Late Run Propels Kountze to 82-71 Semifinal Victory vs. Laneville at Tenaha Holiday Hoops Scholarship Classic
TENAHA — Class A Division II Laneville went toe-to-toe with perennial Class 2A power Kountze on Friday at the Special Events Center, but a late Lion spurt proved to be the difference.
Second-ranked Kountze erased a six-point deficit with five minutes remaining by closing the Tenaha Holiday Hoops Scholarship Classic boys semifinal on a 24-7 run for an 82-71 victory over No. 4 Laneville.
Kountze’s win gives the Lions a chance to win back-to-back Tenaha Holiday Hoops tournament titles and their fourth in five years after they beat White Oak 78-62 in the 2012 championship game. Kountze will again face White Oak in the tournament final at 8 p.m. Saturday in the Special Events Center. White Oak beat Tenaha 55-51 in the Friday nightcap. Laneville plays Tenaha at 6:30 p.m. in the third-place game.
Kountze senior post J.J. Edwards scored eight points during the late run to finish with 15 points, 12 rebounds, three blocks, two assists, and two steals. Junior guard Justin Harper led the Lions with 18 points, while sophomore guard Grayland Arnold assembled a strong all-around performance with 17 points, five assists, and four steals as he spearheaded Kountze’s trademark high-pressure full-court defense.
Senior forward Xavier Barnes had 17 points, six rebounds, and three steals. Kountze accumulated 16 steals to Laneville’s 10.
Laneville junior forward Kendrick Anderson had a game-high 23 points, nine rebounds, three steals, two assists, and two blocks. Senior guard Dontavious Harris hit five three-pointers to finish with 21 points, six boards, three steals, and two assists, while sophomore guard Tralon Alexander added 18 points and 12 rebounds.
Laneville junior forward Ty Johnson got off to a fast start with four points, nine rebounds, and two blocks before halftime, but foul trouble plagued him most of the night. He had one of the game’s best highlights with a first-quarter, two-handed tip dunk over two Kountze defenders that set the tone for the Yellow Jackets to play with the favored Lions.
Laneville built a 49-40 third-quarter lead before Kountze staged a 10-0 run to regain the lead. The game went to the fourth quarter tied 54-54, but Laneville opened the final period on a 10-4 run for the aforementioned 64-58 lead that preceded Kountze’s game-ending 24-7 run.
Kountze tied the game 64-64 on Xavier Scott’s three-point play, which fouled out Johnson with 4:27 to play. Laneville’s final led came at 70-68 before a 10-0 Kountze run fueled by a Harper steal-turned-layup and Edwards’ clutch fourth-quarter performance propelled the Lions to the victory.
Tenaha Holiday Hoops Scholarship Classic
Kountze 82, Laneville 71
Special Events Center, Tenaha
Laneville — 12 27 15 17 — 71
Kountze — 19 18 17 28 — 82
Laneville — Kendrick Anderson 23, Dontavious Harris 21, Tralon Alexander 18, Tiarel Franklin 5, Ty Johnson 4.
Kountze — Justin Harper 18, Grayland Arnold 17, Xavier Barnes 16, J.J. Edwards 15, T.J. Stanford 7, Xavier Scott 6, Brandon Hooper 2, Landry Linn 1.
Rankings — Laneville: No. 4 in 1A D-II. Kountze: No. 2 in 2A.