Former NC hoop stars now start for their 1st-place college teams

Ron Howell
Sports Editor

A pair of former Nolan County high school basketball standouts are currently starting on their respective college teams, both of whom are in first place in conference play.
Sweetwater’s Baylie Lindsey plays for East Texas Baptist University, which is an NCAA Division III school located in Marshall. The 5-5 freshman guard, who graduated from Sweetwater in 2017, averages 6.5 points a game plus 2.9 rebounds and 2.0 steals. She has started in 10 of the 11 games in which she has participated.
ETBU is currently leading the East Division of the American Southwest Conference with a 6-0 mark and is 12-1 overall. Its most recent win was an 82-79 decision on Monday against Howard Payne. Lindsey’s coach is former Sweetwater girls coach Rusty Rainbolt, who was also her coach last year until he accepted the head job at ETBU.
Lindsey helped Sweetwater advance to the Class 4A area playoffs as a senior, and also win its first bi-district championship in four years.
Highland’s Sierra Allen is now in her fourth year as a college player and a senior starter for the Abilene Christian University women’s basketball team, which is a member of NCAA Division I and the Southland Conference. Allen, a 6-1 forward-center, has started in all 14 games she has played the Lady Wildcats and is averaging 5.9 points and 5.5 rebounds, ranking second in the last category on the team.
She scored a season-high 15 points in her most recent game, an 80-68 win over Houston Baptist on Wednesday. Allen also had 13 points and a season-high 16 rebounds in an 86-80 win over Southeastern Louisiana on Saturday. ACU is 5-0 in conference and 11-4 overall, and tied for the conference lead with Central Arkansas.
Allen is the older sister of Hannah Allen, who was also a star player at Highland and now plays for Tarleton State University in Stephenville. Serra Allen graduated from Highland in 2014 and Hannah Allen graduated from Highland in 2016.
Hannah Allen, a 5-11 sophomore guard, has played in 10 games for Tarleton State and is averaging 1.4 points and 1.2 rebounds per game. The TexAnns are a member of NCAA Division II and the Lone Star Conference. They are currently 3-4 in LSC play and 9-6 for the season. Hannah had a season-high seven points and four rebounds in a 104-52 win over Arlington Baptist on Dec. 18.
Sierra Allen and Hannah Allen both played on Highland girls basketball teams that made school history by reaching the Class 1A state tournament in consecutive years — 2013 and 2014 — before losing in the semifinals.