The Jacksonville High School girls basketball team did something that is very difficult to do Tuesday night.
The Fightin' Maidens went into the Lions Den at John Tyler High School and saddled the Lady Lions with their first District 16-4A loss of the season as Jacksonville exited with a 47-45 victory.
“That was a big win for our kids,” Fightin' Maiden head coach Tony Harris said. “The atmosphere that they have there gives them (John Tyler) a huge home court advantage and it is one of the more unique environments in the area, and for our kids to be able to go in there and keep their composure and wits and be able to pull out a win is huge.”
Jasmine Parson and DaMonica Franklin led the Fightin' Maiden charge.
Parson supplied the game-winning shot, a jumper from the paint that came with eight seconds left in the contest.
Prior to that play the senior point guard had drained a pair of shots from the charity line that enabled the Maidens to tie the game at 45 with 31 ticks showing on the clock.
Parson put in a game-high 18 points for Jacksonville, with Franklin close behind with 15 points.
Franklin sewed up a double-double by shagging 13 rebounds.
“Jasmine shot the ball very well,” Harris said. “And DaMonica Franklin was piercing their (John Tyler) defense throughout the night, so we had a lot of positive things going on on both ends of the court.”
Perhaps Harris was most proud of how his team battled back late in the game after being down by five points.
“With about four minutes to play in the game John Tyler completed the biggest run of the game and got up by five points,” Harris explained. “But our girls didn't panic and they never quit and you have to give them lot of credit for that, especially playing in that sort of hostile environment. That's not an easy thing to do for any team.”
Jacksonville moved to 13-12, 2-4 with the win while the Lady Lions stand at 18-9, 5-1 and are a game ahead of Lindale and Corsicana in the district standings.
Also cracking into the scoring column for Jacksonville were TaSheena Canady with eight points, Mireya Gaitan with four and Inchantra Kendrick who put in two.
Tameal Jones had 16 for the Lady Lions and Ashtyn Beal added 13.
John Tyler led 24-23 at the half, with the Maidens owning a 33-32 edge going into the final period of play.
Jacksonville hosts Whitehouse, who is also 2-4 in conference at 6:15 p.m. Friday.
The Maidens and the Ladycats, who edged Jacksonville in three overtime rounds in their first meeting of the season, are in a battle for the fourth and final playoff spot out of the loop.
“I think that we are starting to see that any team can beat any other on any given night,” Harris said. “So the most important game is the next one on the schedule, and for us that's Whitehouse Friday night.”