John Tyler Begins Macy Chenevert Patriot Classic Title Defense With Big Win Against Atlanta + Full Day One Coverage
TYLER -- As usual in the Macy Chenevert Patriot Classic year-to-year, John Tyler put its opening round opponent on the ropes early and cruised to a 57-28 victory against Atlanta on Tuesday at Bishop Gorman's Haddad Gym.
Some might say the program -- which is expected to be bumped from Class 5A to Class 6A next season -- is an unfair match for a tournament field featuring a team of home schooled students, 11 teams in smaller classifications and three other Class 5A teams still trying to find an identity.
Lady Lions head coach Mike Smith hopes to always be invited back to the holiday event. But it's not because he sees it as an opportunity to win more hardware as the Texas Girls Coaches Association's third-ranked Class 5A team.
"There's tournaments anywhere during the holidays that we can go to," Smith said. "Everybody's going to say John Tyler ought to be playing in Duncanville. You know, we went to Georgetown and got that done. Right now is a time to get back together and get ready to play district.
"But even at that, it's more important to support those important things that happen in life that our kids are going to face as adults."
Duncanville's concurrent tournament, which features Duncanville as the nation's No. 1 ranked team, is the premiere state event this week in girls' basketball. At least in the northern half of Texas.
The Macy Chenevert Patriot Classic, on the other hand, is a smaller tournament honoring what its primary namesake would want to do today with East Texans just like her.
Macy Chenevert, who Bishop Gorman foresaw as a future star, died of Erwing's Sarcoma in 2005. Shortly after completing Bishop Gorman's eighth grade season despite already receiving a bleak diagnosis.
Her parents, Steve Chenevert and Becky Chenevert, are instrumental in putting on the annual event alongside Bishop Gorman's athletics department staff.
"I hope that by coming here and respecting the legacy that Macy has left and for her love of the game and her parents' love of the game -- It's just a great thing," Smith said. "It's just a great legacy to support. And we're just going to do it. You know? It's not going to make us that much better to go to Duncanville, if any.
"It's local. Their families can stay here and watch them and all that. But it's supporting Macy and her legacy. That's what's most important to me."
John Tyler (16-2) rolled behind three double-digit scorers in Ashtyn Beal, Destani Whitehead and Alyssa Mayfield.
Beal led the way with 16 points, followed by Whitehead's 14 in the first half before sitting and Mayfield's 10 in addition to seven rebounds.
Atlanta (7-3) was paced in defeat by Stonnie Farmer's game-best 18 points.
The Lady Lions won the rebound battle, 33-24, and recorded seven steals as part of the Rabbits' 26 turnovers. Kaleon Grant, a sophomore, recorded a game-best three steals.
John Tyler opened up a 16-0 lead through the game's first six minutes and didn't allow a field goal until the final 13 seconds of the opening quarter for a 20-4 advantage.
The lead grew to 46-14 at the break and the defense held the Rabbits to two third-quarter points for a 50-16 lead.
"Our press, we worked on that a little yesterday," Smith said. "There are some thing we know we have to get better at no matter who we're playing. I think Atlanta had some quickness that helped us to get better. They could get the ball in and out and down the floor as quick as anybody we've played."
Atlanta will begin consolation play today at 10:30 a.m. against Bishop Gorman inside Haddad Gym.
With the win, Smith's squad will take on the Dallas Thunder in the tournament's championship bracket quarterfinal round. The Thunder, a team of home schooled students, ranked No. 1 in the state among independent programs, defeated Bishop Gorman by a score of 52-6 about an hour later.
The quarterfinal game will be played at Haddad Gym today at 3:30 p.m.
John Tyler is three wins from defending its 2014 Macy Chenevert schedule, which would be particularly special for the head coach.
"First of all, I have two daughters," Smith said. "Then, I love basketball players. I've seen these kind of kids that love basketball and how they grow up. To know that the Cheneverts had a daughter that died in the eighth grade that loved basketball, it's warm in my heart. But, at the same time, it breaks my heart.
John Tyler 57, Atlanta 28
2015 Macy Chenevert Patriot Classic
At Bishop Gorman's Haddad Gym, Tyler
John Tyler 20 26 4 7 -- 57
Atlanta 4 10 2 12 -- 28
JOHN TYLER (16-2) -- Ashtyn Beal 16, Destani Whitehead 14, Alyssa Mayfield 10, Daz Johnson 7, Kaeleon Grant 3, Shakendra Tilley 3, Kaleigh Hackett 1, Brea Staten 1.
ATLANTA (7-3) -- Stonnie Farmer 18, Lexie Gonter 2, Kadee Kelly 2, Kwan Sheppard 2, Teshuna Sheppard 2, Jada Washington 2.
THREE-POINT GOALS -- John Tyler: Whitehead (2), Beal. Atlanta: Farmer.
Gilmer Hammers Whitehouse
TYLER -- Gilmer closed the first quarter of Tuesday's opening round contest against Whitehouse with a big run to take control of the entire game, 60-25.
In a 6-4 contest with 3:57 left in the opening period, the Lady Buckeyes (9-3) took off on a 12-2 run. It would have been 12-0 had it not been for Sydeney Malstrom's successful jumper at the buzzer.
Whitehouse (4-9) was outscored 29-7 through the first half's final 12 minutes in total.
Ashlyn Ray paced Gilmer with 15 points. Destiny Brooks also reached double digits with 10 points.
Laraebion Brewster and Christian Brown both recorded four steals and Gilmer forced 19 Whitehouse turnovers as a team.
Malstrom and Brittany Taylor paced Whitehouse with six points apiece.
Gilmer will take on Tyler All Saints in the tournament's quarterfinal round at 5 p.m. today. Whitehouse will begin consolation play against Mineola at 11:45 a.m. The respective games will be played at Bishop Gorman's Haddad Gym.
Late Burst Lifts All Saints Over Mineola
TYLER -- Kendall Rhodus put up 11 of her 19 points in the fourth quarter of Tuesday's game against Mineola to turn a five-point Tyler All Saints lead after three quarters into a convincing 53-33 victory.
The Lady Trojans (10-6) outscored Mineola (5-9) 24-8 in the fourth quarter.
Sarah Bracken finished second in team scoring for All Saints with 16 points.
Lauren Almuete put up a team-best 15 points for the Lady Jackets in defeat.
All Saints will square off with Gilmer at 5 p.m. today inside Haddad Gym for the right to advance to the tournament's semifinal game.
Mineola will start consolation play at 11:45 a.m. against Whitehouse.
2015 Macy Chenevert Patriot Holiday Classic
At Bishop Gorman's Haddad Gym + UT-Tyler's Herrington Patriot Center
- Game 1 -- Jacksonville 48, West Rusk 43
- Game 2 -- Kilgore 49, Daingerfield 16
- Game 3 -- Tyler Grace Community 54, Winona 46
- Game 4 -- Tatum 63, Dallas Triple A Academy 21
- Game 5 -- John Tyler 57, Atlanta 28
- Game 6 -- Dallas Thunder 52, Bishop Gorman 6
- Game 7 -- Gilmer 60, Whitehouse 25
- Game 8 -- Tyler All Saints 53, Mineola 33
- Game 9 -- Daingerfield vs. West Rusk, 8 a.m.
- Game 10 -- Dallas Triple A Academy vs. Winona. 9:15 a.m.
- Game 11 -- Atlanta vs. Bishop Gorman, 10:30 a.m.
- Game 12 -- Mineola vs. Whitehouse, 11:45 a.m.
- Game 13 -- Jacksonville vs. Kilgore, 1 p.m.
- Game 14 -- Tatum vs. Tyler Grace Community, 2:15 p.m.
- Game 15 -- Dallas Thunder vs. John Tyler, 3:30 p.m.
- Game 16 -- Gilmer vs. Tyler All Saints, 5 p.m.
- Semifinal -- Winner Game 9 vs. Winner Game 10, 8 a.m.
- Semifinal -- Winner Game 11 vs. Winner Game 12, 9:15 a.m.
- Consolation Title Game -- Semifinal Winner vs. Semifinal Winner, 2:30 p.m.
- Semifinal -- Winner Game 13 vs. Winner Game 14, 8 a.m. (Patriot Center)
- Semifinal -- Winner Game 15 vs. Winner Game 16, 9:15 a.m. (Patriot Center)
- Third Place Game -- Semifinal Loser vs. Semifinal Loser, 1 p.m. (Patriot Center)
- Championship Title Game -- Semifinal Winner vs. Semifinal Winner, 2:30 p.m. (Patriot Center)
Final Opportunity Games
- Loser Game 9 vs. Loser Game 10, 10:30 a.m.
- Loser Game 13 vs. Loser Game 14, 10:30 a.m. (Patriot Center)
- Loser Game 11 vs. Loser Game 12, 11:45 a.m.
- Loser Game 15 vs. Loser Game 16, 11:45 a.m. (Patriot Center)