Progress staff reports
Jacksonville Daily Progress
The No. 21-ranked Jacksonville High School boy's basketball mowed through the field at the Fairfield Tournament, which took place Thursday through Saturday.
The Fight'n Indian hoopsters improved to 12-0 on the year by winning all four of its games in the tourney, giving Jacksonville its second tournament crown in as many weeks — the Indians will try to make that three-for-three when they take part in the Tatum Holiday Classic this weekend, but first the Indians much face Athens at 7:30 p.m. this evening at the JHS Gymnasium.
In what was an anticlimactic championship game, the Indians ripped Waco Robinson, 56-40, as Raybon Riden scored 13 points.
Dadrain Franklin pumped in a dozen, and Daytron Thompson netted 10.
Jacksonville's biggest threat came in the semi-finals,however, when the Tribe needed a Franklin trey at the buzzer to stop Class 3A No.-18 Waco LaVega (6-1) 70-68.
The biggest lead either school could muster up was seven points and there were multiple ties and lead changes throughout the hotly contested tilt.
“LaVega was no doubt the best team that we have faced,” Jacksonville head coach Brent Kelley said. “LaVega went to the state tournament last year and their point guard scored 29 on us. They are a very good basketball team.”
Kelley further alluded to an additional upside that the game produced for the Indians.
“We needed to have a game where we had to fight in the fourth quarter and be challenged late,” Kelley said.
Charles Kendrick, playing in a reserve role, came into the game and led the Tribe in scoring with 16 points, followed by Thompson with 12.
Dadrian Franklin, Londedric Taylor, Riden and Claude Franklin each topped out with nine points.
Jacksonville opened the tourney with a 72-26 bombing of Woden on Thursday.
Chris Cross paced the Tribe with 11 points, followed by Dadrian Franklin, Thompson, Ozzian Clayborne and Riden, with 10 apiece.
Thompson and Riden led the way, scoring 20 and 12 points, respectively, in the Indians' 73-51 decision over Mexia's Black Cats on Friday.
Kelley said that despite his team's white-hot start, that improvement is still needed.
“Being undefeated after 12 games is nice, but we have to go out and take each game one at a time,” he said. “We have to get better. If this is as good as we can be, then we want have a successful year. We still have work to do.”
NOTE: Tonight's schedule looks like this...The junior varsity boys will open things up at the JHS Gymnasium at 5 p.m., followed by the varsity girls taking on Tatum at 6:15 p.m...The varsity Indians will then tip of around 7:30 p.m...At 5 p.m. in the lower gym, the freshmen boys will be going at it, with the JV girls playing at 6:15 p.m.