TYLER -- Tatum's senior guard Alexes Bell shined on the big stage at UT-Tyler's Herrington Patriot Center, but John Tyler's depth was too much to overcome.

Bell scored a game-best 41 points in a 88-68 loss to JT in a Macy Chenevert Patriot Classic quarterfinal game Monday evening.

John Tyler's Tameal Jones attempts a 3-point shot. The senior guard made four shots from behind the arc in Monday's tournament win. (Mark Martin, ETSN.fm)

"I had seen her play this morning and every time the announcer said something it was her name," Lady Lions head coach Mike Smith said. "I knew she was going to be a good one. We've seen some really good people. Fortunately, we haven't gotten into a situation where we've thought we'd have to do some special defense."

With the win, and a victory earlier in the day against Pleasant Grove to advance into the winners' bracket, the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches' No. 12 Class 5A team upped its overall record to 18-3.

Tatum, the 13th-ranked team in Class 4A, suffered its second loss of the season and will enter Tuesday's tournament action with a 15-2 record.

While Bell drove coast-to-coast and helped the Lady Eagles into early bonus situations, JT was able to counter with a well-rounded offensive effort. Five players got into double-digit scoring in a game plan featuring precision shooting as much as trying to run a shoter Tatum bench ragged.

Tameal Jones and Amia Wickware both hit four 3-point shots on the way to 16 and 13 points, respectively. Destani Whitehead, a freshman, also scored 16 points. Alyssa Mayfield tallied 15 points and Ashtyn Beal hit around her average mark with 14.

Tatum's freshman guard BriAnna Mitchell scored scored 15 points.

"Day one of this tournament was very tough for us," Smith said. "We played real early in the morning against a really good Pleasant Grove team. They had to travel four hours on a bus to get here and we were really fortunate to get a win. We played really, really well against two good teams.

"You don't always see teams that good so early in a tournament, but we did and it was good for us. We came out on the right end of it all."

That game against Pleasant Grove tipped off at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday will be even more of a challenge.

Due to collegiate events in the arena later in the day, JT will face Tyler Grace Community in the Herrington Patriot Center at 8 a.m. for the semifinal round of the winner's bracket, less than 11 hours after wrapping up the Tatum game.

"That's a little unusual," Smith said. "To play the late game and then play the early morning game. But we'll be here and see what we've got. We'll get out here and do our best."


John Tyler 88, Tatum 68

2014 Macy Chenevert Patriot Classic Winners' Bracket Quarterfinal

At Herrington Patriot Center, Tyler

John Tyler                26   20   27    15   --   88
Tatum                      20   10   26    12   --   68

John Tyler (18-3) -- Tameal Jones 16; Destani Whitehead 16; Alyssa Mayfield 15; Ashtyn Beal 14; Amia Wickware 13; Shakendra Tilley 6; Kaleigh Hackett 5; Kaleon Grant 3
Tatum (15-2) -- Alexes Bell 41; BriAnne Mitchell 15; LeAndrea Allison 7; Diamond Sammons 5.
THREE-POINT GOALS -- John Tyler: Jones (4), Wickware (4), Whitehead. Tatum: None


Bullard Samples District 16-4A Slate

TYLER -- Bullard got a taste of what its district holds in a 56-44 win in the quarterfinals of the Macy Chenevert Patriot Classic, and it has a date with fellow league opponent Gilmer in the semifinals.

Kilgore used a 9-1 run early in the third quarter to cut a 29-18 halftime deficit to 30-27 midway through the period, but 11 turnovers during the course of the game bit the team while forward Lexi Kirgan paced the No. 16 Lady Panthers (18-4).

Kirgan shot 13 of 20 from the field and added four points on free throws for a career-high 30 points. Maddy Slayter added 11 points in the winning effort.

Kilgore sophomore MarShalia Lollie led the Lady Bulldogs with 22 points.

The Lady Panthers advanced to the winners' bracket with a 60-25 win against Wills Point earlier in the day.

Bullard has a bit more resting time before its game than John Tyler. It will tip off against Gilmer at 10 a.m. at the Herrington Patriot Center.

"The biggest challenge is Kilgore and Gilmer are both district opponents for us," assistant coach Chris Hightower said. "Kilgore plays really tough and Gilmer is going to be even better. They've got a girl that will match Lexi in height and stature."


Bullard 56, Kilgore 44

2014 Macy Chenevert Patriot Classic Winners' Bracket Quarterfinal

At Herrington Patriot Center, Tyler

Kilgore                       4   14   10    16   --   44
Bullard                     14   15   15    12   --   56

Kilgore -- MarShalia Thomas 22; Destiny McAfee 12; Mikayla Thomas 4; Nicole Clinton 4; Taytayna Norris 2.
Bullard -- Lexi Kirgan 30; Maddy Slayter 11; Kristen Chamberlain 8; DeAnna Howard 4; Tracey Johnson 3
THREE-POINT GOALS -- Kilgore: None. Bullard: Slayter (2), Howard