Tyler Lee Holds Off Garland Naaman Forest For Third Consecutive Win, 60-53
TYLER -- For two quarters, it seemed as if the Tyler Lee Red Raiders would have no trouble capturing its third consecutive win to climb above .500 in District 11-6A play.
But after a disastrous third period, and a slow start to the fourth, legitimate doubt may have begun to set in. Instead of panicking after allowing what was once a 20-point lead shrink to four in the early stages of the fourth quarter, the Red Raiders executed its half-court offense to near perfection down the stretch.
It all added up to a 60-53 win for Tyler Lee (13-5, 3-2) over Garland Naaman Forest (3-14, 1-4) on Friday night at Lee Varsity Gymnasium.
Lee junior guard Jordan Berry led all scorers with 20 points, which included three 3-pointers. Meanwhile, senior forward Garrett Thibodeaux pounded the glass and finished with a double-double -- 11 points and 16 rebounds -- to go with a pair of blocks.
Despite making just 12-of-30 attempts in the first half, Lee cruised to a 35-18 halftime lead. A sizable rebounding margin, coupled with a dreadful 4-for-26 shooting performance for the Rangers, allowed for the big first-half lead.
The Red Raiders got sloppy with the ball in the second half, and especially in the third quarter, when Naaman Forest racked up five of its 15 steals on the night and outscored Lee, 20-11, to cut the deficit to 46-38 entering the fourth.
Back-to-back 3-pointers in the first minute of the final period trimmed Lee's lead to 48-44, but the Red Raiders responded with an 8-0 run over the next 3:16 by being patient in their half-court sets and executing at the rim.
Two Thibodeaux layups underneath the basket sandwiched a pair of driving layups from junior Isjuwan Barker during the pivotal run that pushed Lee's lead to 56-44 with 3:45 to play.
Barker finished the night with eight points, four rebounds and two assists. Senior forward Tra Caldwell added seven points, six boards and two blocks in the win.
Naaman Forest was led by Juwan Saddler, who finished with 14 points, five rebounds, two assists and two steals. Peter Shortino added 14 points, two rebounds, two assists and five steals, while Terrell Anderson chipped in with eight points.
Lee's lack of ball security in the second half, along with a respectable 15-of-20 performance from free-throw line helped Naaman Forest get back in the game. The Red Raiders held a 37-25 edge in rebounding, but were only 8 of 19 on free throws.
The Red Raiders knocked down three of its four 3-pointers on the night in the first quarter. Lee went on an 11-0 run in the period and entered the second quarter with a 14-7 lead.
Naaman Forest made just one field goal in the second quarter, which allowed Lee to eventually build its biggest lead of the night at 33-13 with 1:55 remaining in the half. Thibodeaux, who did not start, had a monster second period with all seven of his first-half points and eight of his 10 first-half rebounds.
Lee returns to action Tuesday night at home against Garland Sachse.
Tyler Lee 60, Garland Naaman Forest 53
District 11-6A Boys Basketball
At Lee Varsity Gymnasium, Tyler
Naaman Forest 7 11 20 15 -- 53
Tyler Lee 14 21 11 14 -- 60
NAAMAN FOREST (3-14, 1-4) -- Juwan Saddler, 14; Peter Shortino, 14; Terrell Anderson, 8; Tony Ates, 5; Mike Nelson, 4; Tevin Morgan, 3; John Rogers, 3; Marcus Harrison, 2.
TYLER LEE (13-5, 3-2) -- Jordan Berry, 20; Garrett Thibodeaux, 11; Isjuwan Barker, 8; Tra Caldwell, 7; Zach Hall, 5; Rico Major, 5; Jogene Aguilar, 2; Jordan Devers, 2.
THREE-POINT GOALS -- Naaman Forest: Anderson, Ates, Rogers, Saddler. Tyler Lee: Berry (3), Hall.