rebounds.
Salado (3-5 27-4A) can clinch a playoff spot with a win at Taylor on Friday.
ELLISON 6, SHOEMAKER 4: At Ellison, Ethan Buchanan scored four goals, the last giving the Eagles the lead for good in a wild victory, Ellison's first in District 12-6A play.
Justice Vinton and Maurice Williams also scored for Ellison (4-5-2, 1-3-1, 5 pts 12-6A).
Buchanan, Ellison's all-time leading scorer, now has 38 career goals, and 19 now in his junior season. He is two shy of the Eagles' single-season scoring record.
Ellison trailed 2-0 early and managed to tie it at 2 with 33 seconds left in the opening half, only to see Shoemaker move back in front just 16 seconds later.
The teams continued trading goals in the second half until Buchanan put his fourth into the net, assisted by Frank Chiribel, to break a 4-4 tie.
Twenty seconds later, Williams added an insurance tally.
Chiribel finished with two assists. Gaven Myers also had an assist.
Shoemaker fell to 1-2-1 (5 pts) in 12-6A.
WACO 2, HARKER HEIGHTS 2 (Waco wins on penalties): Miguel Primero and Justin Williams scored for the Knights (2-0-2, 5 pts 12-6A), who picked up a point for the tie.
Primero scored his fourth of the season.
WACO MIDWAY 4, COPPERAS COVE 1: At Hewitt, Brandon Sargent scored for Cove (1-3-1, 4 pts 12-6A), assisted by James Ross.
Midway (4-0, 12 pts 12-6A) remained atop the district standings.
SALADO 10, ACADEMY 0: At Salado, Maria Pauer had a hat trick and the Lady Eagles opened District 27-4A play with a rout.
Avery Wright and Lauren Wilson split time in goal for the shutout.
Madison Spradlin added two goals. Hannah Reavis, Lydia Smith, Aubrey Heffner, Presley Maddux and Anna Lesley also scored for Salado.
ELLISON 3, SHOEMAKER 1: At Shoemaker, Crystal Rodriguez scored twice and the Lady Eagles improved to 3-1-1 (11 pts) in 12-6A play.
Daniela Perez also scored for Ellison, which trails 12-6A co-leaders Belton and Waco Midway by one point.
Former Copperas Cove stars and NFL alums Josh Boyce and Brelan Chancellor were on hand to present awards at the Copperas Cove football banquet Monday.
Several of the awards have been named for former Bulldawg stars like Boyce and Chancellor.
Quarterback Easton Simpson took home the Charles Tillman MVP Award. Simpson was also honored with the Superintendent's Award for having the highest grade-point average.
Jaylan Brown took two honors: The Lamar Morgan Defensive Player of the Year and the Howard Hodges Defensive Line Award.
Tommy Connell also was honored twice, taking the Brelan Chancellor Special Teams Award and the Tim Atchison Defensive Back Award.
Running back Shontez Simmons earned the Robert Griffin III Offensive Player of the Year award.
Micah Cox won the Vontez Duff Running Back Award. Nate David took the T.J. Hollowell Linebacker Award. Other winners were Trevor Troy (Logan Brock OL/TE Award), Quinton Lewis (Josh Boyce Receiver Award), McKenzie Agnelo (Sophomore of the Year) and Tigris Stewart (Scout Team Player of the Year.)
- Copperas Cove 55, Harker Heights 48
- Ellison 69, Belton 44
- No. 16 Shoemaker 65, Waco Midway 53
- Waco 59, Temple 49
- China Spring 75, Gatesville 65
- Lorena 67, Robinson 33
- Waco La Vega 50, Waco Connally 46
- Salado 79, No. 17 Liberty Hill 74
- Taylor 36, Lampasas 34
- Belton 55, Ellison 40
- Copperas Cove 58, Harker Heights 53, OT
- Temple 52, Waco 30
- Waco Midway 49, Shoemaker 32
- China Spring 55, Gatesville 41
- No. 14 Lorena 45, No. 20 Robinson 31
- Waco Connally 55, Waco La Vega 37
- Burnet 84, Austin Eastside Memorial 17
- No. 23 Lampasas 61, Taylor 25
- No. 22 Liberty Hill 45, Salado 42
- Ellison 6, Shoemaker 4
- Temple 2, Killeen 0
- Waco 2, Harker Heights 2 (Waco wins on penalties)
- Waco Midway 4, Copperas Cove 1
- Gatesville 5, Marlin 0
- Salado 7, Academy 0
- Gatesville 0, Taylor 0, tie
- Ellison 3, Shoemaker 1
- Temple 6, Killeen 0
- Waco Midway 2, Copperas Cove 0
- Salado 10, Academy 0