Sports heats up, wrestling team wins trophy

As one postseason ends, college sports is in full swing with the playoffs right around the corner. The men’s basketball team is getting closer in the Metro Athletic Conference (MAC). They proved that on Wednesday night against the North Lake Blazers. The Thunderducks were in control the entire game. Wesley Franklin dropped in 24 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks. Curk Harris also had a productive game with 18 points, four rebounds, four assists and a steal. They led 42-30 at the half. 

Things got heated in the second half with some rough playing on the court and spectators talking trash off the court. The Blazers led the game with the most fouls and technical fouls for that matter. The T-Ducks responded by hitting 18 of 23 from the charity stripe. Richland was in full control at Guadalupe Gym defeating North Lake, 89-66. 

Head coach Jon Havens said, the MAC is competitive and one the toughest conferences in the country, not just in basketball, but in all sports. All Dallas colleges are still in competition, even Brookhaven which has the worst record in the league. 

“Our guys did a great job, reacting, controlling the tempo and executing our plans,” said Havens. North Lake’s composure was literally decimated on Richland’s court and couldn’t be revived later in the game.

With just a few games remaining, Richland is keeping a close eye on North Lake, Cedar Valley and Eastfield, among others. After that impressive win, the T-Ducks momentum follows with two on the road and the final game at home against Eastfield.

The road to Allen is getting closer for the Grapplin’ T-Ducks. Richland’s wrestling team came back from the capital city winning first place in the Longhorn Classic at UT-Austin. The Grapplin’ T-Ducks won five championships and three runner-ups out of 11 weight classes. Maripo Gasarabaga, Pedro Garcia, Asad Muhammad, Dustin Basham and Kendrell Willis won their respective classes. Mike Basaldu, George Haskins and Andy Martinez finished second.

Two women also competed with remarkable results. Kelia Gomez finished first and Mireya Cortez finished second in the women’s division. The Grapplin’ T-Ducks will head to College Station for the Texas State Duals at Texas A&M on Feb. 11. Coach Bill Neal likes what he sees and says they’re improving on their matches. Richland has indeed caught other school’s attention. 

Finally, Super Bowl LI, like the first 50, brought out the best and worst in everyone. While Lady Gaga’s halftime show was OK, most of the commercials failed miserably. The Falcons were 15 minutes away from bringing Atlanta its second pro sports world title, but when you play against a legend like Tom Brady, you cannot relax with such a small cushion. The Patriots took charge and came back from 25 points down to send the game in the first Super Bowl overtime ever. The Pats won the toss and took advantage as James White ran it in for a game-winning two-yard touchdown run. 

New England won its fifth Super Bowl title, tying the Cowboys and 49ers, and is one title behind the Steelers. Whether you love or hate the Patriots they are a dynasty, hands down. Brady is absolutely clutch and will go down as a major part of the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history. The comeback was so big that someone may have stolen his game jersey from the Pats locker room at NRG Stadium. Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick asked the Texas Rangers to help find the suspect and missing jersey. Although he asked the real Rangers, jokingly the Texas Rangers baseball team got involved. (At press time, there is speculation that the jersey may have been misplaced and transported with the team’s equipment.) Just one more reason why the Super Bowl is not only an unofficial American holiday, but definitely ‘Must See TV.’