N. Crowley will warm up against champs

If you know North Crowley coach Tommy Brakel, you know the Panthers, with a week to go before the playoffs start, aren't going to rest on their laurels.

Nope. Instead the No. 7 Panthers (29-4) are going to play the No. 8 DeSoto Eagles (31-3) for a warmup game at 8 p.m. Friday at Duncanville High School. It's the second game in a doubleheader with Duncanville and Garland Naaman Forest at 6:30 p.m.

"We kind of had an easy run through district," Brakel said about North Crowley's 12-0 finish in District 3-5A. "Even though in the second half we had some guys compete against us, it never really showed up on the scoreboard.

"We were real selective on the team we wanted to choose [for a warmup game], and it doesn't get any better than picking the defending state champions."

Brakel and the Panthers don't really consider this game a "warmup."

"We're going into the game to use it as a measuring stick," Brakel said. "Whether it turns out as a positive or negative one, we need to play a team like DeSoto to figure out where we are."

Tickets for the double-header are $7, which will get you entry into both games.

North Crowley's first-round playoff game against Mansfield is tentatively scheduled for 8 p.m. Tuesday at Fort Worth ISD's Wilkerson-Greines Activity Center.