GAME OVER

Houston weekend warrior sports wonderland closing after nearly 50 years

Houston Sportsplex will close after nearly 50 years. Houston Sportsplex/Facebook.

A cherished sports complex that has seen an estimated 1,000,000 players and fans pass through its gates is shuttering after 47 years.

Houston Sportsplex, a sprawling 40-acre complex (12631 S. Main St.) and one of Houston’s largest private athletic facilities, has been sold and will host final games and an official farewell on Thursday, December 23, with games starting at 7 pm.

“It’s a bittersweet announcement, this place is like a second home to me,” Barry Horvitz, co-owner of the longtime southwest Houston athletics complex said in a statement. “So many memories and lifelong friendships have been forged here. In fact, there are several married couples who first met while playing at our complex.”

The venue has been home to countless slow- and fast-pitch softball championships, beach volleyball, flag football, soccer, and no doubt, an earful of trash talk.

Horvitz and business partner Ronny Hecht, who have sold the property to an undisclosed buyer for future development, acquired the property in 2001 when it was then known as Softball Country Club. The duo promptly re-branded the facility to appeal to a broader range of leagues, while adding eight beach volleyball courts and four multi-use fields for soccer and flag football. They also added new concession stands and an updated indoor restaurant, per a release.

“The popularity of softball peaked in the early ’90s and unfortunately, it has slowly declined ever since,” said Horvitz. “Many of those who contributed to softball’s popularity have simply aged out of the game. Plus companies don’t field the number of teams like they used to.”

Aside from the myriad fans and players, Horvitz added that he’s also grateful for all the tournament directors, association directors, umpires, officials, referees, scorekeepers, and others who worked games throughout the years.

“Without them, none of this would have been possible,” he added. “We’ll miss hearing the crack of the bat and all the cheers, but it’s been a great run.”

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ROCKETS FALL TO WARRIORS

Critical takeaways from Rockets' 105-103 loss to Warriors

Rockets fall short against Warriors. Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

This wasn't the typical Houston Rockets-Golden St. Warriors game when Mike D' Antoni and Steve Kerr were having an offensive battle of wits. James Harden, who plays for the Brooklyn Nets, was nowhere in sight for the Rockets Friday night. Although the Rockets are in rebuild mode, it was still an interesting game. The intensity was high throughout the entire game. Emotions between Stephen Silas and Kerr were heavy, as they were yelling and jumping up-and-down along the sidelines.

A series of runs and back-and-forth scoring gave a slight reminder of the old rivalry between the Warriors and Rockets. Steph Curry was having a tough game, but with 5.1 seconds left, he was able to create great separation from a step back and drained an incredible midrange shot over Kevin Porter Jr. It was heartbreaking because Porter played great defense on Curry throughout the entire game, with Curry only making 6 out of 22 shots. Porter had a tremendous first-half defensively on Curry and recorded an 88.9 defensive rating. Porter had a good feel for guarding Curry, he didn't allow himself to switch away from him. He anticipated passing lanes and ripped Curry a couple of times.

Besides Porter playing great defense, the Rockets played good as a whole. They finished with 10 steals. Their main technique was to switch everything on defense, and Kenyon Martin Jr. and Christian Wood did a good job. It's never easy staying in front of Curry and Jordan Poole, but if they could hold their ground for five seconds, it became possible. Porter did a great job at times by communicating on defense, so he could tell Jalen Green and Eric Gordon when to switch.

And speaking of Green--- he had a strange night offensively. He went 0-11 from the field but made two great plays in the fourth quarter. Instead of Silas keeping Green on the bench because of his cold hand, he kept him in the game for learning purposes. Green made an outstanding play on Curry at the 2:52 mark in the 4th quarter. Before that, he missed a shot from three but fought hard for the rebound, then found a cutting Wood towards the rim. Green might of struggled, but the effort was there.

This was a tough loss for the Rockets, but they are steadily improving. The Rockets are 3-5 in their last five games.

Up next: The Rockets face the Spurs on Tuesday night.

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