Last week Ballinger hosted the Coahoma Bulldogs and the Wall Hawks. Against Coahoma the Bearcats were victorious 76-42, but after leading for much of the game fell to the #12 Wall Hawks 57-55.
Xavier Nunez continues to be a revelation for Coach Jamaal Anene this year. A late season football injury sidelined Xavier for the majority of non-district play, he has played tremendous basketball since his return. He was touted as being a great scorer, but the biggest aspect of his game is his tenacity on the boards. His hard work as an undersized players gives the Bearcats more 2nd chance opportunities and chances for points on the board.
Against Coahoma Xavier and Chance Parker provided the one-two punch for the Bearcats, each with a double-double. Xavier had 13 points with 10 rebounds while Chance had 18 points with 11 rebounds. Other big contributors for Ballinger were Marcus Toliver with 10 points and 8 rebounds, Ty Sensabaugh with 7 points and 11 rebounds, as well as Edgar Nunez with 7 points, 6 assists and 2 steals.
The Wall contest was expected to be a very good one as the Wall Hawks are again one of the top ranked 3A teams in the state of Texas this season with the Bearcats looking to be slightly underrated so far.
Ballinger started strong in the first quarter with the score 22-16. Ballinger led by as many as 10 points throughout the period. Scoring would slow down in the second and third quarters as Ballinger was never able to pull away and extend the lead. A fourth quarter rally for the Hawks would be Ballinger’s undoing. With a seven point lead going in to the final quarter the Bearcats were unable to fight off the constant barrage from the Hawks and a 15-24 final quarter would prove to be just enough for Wall to pull out the two point victory.
Edgar Nunez led the scoring for Ballinger with 14 points followed by Chance Parker, Deaundre Manley and Xavier Nunez all with 10. Rebonds were sparse as Parker was the only Bearcat able to reach double digits with 12.
Ballinger travels to TLCA on January 16th before returning home to host Grape Creek January 19 and Reagan County January 26. The Bearcats will return to the road January 30 at Wall in a game that will likely decide the district champion.