The North Crowley Men’s Basketball Team is off to a fast start for the 2018-19 season… At 14-2 (1-0 in Dist. 4-6A play) your Panthers are currently ranked 9th in the state in the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches’ state rankings. If you haven’t noticed, it may be due to the fact that the Panthers have been “road warriors” so far this season which makes the 14-2 start even that much more impressive. Below are the early season updates on how the Panthers have fared.
The Cowtown Tipoff – On November 9th-10th, North Crowley Men’s Basketball hosted one of the premier HS Basketball events in the state if not the nation. Thousands of HS Basketball enthusiasts made their way to NCHS’ Panther Fieldhouse to see some of the Nations top high school athletes perform in front of standing room only crowds! The Panthers defeated Fort Worth rival FW Dunbar 85-63 to open the event & then defeated cross-town rival Crowley HS 80-46 to close the event. The event also featured a .30 second shot clock, as the Cowtown Tipoff & North Crowley Basketball were selected by the UIL to continue to pilot it’s use & record data for further UIL studies. The win over Crowley marked the 18th straight Panther win the rivalry dating back to the 1999-2000 season.
McDonald’s Texas Invitational – The very next weekend, the Panthers traveled to Houston to participate in this invitation only tournament that includes many of the top teams from all across the state of Texas. The Panthers opened pool play with a 70-49 win over Converse Judson & a 75-67 win over Fort Bend High Tower. Gold bracket play saw the Panthers drop their first game of the year to Houston Sam Houston 64-66… it was a tough battle between 2 top 10 ranked 6A programs in the state. The Panthers went on to win the consolation championship of the gold bracket with back to back wins over Humble 64-48 & Mansfield Summit 53-42. The Panthers returned to the metroplex with a 6-1 overall record.
Match game vs FW Eastern Hills – The Panthers returned to Fort Worth a bit sluggish after an extremely taxing Texas Invitational Tourn. but still held on for a decisive road win 60-31 over FW Eastern Hills at Billignsley Field House. The win over Eastern Hills was the Panthers 18th straight win over Fort Worth ISD schools. The last time they dropped a game to a Fort Worth ISD opponent was on the road to FW Paschal on Feb. 7th, 2014.
Robert Hughes Sr. Hall of Fame Shootout – Next the Panthers were schedule to play in the marquee game in the inaugural year of the Robert Hughes Sr. Hall of Fame Shootout hosted by the Fort Worth Metropolitan Black Chamber of Commerce vs FW Dunbar at Wilkerson Greines Activity Center on Robert Hughes Court. The Flying Wildcats who were at the time ranked 10th in the state played with a lot of emotion and pride in honor of their storied former coach, but the Panthers were just too much down the stretch. North Crowley held on for 66-59 victory over FW Dunbar. The win was the Panthers 8th straight over FW Dunbar dating back to Dec. 14th, 2005 when the Wildcats won a 99-96 OT thriller over the Panthers at the Wilk.
Mansfield ISD’s Spring Creek BBQ Classic – If there was a tournament tougher in the state that the Texas Invitational scheduled for 2018-19, it may very well have been the the one in Mansfield ISD hosted by Spring Creek BBQ. The field of teams came in from all areas of the state. With top ranked programs from Denton, El Paso, Amarillo, San Antonio, Houston, Austin & of course the Greater Dallas/Fort Worth Area… this tournament was stacked top to bottom. The Panthers opened bracket play with a 71-62 when over College Park from The Woodlands. In the second round, the Panthers faced and defeated state ranked Frisco Liberty handily by a final of 73-47. Third round? The Panthers were on a course to meet top 10 ranked Duncanville, but Mansfield HS pulled off the upset in their quarter-finals game vs DHS. The Panthers knocked off last year’s district foe Mansfield Tigers 53-44 to advance to the semi-finals of the tournament. In the semis, NC faced and defeated state ranked Killeen Shoemaker 54-36 to advance to the finals of the Mansfield ISD Spring Creek BBQ Classic vs tournament host Mansfield Timberview who had knocked off #1 ranked Denton Guyer in their semifinals game. The Panthers battled back from behind for the majority of the game to make it interesting in the 4th quarter, but came up short 61-71 to the Timberview Wolves who are currently the #1 ranked 5A team in the state at 16-0. The Panthers had only competed in the Mansfield ISD Tournament on 1 other occasion in 2011 when they won the tournament with a thrilling 61-55 win over Texas A&M Consolidated.
District 4-6A Game vs Arlington – Last Tuesday, the Panthers opened Dist. 4-6A play much earlier than usual due to the UIL’s Realignement for 2018-2020 which put North Crowley in a 9 team district instead of the usual 8 team format with a home game vs the Arlington Colts. The Panthers won the game, which was a back and forth battle, as they went 9-12 from the line in the 4th quarter to hold on for the 56-45 victory. The Panthers have been dominant in both district play where they have an all-time record of 259-22 all-time vs district opponents, including 16 district championships in the last 18 seasons. The Panthers have been equally as dominant at NCHS’ Panther Fieldhouse boasting an all-time home record of 202-13 in the 20+ seasons the school has been open.
Ozark Mountain Shootout – This past weekend, the Panthers took their show to a national platform as they traveled to Springfield Missouri after accepting an invitation to participate in the Ozark Mountain Shootout. The event hosted some of the top teams from Missouri, Kansas, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Illinois & North Crowley representing Texas. The Panthers were scheduled to play Illinois state ranked Kankakee HS who entered the contest with a 5-1 overall record and a 23 point average margin of victory. North Crowley jumped on the “Fighting Kays” early with a 19-2 first quarter lead and never looked back as the Panthers brought home the 66-51 victory for the Lone Star State.
Upcoming events – The Panthers return to District 4-6A action on Tuesday night when they travel to Arl. Bowie HS to take on the Bowie Volunteers. On Friday, they return home to Panther Fieldhouse to play FW Paschal. The Panthers conclude first semester action on Tuesday, Dec. 18th when they travel to FWISD’s Billingsley Fieldhouse to play FW YMLA. All district games are scheduled to start at 7:30pm. After Christmas, the North Crowley Men’s Basketball Program has accepted an invitation and is scheduled to fly to Myrtle Beach, SC to participate in the nationally renowned Beach Ball Classic!
Follow us on the following social media accounts:
Twitter – @NCBasketball
InstaGram – NC_Panther_Basketball
FaceBook – North Crowley Men’s Basketball – The Official Fan Page
WebSite – www.NorthCrowleyAthletics.com