Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

February 12, 2013

Fight’n Indians drub Whitehouse to claim 16-4A championship

Jay Neal
Jacksonville Daily Progress

JACKSONVILLE — They are now 32-0 and ranked No. 10 in Texas.

Oh, there’s one more accolade that the Jacksonville Fight’n Indian basketball team earned Friday night — a District 16-4A basketball championship

That reward belongs to the Tribe now after Jacksonville carved up the Wildcats of Whitehouse 49-35 in front of a sell-out crowd at the JHS Gymnasium.

Speaking of the 50-plus year-old facility, Friday’s game looks to have been the last varsity basketball game that will ever be played in the arena, as the Indians are scheduled to move in the Lon Morris College gymnasium in time for the 2013-14 campaign.

The Tribe followed their script pretty closely on Friday as they terrorized Whitehouse in the third quarter, outscoring the ‘Cats 19-9, to move in front 39-30.

That run washed away a 21-20 advantage Whitehouse enjoyed at the break.

“We feel like the third quarter is ours and that’s when we start to turn up the heat and play our best basketball,” Londedric Taylor, the team’s senior point guard said. “

The Tribe went 9-of-11 in the third while holding the ‘Cats to 4-of-9 from the field.

Jacksonville actually started to make its move on Whitehouse in the final 59 seconds of the first half.

That’s when Dadrian Franklin scored two quick buckets and Taylor added the third to cut what had been a six point ‘Cat lead down to a single digit.

“We talked about that at halftime and we felt like we had the momentum at that point and we knew how important it was to go out from the start in the third and take a big lead on then,” Taylor said.

The Tribe opened the period on an 11-2 run to take its first double digit lead, 33-23, with 3:20 to go in the third.

Jacksonville made its first seven field goal attempts in quarter three.

The Indians also played well defensively and held Whitehouse’s leading scorer, Patrick Mahomes, to just 13 points, well below his season average.

“We knew we had to keep in check and I think that we matched up well against him,” Jacksonville head coach, Brent Kelley said. “We sent a lot of help in from the post to contain him and got in his face and guarded him well.”

Kedarrius Buckingham led Jacksonville by tossing in 12 points and hauling in 12 boards.

“We wanted this win bad,” Buckingham said. “To win a District championship on Senior Night in front of a packed gym is pretty sweet.

“But our work isn’t done, we want to end the regular season undefeated and to do that we have to beat John Tyler Tuesday.”

Daytron Thompson added nine points for the winners, followed by Taylor and Franklin with eight apiece.

Charles Kendrick knocked in seven.

Jacksonville held the ‘Cats to 27.8-percent (5-of-18) from the field in the second half while shooting 70-percent (14-of-20) during the same period.

“We accomplished one of our goals (Friday night)” Kelley said. “This group of seniors never lost a varsity game in this gym during the four years that they were her. That’s pretty incredible and is something to be proud of.”