Robert E. Lee picked up an important district victory over Mesquite Horn, 65-56, Friday at the REL Varsity Gymnasium.
The implications of the result were high because Lee defeated the Jaguars in their first meeting, and this win gave the Red Raiders (19-9, 6-4 in 12-5A) a season sweep of their series. More importantly, Lee now owns the tiebreaker for third place over the Jaguars (11-14, 6-3).
Lee senior Taylor Tankersley turned in a dominating performance as the Red Raiders fans cheered “MVP! MVP!” when he was at the charity stripe. Tankersley dropped 30 points on the Jags to go with 14 rebounds and four assists as the Red Raiders celebrated Senior Night.
Lee opened the game on fire and took an amazing 15-0 lead in the opening quarter. Tankersley scored 14 of his team’s 23 total points in the period.
Mesquite Horn clawed its way back into the game in the second period behind shooting guard Anthony Sharp to open with a 9-0 run.
“I thought we were starting to take uncharacteristic shots and we started settling for too many jump shots,” said Lee coach Alan Johnston about REL’s second-period struggles.
With 1:38 remaining until halftime, the Jags were right in the thick of things, trailing 26-24.
But Lee boosted its lead back to five when Will Dougherty drained two free throws and Tucker Boyd nailed a huge 3-pointer to give the Red Raiders a 31-26 lead at the break.
In the second half, the Red Raiders continued to dominate on the boards, out-rebounding the Jags 26-10, which subsequently led to a lot of second-chance points for the home side.
Tankersley, meanwhile, was on fire, swishing 3-pointers and finding open teammates out of double teams. Dougherty was the beneficiary of many of those passes to finish with 15 points and four rebounds.
“I was proud of how my guys fought tonight,” Johnston said. “We had a great atmosphere; I thought our fans in the student section kept it live for us and it was great to see the parents out to support us as well.
“Taylor had an outstanding game. He gave use everything that he had tonight and we needed that out of him.”
Sharp led Horn in the loss with 28 points, six rebounds and three assists.
Robert E. Lee 65,Mesquite Horn 56
Mesquite Horn 11 15 14 16 — 56
Robert E. Lee 23 8 17 17 — 65
MESQUITE HORN — A. Sharp, 28; A. Chevis, 8; J. McMiller, 8; R. Jones, 3; T. Taylor, 2; J. Stewart, 6; Z. Charles, 5.
ROBERT E. LEE — Jack Calhoun, 2; Austin Fleet, 0; Luke Derfus, 2; Darriun Smallwood, 3; Taylor Tankersley, 30; Will Dougherty, 16; Caleb Johnston, 0; Tucker Boyd, 10; Justin DeSalvo, 2.
THREE POINT GOALS — MH: Sharp (3), Chevis (2), Jones, Stewart (2). REL: Smallwood, Tankersley (5), Boyd (2).
RECORDS — Mesquite Horn 11-14 (6-3); Robert E. Lee 19-9 (6-4).
NEXT UP — Lee at Rockwall-Heath, 7 p.m. Tuesday.