Jacksonville had an ample amount of chances to defeat John Tyler in the regular season finale Wednesday night at the JISD Gymnasium, and with that guarantee themselves a playoff spot.
But, failed opportunities, specifically, too many missed shots, both from the field and from the free throw line, derailed the Tribe as the Lions edged Jacksonville 64-62 to nail down second place in the district.
The loss, coupled with Lindale's win over Corsicana left the Tribesmen, the Eagles and the Tigers in a three-way tie for third; all finishing 4-6 in conference play.
John Tyler ended up 6-4 in district and will go into post season as the second-place team, with Whitehouse (9-1) having earned the loop crown.
Jacksonville couldn't buy a bucket in the first quarter and trailed 10-5 after the first eight minutes of play.
The Indians, who are now 19-12 overall, shot just 14.3-percent (2 of 12) from the field in the first segment.
The Lions, who will open the state Class 4A, Region 2 playoffs against Mansfield Lake Ridge early next week, outscored the Indians 22-18 in the second frame to carry a 32-23 lead into the locker room at intermission.
The Tribe went to the free throw line eight times in the first half and hit just one freebie, which came back to bite them as well.
Jacksonville battled feverishly in the second half, cutting the Lion lead down to seven, 46-39, going into the last quarter of play.
After an old fashioned 3-point play by John Tyler's Keaunte Humber, that took place with 5:13 to play, the Lions increased their lead to 53-41.
The Tribe then started steadily nibbling at the Lion lead and managed to cut it to a single point with 2:29 left in the contest.
That's when Daytron Franklin drained the first of two free throws, making the score 58-57 in favor of the guests.
The Tribe did much better at the charity line in the last half, connecting on 6 of 8 attempts.
With John Tyler in front 62-59, Jacksonville's Raybon Riden missed an off-balanced triple attempt with :34 seconds showing on the clock that would have closed the gap to within a point for Jacksonville, who never led in the game.
John Tyler then added a could of free throws over the next 14 ticks to swell its margin to 64-59 with :20 left to go.
Riden then drained a right-wing trey with :07 left that turned out to be the final points of the game.
Riden launched another 3-pointer at the buzzer, desperately trying to secure the win for the home team, but the shot missed its mark.
Riden and Claude Franklin led Jacksonville in scoring with 12 each.
Franklin and Thompson pulled down eight rebounds apiece for the Indians.
Thompson and Ty Landon chipped in nine points each for the Indians as well.
Jordan Caldwell put in a game-best 16 points for the Lions, with Kevron Jackson adding 15 and Rodney Bendy tossing in 14.
NOTES: The game was originally scheduled to be played Tuesday, but was pushed back a day due to icy roadways Tuesday evening...There were no sub-varsity games played Wednesday...Wednesday was Senior Night for the Tribe, with six players and student trainer Keyuta Fuller being recognized in the pre-game ceremony...Indians playing in their final home game for Jacksonville were, Chris Cross, Daytron Thompson, Charles Kendrick, Raybon Riden, Claude Franklin and Mason McCormick.
John Tyler 64, Jacksonville 62
John Tyler 10 22 14 18 — 64
Jacksonville 5 18 16 23 — 62
John Tyler (14-11, 6-4) — J'Khari Lewis, 3; Jordan Caldwell, 16; Isaac Warren, 7; Rodney Bendy, 14; Keaunte Humber, 5; Jacob Owens-Bush, 4; Kevron jackson, 15.
Jacksonville (19-12, 4-6) — Mason McCormick, 3; Daytron Thompson, 9; Chris Cross, 2; Shawn Ragsdale, 4; Charles Kendrick, 5; Claude Franklin, 12; Datavion Thacker, 6; Ty Landon, 9; Raybon Riden, 12.
Free Throws — JT- 19-42 (45.2%); J- 7-16 (43.4%)
3-Point Shots — JT- 1-3 (33%); J- 3-19 (15.8%)
Rebounds — JT- 48 (Jackson, 16); J- 43 (Thompson, 8; Franklin, 8)
Turnovers — JT-20; J-12
Technicals — None