Tiaka Lee located the zone and stayed in it, making her first 10 shots on the night to spark John Tyler to a comfortable 68-45 win over Lufkin Hudson on Tuesday at the Lions Den.
Lee lit up the nets for 20 points and JT opened up a double-digit lead by the eighth minute to coast to victory. Lee went 8 for 9 from the field, including 2 for 2 from 3-point range. The senior guard also knocked down both free throw attempts to lead all scorers.
Lee missed for the only time on a 3-point attempt midway through the fourth period, drawing a foul call on the play, although the official ruled it after the shot.
Backcourt mate Quaneshia Johnson sparked JT early, swishing a pair of treys for an early 6-0 lead. Lee knocked down an off-balance jumper and a trey of her own before Ashtyn Beal stepped behind the arc for a make to get JT’s advantage to 14-2.
Five of JT’s first six makes came from long range, with the fifth making the score 17-2.
Johnson totaled 16 points for JT. Tameal Jones contributed 14 points and six steals to power JT’s transition game. Jones scored on a layup and off a steal by Beal for a 35-17 lead at the midway point.
“Tameal goes in and does a fantastic job picking the pace up and creating turnovers,” JT coach Mike Smith said of his sophomore guard. “She does something positive on the offensive and defensive end.”
Beal registered seven points, four rebounds, three steals and two blocks for the Lady Lions, who were coming off a fifth-place showing in the Great East Texas Shootout last weekend in Brownsboro.
The Lady Lions generated 33 turnovers. Lufkin Hudson hurt its own cause with 11 misses at the free throw line. Hudson endured a seven-minute-plus scoring drought in the first half while falling behind 17-2. JT’s lead remained over 15 points for the final 23 minutes.
K.K. Parker paced Hudson with 17 points and all three of her team’s treys. Thanks to their pressure, the Lady Lions limited Hudson to 42 field goal attempts.
JT (9-5) won for the sixth time in the last seven games.
“I think we’re playing together a lot better,” Smith said. “I feel like the tournament helped us. We played some good teams and won some close games. Everybody contributed. It was a great team effort.”
John Tyler 68, Lufkin Hudson 45
Hudson 2 15 12 16—45
John Tyler 14 21 15 18—68
HUDSON—KK Parker, 17; Lee, 5; KP Parker, 2; Selman, 6; Mosley, 6; Grandgeorge, 9. FG 16-42 FT 10-21.
JOHN TYLER—Ashtyn Beal, 7; Tiaka Lee, 20; Tameal Jones, 14; Quaneshia Johnson, 16; Amia Wickware, 5; Nola Jackson, 6. FG 26-62 FT 9-13.
THREE POINT GOALS—LH: 3-8 (KK Parker 3), JT: 7-15 (Johnson 2, Lee 2, Beal, Jones, Wickware). Rebounds-LH: 34 (Selman, Lankford 7), JT 30 (Jackson 6). Assists-LH: 10 (Lee 7), JT 15 (Beal 4). Total Fouls-LH: 15, JT: 19.
RECORDS — Lufkin Hudson 4-7; John Tyler 9-5.
NEXT UP — Winnsboro at John Tyler, 3 p.m. Friday.