By Clay Whittington
Harker Heights Herald
Harker Heights freshman Angelique Morgan recently received some lofty recognition from rival coaches by being named 12-6A All-District Girls Basketball Newcomer of the Year.
Additionally, Lady Knights head coach Shirretha Nelson was named the coach of the year.
Harker Heights improved from 5-9 last year in District 8-6A to 12-4 in 12-6A this season.
After a 1-2 start in district play, the Lady Knights won five straight to move to the top of the standings and remained in the hunt for the district title right up to the final day.
Harker Heights should be even better next season. Along with Morgan, the Lady Knights are returning all-district first-team selections Celise Bobbitt, Sierra Brooks and Brielle Dorsey. Second-team selections Destiny Pemberton and Emri Lovell will also be back.
The Lady Knights also had three potential returners earn honorable mention — junior Cynaye Bobbitt, junior Ziah Ambrose and freshman Empress Roberts.
Celise Bobbitt also received first-team honors a year ago.
Copperas Cove senior point guard Madison Griffon earned the top award, being named most valuable player, while Midway junior Shamaryah Duncan was named offensive player of the year. Killeen senior Mel Williams took the defensive honor.
Belton pitcher Taylor Tubbs pitched a perfect game for Belton on Wednesday, and it resulted in Harker Heights’ suffering an 11-0 road loss to the Lady Tigers.
The game was originally scheduled for Tuesday, but inclement weather forced the postponement.
With the loss, the Lady Knights fall to 4-4 overall and 1-1 in district.
Harker Heights resumes district play Tuesday, when they travel to play Killeen at 7 p.m.
The Knights cruised to a season-opening victory against visiting Shoemaker on Wednesday, defeating the Grey Wolves 8-0 behind a one-hit, 12-strikeout pitching performance from Spencer Young, who also hit a double.
After having the contest postponed a day due to inclement weather, Harker Heights scored four runs in the bottom of the first inning and was never challenged.
Joshua Ratcliffe was 3 for 3 with a pair of runs and a RBI in the win, while teammate Riley Bridenstine also scored twice.
The Knights conclude play at the three-day Weatherford/Aledo tournament Saturday before traveling to play Belton on Tuesday.
The Lady Knights suffered a 2-0 loss at home to Belton on Wednesday after the match was postponed a day due to inclement weather.
Belton scored once in each half en route to remaining atop the district standings with a 10-0 record.
Harker Heights falls to 2-6-1 in district heading into Friday’s match against Killeen.
After starting district competition with a nine-game unbeaten streak, the Knights suffered their first loss Tuesday, falling 2-0 at Belton.
Ivan Vargas and Cade Wenberg each scored for the district-leading Tigers. Vargas scored 10 minutes into the match with a header off a Simon Howe corner kick. Wenberg struck with 10 seconds left in the first half, assisted by Alexis Ibarra.
Despite the outcome, the third-place Knights (5-1-4 12-6A) remained three points in front of idle Waco (5-3-1).
Harker Heights hosts Killeen tonight.
The Harker Heights boys and girls bowling teams swept Shoemaker on Monday at Killeen Bowlerama to finish their district seasons unbeaten.
The Knights defeated the Grey Wolves 14-3. Jamal Mack averaged 240 and Josh Bacino 215 to lead the Knights (10-0) to a 6-1 lead after match play before taking three of four team games for the win.
Chris Riley II topped the scoring for the Grey Wolves, who finished at 6-4 and qualified for the third and final postseason berth.
The Lady Knights (10-0) rolled to a 16-1 win, led by Shyanne Ciesiolka’s 213 average.
Hallmark Lanes will host the regional tournament March 3 at 11 a.m. with teams from Killeen, Georgetown and Austin districts competing.