John Tyler Pulls Into First Place Tie in 16-4A By Handing Jacksonville First League Loss, 61-53
TYLER -- John Tyler used its length underneath the basket and soft touch at the free-throw line to wear down Jacksonville on Tuesday night at the Lions Den.
The Lions held a plus-11 rebounding advantage and were 23-of-31 on foul shots in their 61-53 victory over Jacksonville, which created a three-way tie at the top of the District 16-4A standings between John Tyler (11-8, 3-1), Jacksonville (17-7, 3-1) and Whitehouse (19-5, 3-1).
John Tyler captured its second consecutive victory over Jacksonville after defeating the Indians in the final game of the regular season a year ago which snapped the Tribe's 32-game winning streak.
"It was huge because they were in sole possession of first place," said John Tyler coach Cedeno Clark of Jacksonville. "Like I told the kids going in, 'you can either be tied for first place or be bumped down to third place.' It was a challenge for them and they stepped up to the challenge."
Kevron Jackson led John Tyler with 16 points to go with eight rebounds.
"Kevron is just one of those energy guys," Clark said. "He's going to give you everything he has on the offensive end and the defensive end. We have to keep him kinda contained or keep his composure down a little bit because he gets (emotional) sometimes. But I'll take it any day if he's grabbing rebounds and blocking shots like he's doing."
Jordan Caldwell added 12 points, five rebounds and three assists in the winning effort, while teammate Keaunte Humber also finished with 12 points and three rebounds. Isaac Warren added eight points, three boards and two steals, J'Khari Lewis scored seven points off the bench and Rodney Bendy added four points and brought down a team-high nine rebounds and two blocks.
Raybon Riden led Jacksonville with 17 points to go along with five rebounds. Datavion Thacker added 15 points, four steals and two rebounds, while Daytron Thompson chipped in with seven points and five boards.
In addition to John Tyler's 34-23 rebounding advantage, the Lions outproduced Jacksonville on the free-throw line as the Indians made just 4-of-12 from the charity stripe.
John Tyler's only district loss came one week ago at Whitehouse after falling behind by 17 points in the first quarter. The Lions got off to a much quicker start Tuesday night, opening up an early 10-point, first-quarter lead.
"We started out in a hole at Whitehouse and I told them that that's a learning experience," Clark said. "To (get a lead) at the beginning against a good team like Jacksonville, that was huge for us."
After Humber's running jumper gave John Tyler an 18-8 lead with 2:10 remaining in the opening period, Jacksonville never got closer than six points the rest of the half as the Lions entered halftime with a 29-19 lead.
A Raybon Riden 3-pointer cut the Jacksonville deficit to 36-31 with 2:48 showing on the third-quarter clock, but the Lions took control of the game with a 13-4 run that built the lead to 49-35 with 6:44 remaining in the fourth.
John Tyler made just three field goals in the fourth quarter, but got to the free-throw line 16 times in the final period and made Jacksonville's full-court press a non-factor down the stretch.
"We turned it over a couple times (against the press) and we've got to get that corrected," Clark said. "But all in all, the most important thing is we got the 'W.'"
John Tyler's season resumes Friday at Lindale, while Jacksonville plays host to Whitehouse on Friday at Lon Morris College.
John Tyler 61, Jacksonville 53
District 16-4A Boys Basketball
At Lions Den, Tyler
Jacksonville 10 9 16 18 -- 53
John Tyler 18 11 15 17 -- 61
JACKSONVILLE (17-7, 3-1) -- Raybon Riden, 17; Datavion Thacker, 15; Daytron Thompson, 7; Claude Franklin, 4; Shawn Ragsdale, 4; Ty Lawson, 2; Mason McCormack, 2; Carter McCown, 2.
JOHN TYLER (11-8, 3-1) -- Kevron Jackson, 16; Jordan Caldwell, 12; Keaunte Humber, 12; Isaac Warren, 8; J'Khari Lewis, 7; Rodney Bendy, 4; Darren Farmer, 2.
THREE-POINT GOALS -- Jacksonville: Thacker (2), Riden.