Coming into the sixth annual Pineywoods Showdown, the talk was over whether a Nacogdoches County team could end the winless drought to their Angelina County counterparts.
But the talk after the event turned into how Nacogdoches County reigned dominant, with both teams winning by a combined margin of 38 points.
The Nac girls team, led by Coach Ashley Brown of Central Heights, didn't leave much doubt following a 67-36 win.
"We came together as a team really well. I think Coach Brown wrapped us together and after all our long practices, and working together, it made us come together well," said Justice Lockett, from the Nacogdoches girls team.
It was no surprise to the Nac girls, as they said many times before the game that this was the year they would beat Angelina.
"It was very exciting. We had a coach that taught us everything and it was good to come, together and be able to back up our words of saying we were going to win, and then actually winning," said Emauzja Johnson, from the Nacogdoches girls team.
"It didn't have anything to do with me. Those girls came out and worked hard. I just happen to be the coach this year," said Brown. "They just wanted it. Every loose ball, every rebound, they knew what they had to do, and they came out and did it. It was great. I was glad I was able to coach this year because that's an awesome group of girls. They are so great individually, they love God, they work hard, you couldn't ask for any better kids."
The Nac girls lead the whole game, but Angelina was able to keep it within six points at half.
But the Nac girls, came out firing in the third quarter as they out scored Angelina, led by Diboll's Laura Jones, by a 21-3 margin.
Lauren Lee of Chireno led all scorers with 19 points. Other scorers for Nacogdoches County were Justice Lockett of Chireno with 15, Mackenzie Tucker of Cushing with 13, Jasia Berry of Garrison with eight, Emauzja Johnson of Nacogdoches with seven, Christy Whitaker of Nacogdoches with four and Hannah Kimbrough of Garrison with one.
Lexxus Hamilton of Diboll led Angelina County with 11 points, followed by Jessica Gillespie of Huntington with six, Shelby Finch of Central and Caitlyn Lambert of Zavalla with five, Katie Davis of Huntingtong with three and Sara Gunter of Central, Tiara Robinsin of Lufkin, Latisha Collins of Lufkin with two.
For the first time in Showdown history, a boys team was coached by a woman. Dayna Westbrook saw her son lead all scorers with 23 points.
The boys' game was a back-and-forth affair, as Nac lead 16-12 after the first quarter, Angelina, who was coached by Lufkin's JT McManus, led 31-29 at half and Nac re-took the lead at the end of the third by a 44-39 margin.
Other scorers for Nacogdoches were LJ Barnes of Nacogdoches with 10, Patrick Sanders of Nacogdoches with eight, Tanner Garner of Central Heights with six, Kwa Jones of Nacogdoches with five, Keaton Fontenot of Central Heights with four, James Hill of Martinsville with three and Brandon Alvis of Chireno with two.
Scorers for Angelina County were Sammy Scott of Diboll with 20 points, Brandon Carver of Central with nine, Brandon Mitchell of Diboll with four, JaMarcus Horace of Lufkin with three, DJ Gibson of Lufkin, Mitchell England of Hudson and Chase Ponson of Central with two and Michael Day of Zavalla with one.
Proceeds from the games go to charities chosen by each team. Godtel and Glory Gang were represented by the Nacogdoches County girls and boys teams, respectively, while Angelina County represented the Diboll and Lufkin Boys & Girls Club and Harold's House.