WINONA -- Tatum certainly didn't look like a fourth-place district finisher in its 75-45 beatdown of Gilmer in the bi-district round of the Class 4A state playoffs.

The Eagles took permanent control of the Tuesday meeting at Winona High School less than three minutes into the contest and held a lead that ranged between six and 30 points through the game's final 28 minutes.

Jordan Smith's 16 points paced four Tatum players in double-digit scoring. OB Jones and Shay Rodgers scored 12 points while C.J. Vandre added 11.

Gilmer junior Qua Heath scored a game-best 19 points, but the next closest player on his side managed just seven.

Tatum (15-19) will face Pleasant Grove, a 58-49 winner against Wills Point, in the area round of the postseason. A time, date and location will likely be announced today.

Gilmer (7-7) closed its short season with the loss. It was heavily reliant on football players, like Heath, that made a run to the Class 4A Division II state semifinals and did not play a game until Dec. 20.

The Buckeyes did make up for lost time with the first seed out of District 15-4A.

Tatum, on the other hand, was forged in a very difficult District 16-4A. Three of four league teams advanced out of the bi-district round Tuesday against 15-4A competition.

Henderson was the only exception to 16-4A dominance in head-to-head match ups. It lost to Chapel Hill by two points elsewhere.

Three of Gilmer's 12 players -- Kelton Collier, Dimitri Fort and Schylur Noble -- will graduate in May. Collier and Fort will move on to collegiate football careers at Texas A&M-Commerce and East Texas Baptist University, respectively.


Tatum 75, Gilmer 45

Boys Class 4A Region II Bi-Distict Playoff
At Winona High School

Gilmer                  10      8     14    13    —    75
Tatum                   18    20     14    23    —    45
Gilmer (7-7) — Qua Heath 19, Schylur Noble 7, Tra Fluellen 5, Jamareon Granville 4, Red Jones 4, Dimitri Fort 2, Zak Jordan 2, Eddie Ray 2.
Tatum (15-19) — Jordan Smith 16, OB Jones 12, Shay Rodgers 12, C.J. Vandre 11, Tyler Wallace 8, Demontre Boyd 6, JaKobe Mitchell 5, Spencer Liles 3, Drake Smith 2.
THREE-POINT GOALS Gilmer: Noble. Tatum: Jones, Liles, Vandre.

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