A pair of triples off the hand of Datavion Thacker made all the difference in the world for Jacksonville Tuesday.
The Tribe's 5-foot-9 sophomore guard swished in a pair of 3-pointers from the top of the key on back-to-back Indian possessions over a 29 second span late in the third quarter that gave the Tribe what it needed to turn a nip-and-tuck District 16-4A battle against Lindale into a double-digit (54-42) Jacksonville victory, which took place at the JISD Gymnasium.
“Those shots were the turning point for us,” Jacksonville head coach Mark Alexander said. “We started playing with a lot more confidence from that point on and it really gave us some momentum to close the game out strong against a good Lindale team that we have a lot of respect for.”
Jacksonville moved to 19-8, 4-2 16-4A, with the win and coupled with Nacogdoches' 64-52 upset win over John Tyler Tuesday, the Tribesmen and the Lions are now tied for second in the District 16-4A race. Both schools trail Whitehouse by just a single game.
Jacksonville started the game out slow — Lindale led 14-2 after one period of play — as the Indians missed their first eight shots from the field.
“I thought we came out a little bit hung over after the Whitehouse game (last) Friday,” Alexander said. “We still seemed to be feeling the affects of that game at practice Monday, but once we finally started to play like we are capable of, things turned around for us.”
It was yet another Tribe three ball that also deserved mention, however.
Chris Cross drained an uncontested trey from the left corner with :01 to go in the first half that tuned out to give Jacksonville the lead for good at 24-22.
The Indians shot 44.4% (4 of 9) from beyond the arc, with the Eagles connecting on just one trey out of five tries.
Despite the slow start, Jacksonville played an extremely sound game fundamentally, as the Indians committed just nine turnovers all night.
By comparison, the Indians' full court pressure coaxed the Eagles into making 22 miscues in the contest.
Lindale pulled to within five points, 45-40, after a pair of free throws by Mason Terry that came with 2:46 to play in the game.
Jacksonville responded by closing the tilt out on a 7-2 mini run, however.
Thacker was the game's top point maker with 15 points.
Dayton Thompson and Raybon Riden added 11 and eight, respectively, for the Indians, who will travel to Corsicana to take on the Tigers Friday night at 7:45 p.m.
Thompson also led his team in rebounding, with eight.
Jacob Capo scored 13 to lead Lindale, while Brian Boaz pitched in nine points and the same number of boards.
Tuesday's win gave Jacksonville a sweep over the Eagles, as the Tribe won in overtime when the two clubs faced off in Lindale earlier this season.
Jacksonville 54, Lindale 42
Lindale 14 8 9 11 — 42
Jacksonville 2 22 14 16 — 54
Lindale — Jacob Capo, 13; Brian Boaz, 9; Mason Terry, 8; Court Brown, 7; Jordan Gray, 3; Laettner Greenhill, 2.
Jacksonville (19-8, 4-2) — Datavion Thacker, 15; Daytron Thompson, 11; Raybon Riden, 8; Chris Cross, 7; Shawn Ragsdale, 6; Charles Kendrick, 4; Claude Franklin, 3; Mason McCormick, 0; Carter McCown, 0; Ty Landon, 0.
Free Throws — L- 9-13 (69.2%); J- 14-29 (48.3%)
3-Point Shots — L- 1-5 (20%) Gray. J- 4-9 (44.4%) Thacker, 2.
Rebounds — L- 28 (Boaz, 9); J- 27 (Thompson, 8).
Turnovers — L- 22; J- 9.
Technicals — None.
Junior Varsity — Lindale 55, Jacksonville 54.
Next Game — Jacksonville at Corsicana, 7:30 p.m. Friday.