KETK – Three high school boys basketball teams in District 16-5A entered Tuesday tied for the fourth and final playoff spot out of that league.
One other team Lufkin, was just one game ahead of them.
The four were matched up against each other Tuesday evening.
John Tyler jumped out to a 12-0 lead on Hallsville, eventually pushing that advantage to 29-9 by halftime. But behind Ben Samples’ 21 points, the Bobcats rallied with a vengeance, cutting the deficit to 35-24 by the end of the third quarter, ultimately making it a three-point game at 49-46 with 30 seconds to play.
But the Lions held on to win 51-46 as Kaylon Crear led JT with 10 points, and Sean O’Neal pulled down 12 rebounds.
Coach Cedeno Clark’s squad improves to 5-5 in district play which gives them sole possession of fourth place in the league, which of course would also be the final postseason ticket. The Lions are 8-16 overall.
Hallsville, which has dropped six of its last seven games, is now 4-6 in district action, and tied for fifth with Whitehouse.
The Wildcats came up short at home Tuesday against the Lufkin Panthers falling 40-33. This was a tightly contested game all the way through as the Pack led 19-17 at halftime. Then the two teams entered the fourth quarter tied at 30.
Jackson Parks hit a big shot just inside the arc with just over two minutes to play that gave the Panthers a 36-33 lead. LP then hit some key free throws down the stretch to hold on for the victory.
Natron Wortham led the Pack with 14 points, while Houston Baptist football signee Peyton Kennedy had 11 points for Whitehouse.
Lufkin improves to 6-4 in league play, which puts the Panthers by themselves in third place with four games left in the regular season.
The Wildcats which had won three in a row prior to last Friday, have now dropped two straight.
Watch the video to see the highlights.
Tuesday’s 16-5A scores
Lufkin 40 Whitehouse 33
Hallsville 46 John Tyler 51
Marshall 74 Pine Tree 57
Nacogdoches 61 Jacksonville 46