John Tyler Boys Get A Little Revenge Against Lufkin + Longview Wins Twice In Leroy Romines Memorial Tournament
LONGVIEW -- John Tyler can scratch one name off the list as it claws back from a difficult start and tries to do some cosmetic work to its record before entering District 11-6A competition next week.
The Lions avenged an earlier overtime loss to Lufkin by way of a 51-47 victory Wednesday to cap a perfect first day at Longview High School's Leroy Romines Memorial Tournament. And it was a win they had to earn.
"It feels great because they compete, like, extra hard," senior John Tyler wing Mashaud Moore said. "They're like rivals to us. But we're all like family when it all comes down to it. We're always going to leave it all on the court against each other. I thought it was going to be another overtime, so I'm just glad it wasn't."
Moore's 26-point performance was, by far, the biggest reason the showdown didn't go to a fifth period and perhaps become somewhat a repeat of the Panthers' 93-91 overtime victory Dec. 16. He more than doubled up the next closest player on the Lions' scoresheet.
But it was all the little things that allowed John Tyler (6-8) a win this go-around.
Moore's squad was 3 percent more efficient from the field, scored on 14 of 29 free throw opportunities and turned the ball over three less times in its four-point win.
Lufkin connected on 18 of 43 shooting attempts and made 9 of 19 free throws.
Even then, the Panthers pushed the Lions to the brink with four consecutive points inside the final minute. That made it a 49-47 contest with 13 seconds to play.
Things got even brighter for Lufkin when Ke'Vonte Jurts pulled down the back end of two missed John Tyler free throws in the double bonus.
Unfortunately for the Pack, Kadavian Key came up with his third steal of the game as they charged up the floor and forced them to foul inside the four-second mark. Gerald Berry knocked down both free throws to extend the lead beyond one-possession.
It was a great day for John Tyler and a lousy one for Lufkin within the tournament's four-team Pool C.
The Lions had previously defeated Buna to get a leg up on the group toward Gold Bracket competition. The Panthers fell earlier in the day to Center, which is ranked 15th in the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches' Class 4A poll.
John Tyler will face Center at 10 a.m. today for its final game of pool competition inside Longview High School's practice gym. The winner will win the group and a first seed in the tournament's single-elimination Gold Bracket, but both teams have already clinched their spots in the bracket.
Lufkin simultaneously faces Buna inside Longview's Lobo Coliseum. Both teams are already lined up to play in the Silver Bracket, the consolation competition.
Bracket play commences at 2:30 p.m. for both Gold and Silver teams.
"Our next challenge is the Center Roughriders," Lions head coach Cedeno Clark said. "Whatever comes after that, comes after that. We're just focussing on the next opponent, which is Center, and that's what we're looking forward to."
Lufkin managed a six-point lead early in the second quarter, but Moore reeled it in before the halftime buzzer. His first basket, and an and-one free throw, cut the deficit to three points moments later.
Moore tied the game at 26-all just ahead of the one-minute mark and then scored a basket on the heels of Jurts cashing in on an old-fashioned 3-point play for a 29-28 deficit.
The wing scored eight of the game's next 10 points out of the break, and John Tyler always had a two-possession lead until the final 13 seconds of the fourth quarter.
"My teammates were giving me the ball in the right spots," Moore said. "We were being unselfish sharing the ball, so that spread the court. They trust me and I trust them. It was a total team effort."
Berry scored 12 points behind Moore, tied for the team lead in offensive boards with four and won seven possessions for the Lions in total.
Breylon Garcia scored 12 points for Lufkin. Jurts and Courtnee Garcia chipped in nine points apiece.
"We were pleased," Clark said. "Always thankful for the win, of course. I feel like we've got a good team. We just haven't been able to put the pieces together. I challenged them before we left Tyler and told them we were about to face a tough Buna and a tough Lufkin team. They responded to the challenge."
John Tyler 51, Lufkin 47
Leroy Romines Memorial Tournament
At Longview High School
Lufkin 15 14 7 11 -- 47
John Tyler 10 18 12 11 -- 51
Lufkin (10-7) -- Breylon Garcia 12, Courtnee Garcia 9, Ke'Vonte Jurts 9, Kodie Callison 6, Nick Wilson 6, James Jefferson 2, Chris Thompson 2, Kordell Rodgers 1.
John Tyler (6-8) -- Mashaud Moore 26, Gerald Berry 12, Brad Blaylock 7, Kadavian Key 2, Christopher Lyles 2, Darry Moore 2.
THREE-POINT GOALS -- Lufkin: Courtnee Garcia (2). John Tyler: Gerald Berry (2), Brad Blaylock.
Lobos Survive Houston C.E. King
LONGVIEW -- The Lobos were one of three big East Texas winners at the Leroy Romines Memorial Tournament along with Center and John Tyler and one of just five teams still perfect through two of three games in pool play competition.
Longview toppled Houston C.E. King in the tournament's nightcap, 45-39, by doing the little things right. It won the battle on the boards by a margin of nine and only allowed King five free throw attempts through the 32-minute game.
Small forward Jason Bush recorded a double-double in the victory with 11 points and 10 of the team's 40 rebounds. Kaland Johnson did one point better for the game's high.
"Those are three year varsity guys," head coach Billy Goffney said of the senior duo. "I don't expect anything other than those guys to have big nights. Jason played great defensive game and was tough on the boards. Kaland has a bit of double duty. He handles the ball all the time for us and then for him to mix it up in the paint showed a lot of character."
King is typically a tough out in the Greater Houston Area. It has won two consecutive Class 6A district championships since being promoted from Class 5A and won a district title just before being called up a level.
Longview had to endure King's sweeping substitutions. Opposing coach Laurence Woods switched out five players at a time more than once with the goal of wearing down the Lobos' primary players in the final minutes.
Instead, it was Goffney's squad that won crunch time.
Johnson opened what was just a 40-39 advantage at the 4:08 mark of the fourth quarter after a two-minute lull for both teams. A steal by Jaylin Brown the next possession persuaded King to enter foul mode.
Longview made three of six free throws down the stretch, matching King's total for the game.
The Lobos led every quarter but the third despite five lead changes.
King did, however, hold a 36-32 advantage with just a quarter to play. An 8-0 run spurred by two steals and two defensive rebounds put Longview in the lead for good just before the midway mark of the final period.
Crosstown rival Pine Tree was the Lobos' first victim of the day toward a current tournament record of 2-0 within Pool A. The Pirates fell by a score of 57-44 and are 0-2 in in the group.
Longview will face Conroe Lifestyle Christian today at 11:30 a.m. inside Lobo Coliseum before the single-elimination bracket challenge begins this afternoon. The winner of the game will win the top seed for Gold Bracket competition, but the loser will still make the Gold Bracket and will have an opportunity to contest for the tournament's championship.
Lifestyle Christian defeated King, 89-87, earlier in the day.
Pine Tree and King, both winless in the tournament thus far, will play in the consolation bracket.
Longview 45, Houston C.E. King 39
Leroy Romines Memorial Tournament
At Longview High School
King 12 12 12 3 -- 39
Longview 17 9 6 13 -- 45
King -- Eldridge Johnson 9, Jaylen Merritt 7, Jamarr Mackey 5, Ulysses Bentley 4, Quavon Jones 4, Unlisted Player 4, Devione Fontenot 3, Ruddy Mack 3,
Longview -- Kaland Johnson 12, Jason Bush 11, Jaylin Brown 6, Kyle Shields 5, Jaiden Smith 5, Kobe Davis 2, Brandon Palmer 2, Montavian Reed 2.
THREE-POINT GOALS -- King: Eldridge Johnson Jaylin Merrit. Longview: Jason Bush, Kyle Shields.