TYLER --  The ladies of Tyler T.K. Gorman needed only a few minutes to shake off the holiday cobwebs.

Once they did, it was all Lady Crusaders as they beat Tyler Lee 63-43 in the first round of the Macy Chenevert Patriot Holiday Tournament at UT Tyler on Thursday.

Gorman (16-2), ranked third in the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches Large Private School poll, used a 15-2 second-quarter run led by guard Michelle Obach and post Susannah Williams to pull away from Lee.

Obach, a Merrimack (Mass.) College signee, collected 22 points, five steals, and four assists. Williams added 18 points, 10 rebounds, and three steals.

"Having five days off, I always get a little nervous coming back from the holidays," said T.K. Gorman coach Katie Robertson. "Lee played earlier in the morning, so I expected (Lee) to be loosened up. I reminded them that in the two losses we've had this year, it was in the first quarter where we lost both of those games. I told the girls, 'This is your opportunity to turn it around and have a better ending.'"

Gorman opened the second when Williams fought hard for the offensive rebound, was fouled, and nailed both free throws. Allie Buzbee kissed a jumper off the glass, then Obach sank a three from the wing to give the Lady Crusaders a 27-14 lead at the 4:36 mark. When Danielle Smith connected on a three-pointer from an Obach assist, it was 30-16 Gorman heading into halftime.

"We've been looking to get the ball inside more, and I told (Williams) once we get the ball to you, we need you to score. She stepped up, and she did it," Robertson said.

Obach started the third with a three-pointer, then drained a soft jumper in the lane, pushing the Lady Crusaders' advantage to 36-17.

Lee (10-12) tried to crawl back. Sophomore Berge' Lewis hit a bucket off a post move. She hit another jump shot in the lane to bring Lee within 15, 36-21. Lee's Dajah Thompson sank a three off a Shreese Pryor assist with 2:18 left in the third to make it 38-26. But Williams made an outstanding play to save the ball from out of bounds and dish to a cutting Buzbee for the layup and a 43-26 Gorman margin.

"(Gorman is) a good ball team," said Tyler Lee coach Lloyd Mahaffey. "You have to be on your best game to beat them."

Gorman plays Lindale or Pleasant Grove at 7 p.m. Friday at UT Tyler.

Tyler Lee's Tree Brooks dribbles down the court during the Lady Raiders' 63-43 loss to Tyler T.K. Gorman on Thursday at UT Tyler. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)


No. 12 Liberty-Eylau 62, Longview 45

TYLER -- For three quarters, Longview gave Class 3A No. 12 Liberty Eylau Lady all it wanted. In the fourth, Liberty-Eylau returned the favor.

Behind 20 steals and balanced scoring, Liberty-Eylau defeated Longview 62-45 in the first round of the Macy Chenevert Holiday Classic at UT Tyler on Thursday.

Liberty Eylau (12-3) was led by Baylor-bound guard Imani Wright, who tallied 17 points, six rebounds, seven steals, and four blocks. Lauren Godfrey added 17 points, 14 rebounds, and six steals, while Sharde Collins chipped in 14 points, 13 rebounds, and three steals.

Longview's (11-8) duo of Ravan Chism and Mikayla Smith combined for 30 points and 12 rebounds, with Chism knocking down four three-pointers on the night.

Longview was down only six, 42-36, heading into the fourth. But Liberty-Eylau exploded for 20 fourth-quarter points, including a 15-4 run, starting with a Godfrey steal and layup. After a Wright steal and layup, Wright found Godfrey for the no-look dish and three-point play, making it 55-38 at the 4:50 mark. When Wright sank a mid-range jumper, it was 58-38 with just under three minutes to go.

"First, you have to tip your hat to Longview and coach (Keith) Smith," said Liberty-Eylau coach Robert Cochran. "We didn't play well, but I think Longview had something to do with that. We picked up our defensive intensity in the second half. We aren't in shape to press for four quarters, that's what we're known for. For us to do what we want to do, we have to get better at that. Imani gets a lot of the attention, but Collins has been tremendous and had a great season for us so far."

Liberty-Eylau started the night on a 13-2 run fueled by a Wright trey and pull-up jump shot. Longview's Smith sank a three-pointer, then Kiaca Ross found Chism for a back-door layup to bring the Lady Lobos within four, 16-12.

Chism dominated the second quarter, hitting back-to-back threes to give Longview a 21-20 lead. When Maci Hopkins got the rebound and putback, the Lady Lobos' margin grew to three, 27-24.

Collins sank a jumper in the middle of the lane, followed by Morgan Utsey's layup in transition to give L-E a 30-29 advantage into halftime. Utsey finished with 12 points and eight rebounds.

Longview opened the third quarter with a Chism three to go up 32-31. That was the last lead change of the night. Liberty-Eylau started an 8-0 run after Wright sank one of two free throws.

Liberty Eylau plays the John Tyler vs. Pine Tree winner at 8:30 p.m. Friday at UT Tyler.


Other scores from Thursday's action at the Macy Chenevert Patriot Holiday Tournament at UT Tyler ...

  • Lindale 68, Mineola 49
  • Mineola 62, Tyler Grace 34
  • Tyler Lee 47, Kilgore 33
  • Pleasant Grove 56, Tyler Grace 32
  • Pine Tree 53, Henderson 47
  • Longview 59, Hallsville 48