Jacksonville secured the fourth and final playoff berth out of District 16-4A Saturday afternoon at Cardinal Gymnasium at Trinity Valley Community College by outlasting Corsicana, 66-62.
The Indians (20-12) will now face No. 2-ranked Lancaster, most likely on Tuesday night at a location to be determined, in a Class 4A, Region 2, bi-district affair.
Lancaster finished in first place in District 15-4A.
After taking a 33-26 halftime lead, thanks in part to a 15-2 first segment run, the Tribe then spent the rest of the afternoon dodging Tiger bullets; quite successfully, too.
Corsicana's last lead came with 3:55 to go in the first quarter, but the Tigers (15-16) did manage to knot things up at 54 with 4:20 to go in the game.
But, Jacksonville scored six-consecutive points to once again plant itself in the drivers seat.
The Tigers got back to within one, 62-61, with 1:11 left, but a Daytron Thompson deuce at the 60-second mark, followed by the kill shot — a baseline floater from about 10 feet out by Charles Kendrick — quickly made it a two-possession game for Corsicana as Jacksonville went up, 66-61, with 31 seconds left.
Defensively, the Tribe gave a good account late as the Tigers were not able to hit a field goal in the final 2:31 of the tilt.
“Things haven't always gone our way this year, and I take full responsibility for that, but the effort has always been there throughout,” Jacksonville head coach, Mark Alexander said. “We got a great effort (Saturday) from the kids and I am really proud of them.”
Jacksonville's reserves did an outstanding job and outscored the Corsicana bench players, 32-18. The Tribe's ability to keep fresh and productive players in the game seem to wear down the Tigers in the final stages as Corsicana had lost 51-50 in overtime to Lindale on Friday night in the loop's first game to determine the third-place team.