TYLER -- The deck was stacked against the Jacksonville Maidens heading into Tuesday night's District 16-5A encounter against No. 11 John Tyler with its top player out of action.

It got much worse once the ball was tipped off, as the Lady Lions remained unbeaten in league play with a 73-12 rout at the Lions Den.

"The score got out of hand, and you hate it because (Jacksonville's) best player is out," said John Tyler coach Mike Smith. "But you know, you've got to play out of respect for Jacksonville. And their kids never quit, they gave all the effort they had. We're just fortunate to have a lot of good kids; we've got a whole bench full of kids who can play. I really feel bad about the score ending up like it did because I have so much respect for (coach Tony Harris) and what he does at Jacksonville."

John Tyler (23-3, 5-0) survived an off-night from the field by applying intense on-ball pressure that resulted in more than 40 Jacksonville (6-15, 1-4) turnovers. The Lady Lions' defensive performance netted 23 steals on the night.

"We score so many points that people think we're offensive, but our points come off of playing defense, and that's what we were doing well tonight," Smith said. "We were defending, we were rebounding, and the fastbreak was working."

Alyssa Mayfield led John Tyler with a double-double featuring 12 points and 11 rebounds to go along with two assists. Freshman Destini Whitehead added 12 points, three rebounds and three steals, while junior Ashtyn Beal finished with 10 points, three boards, three assists and four steals.

Shakendra Tilley and Amia Wickware scored nine points apiece in the win.

Jacksonville scored the game's first basket for a short-lived lead, but John Tyler finished the first quarter on a 16-2 run before opening up a 36-8 lead at halftime. Whitehead scored all 12 of her points in the game's first two quarters.

The Lady Lions once again held Jacksonville to one field goal in the third quarter, building a 51-10 lead in the fourth. John Tyler scored the first 20 points of the final period to open up a 50-point advantage.

"I'm proud of the girls," Smith said. "It's another step in the right direction we want to go, and that's to try to be the district champion."

Both teams return to action Friday night. John Tyler travels to Lindale, while Jacksonville hosts Lufkin.

---

No. 11 John Tyler 73, Jacksonville 12

District 16-5A Girls Basketball
At Lions Den, Tyler

Jacksonville            2      6      2      2    --    12
John Tyler             16    20    15    22    --    73
JACKSONVILLE (6-15, 1-4) -- Alicia Boykin, 4; Denetria McCullough, 4; Moquesha Robertson, 2; Cayron Christopher, 2.
JOHN TYLER (23-3, 5-0) -- Alyssa Mayfield, 12; Destini Whitehead, 12; Ashtyn Beal, 10; Shakendra Tilley, 9; Amia Wickware, 9; Shakala Johnson, 6; Tameal Jones, 5; Kaleon Grant, 4; Kaleigh Hackett, 4; Daz Johnson, 2.
THREE-POINT GOALS -- Jacksonville: none. John Tyler: Beal, Jones.