Posted by : January 29, 2015
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Monitor Photo/Brenda Votalato
Mabank sophomore Jordan Thomas extends his arm, completing a layup Feb. 23 against Athens.
Dominant junior scores 30 points in victory
By Erik Walsh
Monitor Sports Editor
MABANK–The Mabank Panthers showed they are contenders for the 4A District 13 title by coming out to the court with an explosive 22-point first quarter and holding on for a 62-58 victory over the Athens Hornets Jan. 23 at Panthers Gym.
Mabank junior Dalton Burleson was dominant, gaining a game-high 30 points and 10 rebounds in the Panthers win. The excellent performance puts Burleson in the early conversation for All-District Superlative honors. He was a particular menace in the lane, providing offensive and defensive force that the Hornets were not able to stop.
The Panthers came out on fire and built a 14-point, 22-8 lead over Athens after the first quarter. The Hornets, however, buzzed back. The Hornets cut its deficit in the second quarter and were only down 32-29 at halftime.
The hornets quickly tied the score at the start of the second half with a three-pointer. The game remained tight the rest of the duration, when at 1:30 remaining in the fourth quarter Mabank’s Mark Driskell hit a key basket and pair of free throws to take a multiple possession lead. Athens made it close by nailing a three-pointer, but Burleson iced the game with just seconds remaining with a fast break dunk.
Leading scorers for Mabank were Burleson, 30 points; Jordan Thomas, 15 points; Mark Driskell, six points and Elliot Jackson, six points; Cole Smith, three points and Peyton Lee, two points. The win lifts Mabank’s record to 12-13 overall and 1-1 in district play. The Panthers are back in action Jan. 30 in Ferris.
Posted by : January 18, 2015
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Largemouth bass angler Mark Stevenson, of Alba, caught Ethel, the first entry into the ShareLunker program, in 1986. More than 500 13-pound or larger largemouth bass have been entered into the program.
Caught first ShareLunker entry, Ethel
Special to The Monitor
ATHENS–The angler who caught the first entry into Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s (TPWD) ground-breaking big bass angler recognition program and the organization responsible for Texas having a year-around rainbow trout fishery will be inducted into the Texas Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame in June in Athens.
Fishing guide Mark Stevenson of Alba is best known for his catch of the first entry into TPWD’s ShareLunker program in 1986.
The 17.67-pound largemouth bass from Lake Fork, known as Ethel, was the state record at the time and achieved international fame during her subsequent residence at the Bass Pro Shops store in Springfield, Mo.
Her presence there fueled a growing nationwide interest in bass fishing, resulting in an economic impact of billions of dollars.
Two-thirds of Texas’ 1.7 million anglers are primarily bass fishers, and sales of fishing licenses and taxes on fishing-related items generate millions of dollars for conservation.
Also to be inducted is Guadalupe River Trout Unlimited (GRTU), the largest Trout Unlimited chapter in the nation with more than 5,000 members.
GRTU has been the driving force behind the development of a year-round rainbow trout fishery on the Guadalupe River, listed as one of America’s top 100 trout streams in 2013.
TPWD studies show this fishery has an annual economic impact of $1.9 million on the local economy, but GRTU’s contributions go much further. The organization maintains a leadership role in conservation and development of public access to the fishery.
GRTU leases access points along the river from landowners and businesses, and uses fees from anglers to pay the lease fees and purchase approximately 12,000 pounds of large rainbow trout for stocking into the river each year.
These fish become public property and are available for anyone to catch. GRTU also funds scientific studies of the fishery and supports a number of educational programs for young people, including Trout in the Classroom and Trout Camp.
The organization also contributes to such programs as Casting for Recovery, Reel Recovery and Project Healing Waters. GRTU also supports conservation efforts nationwide, working with other Trout Unlimited chapters.
Stevenson has organized fishing trips for numerous charitable organizations, including the Make-a-Wish Foundation, Dallas CAN Academy, Project Action Benefit and Turning POINT.
He has worked with the Lake Fork Sportsman’s Association to enhance the Lake Fork fishery.
Stevenson’s name will forever be associated with arguably the most famous fish ever caught.
Ethel’s presence at Bass Pro Shops brought millions of visitors to see her and sparked a rise in the company’s fortunes, which now has more than 60 stores.
Posted by : January 15, 2015
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By Erik Walsh
Monitor Sports Editor
KAUFMAN—The Mabank Lady Panthers began district play on a winning note with a 42-31 victory over the host Kaufman Lady Lions Jan. 9 in Kaufman.
The Lady Panthers (14-9) hit the road for the second consecutive game, this time with the short trip down U.S. Highway 175 to face the Lady Lions. With the pre-district schedule and its tournaments behind them, the Mabank girls had their goal set on taking an early advantage in the standings.
The action explosed in the first quarter with Mabank outpacing its rivals 15-12 to gain momentum heading in the second quarter. The Lady Panthers defense clamped down on Kaufman in the second quarter, allowing only six, points while the offense scored 13 points of its own, bringing the score to 28-18 Mabank at halftime.
The first half lead proved to be valuable for the Lady Panthers, as the Lady Lions surged in the third quarter, closing the spread to within just six points. Kaufman held Mabank to four points in the third quarter, while scoring eight points to bring the score to 32-26 at the end of the third.
However, Mabank pulled away in the final frame, scoring twice as many points as Kaufman. The Lady Panthers scored 10 points in the fourth quarter and allowed only five to Kaufman.
Junior Carson Marsh and senior Meagan Holyfield led Mabank in scoring. Each eclipsed double digit tallies. Marsh finished the game with 16 points on 3-12 shooting from the field (1-5 on three point shots). Marsh fared much better from the charity stripe, nailing 9-12 free throws. Marsh added one assist, three rebounds and four steals. Meagan Holyfield scored 12 points on 3-7 shooting from the field and 6-13 from the free throw line. She added five rebounds and three steals.
Other scorers and statistical contributors include Jessica Vess (six points on 3-4 shooting, one assist, six rebounds and one steal), Madison Holyfield (six points on 2-3 shooting, 2-3 free throws, two assists, six rebounds and two steals) and Jill Odom (two points on 1-6 shooting, one assist, one rebound and two steals).