The John Tyler boys and girls hoops team go for seconds in rematches with Nacogdoches Tuesday at the Lions Den.
The Lions enter in a three-way tie for second place in the District 16-4A boys’ standings. The Lady Lions look to move into a tie for second on the girls’ side with a win tonight against Nacogdoches.
The teams split the first meetings, with the Lions beating the Dragons 79-51 and the Lady Dragons downing the Lady Lions 79-65.
The Lady Lions knocked off No. 18 Lindale 46-45 last Friday to shake up the district standings.
Quaneshia Johnson banked in a short jumper from the left block at the buzzer to give JT the thrilling victory. Amia Wickware paced JT with 20 points and 14 rebounds.
Lindale leads Nacogdoches by just one game now. JT trails Nacogdoches by one game. JT can clinch a playoff berth with a win, and a loss by Whitehouse to Lindale.
Nacogdoches jumped on JT early in the first meeting, doubling up the Lady Lions (20-10).
The starting five accounted for all the Lady Dragons’ point-total, led by Kiadra Hayter’s 23 points and Christy Whitaker’s 18 points. Charity Page poured in 16 points for the up-tempo Lady Dragons in the first encounter. Page paced Nacogdoches with 24 points in a 65-49 win over Corsicana last Friday.
Johnson topped JT in the first game versus Nacogdoches with 19 points; with fellow senior guard Tiaka Lee scoring 18 points for the Lady Lions.
JT hopes to notch its fourth straight win, doing so in front of the home crowd which has been averaging more than 1,000 fans in district and featuring the “Big Blue Band” and a raucous student section situated near the mid-south section of the gymnasium.
“It was a great test to see if we could play at that level,” Lady Lions coach Mike Smith said. “The atmosphere at John Tyler, it doesn’t get any better than this.”
Needing a spark, JT stopped the temporary bleeding of a two-game slide with a 71-47 win over Lindale last Friday.
The win allowed the JT to pull even at 3-2 in district with Corsicana and Whitehouse. All three teams trail No. 10 Jacksonville (5-0), which swept the first half of district play.
The Lions relied on their depth to beat Lindale, and Nacogdoches earlier in the month. Tyus Bowser finished with 17 points, 10 rebounds and five steals against Lindale. Three other Lions reached double digits scoring: Isaac Warren (14 points), Darion Flowers (10 points) and Keaunte Humber (10 points).
Ten players scored in JT’s earlier victory over Nacogdoches, with Jordan Caldwell’s 14 points leading the way, and Warren adding 13.
Corsicana held Nacogdoches to single digits in each period of a 58-32 win over the Dragons last Friday.
JT plays three of its final five games at home, with road games at Whitehouse on Friday and Lindale (Feb. 8).
“We have a lot of things we need to work on,” JT coach Cedeno Clark said. “If we start to peak at the right time, which is the second half of district, and let that roll off into the playoffs, I think that’ll be huge. But we have a lot of things we need to work on and clean up on.
“We’ve got to be prepared because Nacogdoches will be ready.”