Kountze Staves Off Big Tenaha Run to Reach Tournament Final With 84-65 Victory
TENAHA — Kountze built a 22-point third-quarter lead, but needed a big run to finish off Tenaha in Friday’s semifinal at the Tenaha Holiday Hoops tournament.
Tenaha roared back to within five points with three minutes remaining, but Kountze’s pressure defense turned up the dial for a 16-2 game-ending spurt in an 84-65 victory at the Special Events Center that sends the Lions to Saturday’s 8:30 p.m. championship against Class 2A No. 1 White Oak.
Kountze (18-3) accumulated 25 steals, including nine from Darrion Harper, who had seven points and five assists. Grayland Arnold, Dante McMahon, and Justin Harper had three steals apiece.
Tenaha fell behind 57-35 on a Justin Harper three-pointer early in the third quarter, but closed the period on a 15-5 run to pull within 62-50 entering the fourth quarter. A couple of second-chance buckets — Chavis Gregory’s putback and J.R. Hill’s jumper — cut Kountze’s lead to 68-63 with 3:05 to play, but Kountze came alive. Justin Harper hit a baseline pullup jumper before Arnold snagged a loose ball in the backcourt and took it in for a layup and 72-63 advantage less than a minute later.
Then two Kountze second-chance opportunities sealed the game.
McMahon putback a free-throw miss and was fouled, which led to Marcus Williams’ putback on McMahon’s free-throw miss. Williams’ bucket put Kountze ahead 76-63.
Justin Harper led Kountze with 17 points, while Jamazdon Powell scored 16. Arnold, a freshman, scored 13 points. Xavier Barnes had 10 points and six offensive rebounds. Williams finished with four points, nine rebounds, three assists, two blocks, and two steals.
Tenaha’s DeAaron Roland had a big game and played a huge role in the Tigers’ comeback. Roland had a game-high 21 points, 12 rebounds (eight offensive), and three steals. Teammate Chavis Gregory had 13 points and nine rebounds, while Hill had 10 points and four rebounds. Keontas Davis added nine points and five boards.
Kountze built a 12-4 first-quarter lead and led 26-17 after one period thanks to seven steals and about a dozen forced turnovers. The steal total grew to 13 by halftime, when Kountze led 50-33.
Tenaha Holiday Hoops
2A No. 6 Kountze 84, Tenaha 65
Special Events Center, Tenaha
Kountze — 26 24 12 22 — 84
Tenaha — 17 16 17 15 — 65
Kountze (18-3) — Justin Harper 17, Jamazdon Powell 16, Grayland Arnold 13, Xavier Barnes 10, J.J. Edwards 8, Darrion Harper 7, Dante McMahon 6, Marcus Williams 4, Corey Lowe 1, No. 32 (not listed on roster) 2.
Tenaha — DeAaron Roland 21, Chavis Gregory 13, J.R. Hill 10, Keontas Davis 9, Jacobi Ivy 4, Vincent Walton 4, Cobe Caraway 3, D’Andre Thomas 1.
Other boys results from the Tenaha Holiday Hoops tournament …
Friday’s Other Semifinal
- White Oak 67, Cayuga 55
- Kountze vs. White Oak, 8:30 p.m., Tenaha’s Special Events Center
- Laneville 66, Saltillo 59
- Central Heights 55, San Augustine 53
Saturday’s Fifth-Place Game
- Laneville vs. Central Heights, 5:30 p.m., Tenaha’s Special Events Center
Saturday’s Fifth-Place Consolation Game
- Saltillo vs. San Augustine, 4:30 p.m., Tenaha’s Tiger Gymnasium
- Slocum def. Alto (played in Gary, score unavailable)
- Woden 72, Lipan 48
- Chireno 62, Avery 55
- Joaquin 68, Leggett 67
- Woden 54, Slocum 47
- Chireno 50, Joaquin 47
Saturday’s Consolation Finals
- Chireno vs. Martinsville, 9 a.m., Tenaha’s Tiger Gymnasium
- Chireno/Martinsville winner vs. Woden, 4 p.m., Tenaha’s Special Events Center
Saturday’s Consolation Games
- Alto vs. Lipan, 3 p.m., Tenaha’s Tiger Gymnasium
- Avery vs. Leggett, 6 p.m., Tenaha’s Tiger Gymnasium