John Tyler broke free from Jacksonville, making 21 free throws, including 13 in the fourth period, to down the Maidens 43-37 Tuesday at the Lions Den.
After losing an 11-point lead, John Tyler sprinted to the finish on an 18-9 run. JT shot 70 percent (21 for 30) at the free throw line, scoring 15 of its last 19 points at the charity stripe.
Tiaka Lee and Quaneshia Johnson shared team-high honors with 14 points apiece for JT.
“Offensively we made some good choices in the fourth quarter with our shot selection,” JT coach Mike Smith said. “We drove the ball and we went to the line several times, which indicated we were going to the bucket.”
JT (16-9, 1-1 in 16-4A) scored eight straight to open the fourth period and cinched the game with an 8-0 run up to the closing seconds.
The Lady Lions kept the Maidens scoreless for 3:12 after seeing their lead trimmed to one point (35-34) on a Keevie Mathis bucket with 3:17 left. Jacksonville standout Jasmine Parson poured in a game-high 19 points and added 10 rebounds and five assists for Jacksonville. JT held Parson scoreless, however, over the final nine minutes.
“We got out the press and went to a box and one,” Smith said. “It really slowed them down and helped us defensively.”
Jacksonville trailed 20-9 midway through the first half before the Maidens made up the deficit after outscoring JT 15-5 in the third period.
JT fell behind by three points (28-25) before tying it on a free throw from Lee, and two fouls shots by Donishia Rouege. Amia Wickware (four points, seven rebounds, four blocks) returned the lead to JT for good with two makes from the free throw line.
Tameal Jones scored the next four points on a bucket in transition and two free throws to end a 9-0 run and give JT a 34-28 cushion.
“I know foul trouble definitely hurt us,” said first-year Jacksonville coach Tony Harris. “We put them on the line way too many times. But I have to give it to John Tyler and their ability to dribble-penetrate and attack the rack. They were relentless in that regard. I give coach Smith the credit. It was a great job and great atmosphere to play in.”
John Tyler 43, Jacksonville 37
Jacksonville 6 7 15 9—37
John Tyler 10 11 5 17—43
JACKSONVILLE —Jasmine Parson, 19; Chancii Scott, 2; Sametria Baker, 3; Inchantra Kendrick, 8; Dee Franklin, 2; Keevie Mathis, 3. FG 15-59 FT 5-7.
JOHN TYLER —Ashtyn Beal, 1; Tiaka Lee, 14; Tameal Jones, 6; Quaneshia Johnson, 14; Key-Ana Tatum, 0; Amia Wickware, 4; Donishia Rouege, 4; Jasmine Hill, 0; Kayla Webb, 0. FG 10-44 FT 21-30.
Three-Point Goals—Jacksonville 2-13 (Parson, Baker), John Tyler 2-16 (Lee, Johnson). Rebounds—Jacksonville 48 (Parson 10), John Tyler 34 (Wickware 7). Assists—Jacksonville 9 (Parson 5), John Tyler 3 (Lee, Jones, Johnson). Blocks—Jacksonville 4 (Franklin 4), John Tyler 5 (Wickware 4). Steals—Jacksonville 3 (Parson 2), John Tyler 8 (Lee, Johnson, Rouege 2). Total Fouls—Jacksonville 21, John Tyler 13.
RECORDS — Jacksonville 14-11 (1-1); John Tyler 16-9 (1-1).
NEXT UP — Lindale at Jacksonville, 6 p.m. Friday; John Tyler at Nacogdoches, 6:30 p.m. Friday.