Late Three-Pointer Lifts Mesquite Past Tyler Lee, 50-47
TYLER — Mesquite’s Alex Cooper hit a three-pointer with 13 seconds left to break up a tied game as the Skeeters beat Tyler Lee 50-47 on Friday to retain sole possession of first place in District 12-5A.
Cooper led Mesquite (18-9, 7-1) with 16 points, five rebounds, three assists, and two steals. Post Javante Wilson added 13 points, four boards, and two steals.
“(Cooper) set a screen, then came off a screen,” said Mesquite coach Brian Curts of the sequence that set up Cooper’s game-winning shot. “He drove and missed but wound up getting the offensive rebound, so then he was just playing 1-on-1, doing his thing.”
Tyler Lee coach Alan Johnston was upbeat despite the loss, which came after his Red Raiders erased an 11-point halftime deficit.
“We got better because of this game,” Johnston said. “We have a bunch of hard-working, blue collar-type kids on this team. Value possessions, let (Mesquite) beat you up, be big with the ball, and it almost worked out. We gave ourselves a chance.”
Lee (18-8, 5-3) tied the game 47-47 on Tucker Boyd’s bucket with 45 seconds remaining in the game. Boyd’s deuce capped an 11-3 run fueled by a Taylor Tankersley three-pointer and a Tankersley three-point play.
Tankersley scored a game-high 18 points, including 10 in the third quarter, to go with seven rebounds and two blocks. Lee’s Caleb Johnston tallied nine points and four boards. Boyd had seven points, six assists, and two steals.
“(Lee) started knocking down shots in the second half and I felt they wanted it a little more in the third,” Curts said. “I felt like we didn’t have the same intensity as Lee in the second half. We wanted to get it inside to Javante. He was hurt the first time we played Lee, and we thought we could take advantage of his size down low. We worked on that the last few days in practice, getting it inside for some easy buckets.”
Mesquite controlled the first half by forcing 11 turnovers. Cooper scored eight points in the first quarter, helping the Skeeters to a 13-9 lead after one.
Mesquite raised the tempo in the second and Lee’s final 11 possessions of the first half resulted in nine turnovers. A Wilson putback and a couple of free throws gave Mesquite a 28-17 halftime lead.
Lee opened the second half on an 11-0 run sparked by Tankersley’s fade-away jumper in the lane. Tankersley scored three consecutive possessions, but Mesquite’s Jamarquez Scott answer with back-to-back three-pointers to keep Mesquite ahead, 38-34. Lee didn’t tie the game until Boyd’s shot with 45 seconds left.
Tyler Lee travels to Longview on Tuesday.