TYLER -- John Tyler held its lead on the District 16-5A field Friday at The Lions Den. By the slimmest of margins.

A Lindale team starving to jump back into the early league race got two decent looks for a game-winning 3-point shot inside the final 11 seconds. Neither fell, and the Lions escaped their home floor with a 64-62 win in front of a packed house.

"This is big," junior point guard Bryson Smith said. "At the same time, we can't be content with what we've done. We will have to play everybody over again. They played us here and we'll have to go to their home where it will be even more hostile."

Jordan Gray led Lindale with 26 points, including six successful scores from behind the arc.

The Eagles (13-7, 1-3) will have that Feb. 9 home game circled on the calendar. They departed dejected, but they may have gained an edge for other district games after starting the meaningful season 0-2 before a one-point win last week against Jacksonville.

Lindale gave the best team in the league everything it wanted before falling.

John Tyler (17-4, 5-0) rallied from a 61-58 deficit at the 3:16 mark of the fourth quarter with back-to-back 3-pointers from junior guard and sixth man Christerpher Lyles.

Jordan Gray, who scored 18 of his game-best 26 points from long range, pulled Lindale back within a simple basket by hitting the front end of two free throw attempts inside 40 seconds. With two fouls to give before running across the double bonus, the team entered foul mode and John Tyler missed a one-and-one opportunity.

Out of a timeout, with 24 seconds remaining, the Eagles beat the Lions' two-man press and reached the top of the 3-point line. The shot clanged off the rim and the rebound bounced Lindale's way to set another long-range shot with about five seconds to play. The final shot met the same fate.

"The way it was released from the hand, I definitely thought the second one was going in," Lions head coach Cedeno Clark said. "It rimmed out and here we are. In the win column again."

Lindale fouled John Tyler's Gerald Berry with one second left. Berry threw his first free throw attempt off the backboard to end the game.

It was the tightest game the Lions have played against district competition. However, Clark's squad has two other single-digit victories in district. An additional two games this season were decided by three total points.

John Tyler will host a Lufkin team at 7:30 p.m. next Friday that also has yet to lose a league game (4-0), so each district win has been extremely important.

The Eagles' 61-58 lead was just one of six it owned through the game. The lead changed 12 times, and the fourth quarter saw three ties in addition to two lead changes.

That being said, the Lions finished on top in each quarter.

Lindale faded out of the game in the final minutes of the third quarter, ultimately giving up its worst deficit of 51-42 with 58 seconds left in the period. But it was a 51-49 game at the buzzer thanks to two Gray 3-point shots in a span of 19 seconds and a basket from Terrell Cooper just before the horn.

Blane Repinske's trey capped an 11-0 run through 1:04 on the Eagles' first possession of the final quarter, a 52-51 score for the road team.

Cooper and Gray combined to push the lead to 56-52 at the 6:08 mark. It was gone on Jacob Owens-Bush's put back a minute and a half later.

Kale Ridge, off the bench for a fouled out Repinske, and Gray gave Lindale two late one-possession leads. Consecutive turnovers afterward set up Lyles' equalizing 3-ball and then the game-winning score from downtown.

"I felt like I had it," Lyles said. "Our point guard, Bryson Smith, told me before the game to shoot with confidence. That's what I did."

Lyles scored a third-best 13 points for John Tyler. Patrick Williams led the side with 24 points and Owens-Bush recorded 15.

Cooper and Laettner Greenhill joined Gray in double digits for Lindale with 16 and 10 points, respectively.

John Tyler recorded 22 rebounds to Lindale's 20, but it owned a considerable margin on the attacking side of the court. The Lions had 12 offensive rebounds to the Eagles' three and scored nine second chance points in the two-point win.

Lindale shot six-for-nine from the free throw line. John Tyler made 14 of 19 attempts.

The Eagles visit Lufkin on Tuesday ahead of the Lions facing Lufkin. John Tyler will be idle during the midweek.

"We've had multiple close games," Clark said. "Those close games, overtime games, hopefully it'll carry us through during this time when the games really count. That's what we look to do. I've told them, 'We've been in this situation before. Let's go ahead and finish off the deal like we've been doing.' They did that."

Lions head coach Cedeno Clark addresses the team before it went on defense to stop Lindale's potentially game-winning possession.

John Tyler 64, Lindale 62

District 16-5A
At The Lions Den, Tyler

Lindale              19    13    17   13     --    62
John Tyler         21    16    14   13      --   64
LINDALE (13-7, 1-3) -- Jordan Gray 26, Terrell Cooper 16, Laettner Greenhill 10, Blane Repinske 5, Tayton Williams 3, Kale Ridge 2.
JOHN TYLER (17-4, 5-0) -- Patrick Williams 24, Jacob Owens-Bush 16, Christerpher Lyles 13, Gerald Berry 7, Bryson Smith 2, Tavion Teal 2.
THREE-POINT GOALS -- Lindale: Gray (6), Greenhill (2), Repinske. John TylerLyles (3), Berry, Williams.

Lady Lions Earn Ninth Straight Win

TYLER -- The Lady Lions recorded 14 steals and benefitted from nine other turnovers in a 51-37 win Friday at The Lions Den in District 16-5A action.

John Tyler's win elevated it to 23-2 overall, 5-1 within the league and helped its case to hold onto the No. 7 spot in Monday's Texas Girls Coaches Association's Class 5A poll in a worst-case scenario with another perfect week.

Alyssa Mayfield, a junior, led the Lady Lions with 18 points in addition to a second-best three steals. Daz Johnson added 15 points to round out all scorers in double digits.

Kaleon Grant recorded a game-best four steals for the winning side.

Taylor Webb and Hanna Saunders off the bench both scored eight points for Lindale (13-11, 2-5).

John Tyler, which led 14-8 at the end of the first quarter, outscored the Lady Eagles 27-10 in the middle frames to take control of the contest.

The Lady Eagles closed the game on an extended 17-12 run.

The Lady Lions will be idle during the midweek and resume competition against Lufkin next Friday. Lufkin is ranked fifth in the Class 5A Texas Girls Coaches Association poll and defeated John Tyler in the first round of district competition.

Lindale travels to Lufkin on Tuesday.

John Tyler's Destani Whitehead drives the lane against Lindale's McKenna Cox in the Lady Lions' 51-37 victory Friday.

John Tyler 51, Lindale 37

District 16-5A
At The Lions Den, Tyler

Lindale              8        7      3   19     --    37
John Tyler         14    12    15   12      --   51
LINDALE (13-11, 2-5) -- Hanna Saunders 8, Taylor Webb 8, Lorin Reue 6, Kate Adams 3, McKenna Cox 3, Alisha Kieser 3, Ikia Lacy 2.
JOHN TYLER (17-4, 5-0) -- Alyssa Mayfield 18, Daz Johnson 15, Ashtyn Beal 7, Shakendra Tilley 6, Destani Whitehead 5.
THREE-POINT GOALS -- Lindale: Adams, Cox, Kiser, Webb. John TylerBeal, Mayfield, Whitehead.