WHITEHOUSE — John Tyler passed the make-up exam.
Senior point guard Tiaka Lee bounced a pass in traffic and Tameal Jones spotted up and knocked down a 3-pointer as time expired to propel John Tyler to a 52-49 win over Whitehouse in a barnburner Friday at Wildcat Arena.
“I was seeing if they were going to come up or leave me open,” said Jones, a sophomore guard. “They gave me enough space and I shot it. “
The Lady Lions (21-11, 6-3 in 16-4A) avenged a bitter seven-point loss to Whitehouse in the first half of district play after leading by as many as 16 points.
Lee led JT with 14 points and three assists, Quaneshia Johnson charted 11 points and six assists, and Jones bucketed all eight of her points as JT rallied in the fourth period to help the Lady Lions rally from a 13-point second half deficit. The Lady Lions remained in second heading into Tuesday’s regular season finale at home against Corsicana.
“It’s hurtful when you lose to a team that you know you can beat,” Lee said. “But you never underestimate a team. I think we went in last time with the mindset ‘we’ve got this.’ (Friday) we knew they were a good team and they were going to come to play.”
JT trailed by seven (46-39) with 5:43 left after Kenslie Dews, who scored a game-high 19 points, drained her third trey of the night. JT responded with a 9-0 run, pulling even on Amia Wickware’s three-point play and taking the lead on a pair of Jones free throws with 39 seconds showing.
On the next trip down court, Dews dropped in another triple to put Whitehouse ahead, 49-48, with 20 seconds remaining. JT tied it back up on a free throw from Jones and received a chance to take the lead after Whitehouse failed to capitalize on two foul shots.
With eight ticks to go, Lee received the inbounds pass and weaved her way past halfcourt and slipped by a Whitehouse trap to find Jones. The game-winning make marked JT’s second in the last three games, the previous coming on a buzzer-beater put-back by Quaneshia Johnson to lift the Lady Lions past state-ranked Lindale.
“It was like a fast break,” Lee said. “I saw I had three people on me. I knew they were expecting me to shoot. I saw her over there. She was wide open. I know she can shoot and she got the shot off like I knew she could.”
Whitehouse relied on its outside game to lead after the first three periods, finishing with nine 3-pointers. JT won the interior battle, outscoring Whitehouse 30-8 on points inside the paint before stepping outside to finish off the win.
“It’s like our coach (Mike Smith) said, ‘you have to know your teammates,’” said Lee, who will be honored along with Johnson and Nola Jackson on JT’s Senior Night on Tuesday. “When it comes down to it and we need something, we work together to get what we want, which is a win.”
District 16-4A Girls
John Tyler 52, Whitehouse 49
John Tyler 8 9 20 15 — 52
Whitehouse 13 7 18 11 — 49
JOHN TYLER — Ashtyn Beal, 6; Tiaka Lee, 14; Tameal Jones, 8; Quaneshia Johnson, 11; Amia Wickware, 5; Donishia Rouege, 2; Nola Jackson, 6. FG 19-58 FT 12-18.
WHITEHOUSE — Kenslie Dews, 19; Morgan Tauscher, 10; Brooke Stewart, 8; Victoria Taylor, 2; Lexus Phelps, 2; Ashton Ates, 5; Madyson Williams, 3. FG 15-43 FT 10-24.
Three-Point Goals — John Tyler 2-8 (Jones, Johnson), Whitheouse 9-22 (Dews 4, Tauscher 3, Stewart 2). Rebounds — John Tyler 32 (Wickware 6), Whitehouse 40 (Ates 9). Assists — John Tyler 11 (Johnson 6), Whitehouse 11 (Tauscher 5). Total Fouls - John Tyler 15, Whitehouse 16.
RECORDS — John Tyler 21-10 (6-3), Whitehouse 13-12 (3-6).
NEXT UP — Corsicana at John Tyler, 6:15 p.m. Tuesday.