The District 16-4A curtain lifted for the Jacksonville Fight’n Indians Friday night before a standing-room only crowd at the JHS Gymnasium, and aside from the modest size contingent from Lindale that made the trip down, everyone seemed to exit the building feeling pretty good.
That’s because the Tribe spanked the Eagles 49-22 to improve to 24-0 on the year, 1-0 in conference.
Jacksonville is ranked No. 12 in the current Class 4-A poll.
Naturally there were hugs, handshakes and pats on the back aplenty for the Tribesman following the game, with Indian post Kadarrius Buckingham offering up his accessment of things.
“It feels good to be 24-0 and it feels good to get our first district win at home,” he said.
After a lethargic start — Jacksonville led 9-6 after the first period — the Indians began to build steam the rest of the way.
Defensively the Tribe limited Lindale (9-11, 0-1) to three points in the second period before taking a 19-9 advantage into the locker room at the break.
The offense then really started to get in gear in the third when Jacksonville shot 41.2-percent (7-of-17) from the field to expand the lead to 36-13 with one quarter left to play.
Buckingham said the large audience earned an assist in his book for their energy and excitement that they unleashed on Friday.
“Our crowd always gives us a boost and once we start to hit our shots they really come alive and get into the game.
“And that’s what really wins games for us.”
Well spoken, young man.
A Jeremy McAnally trey from the left corner with 30 seconds to go in the first half gave the Indians their first double-digit lead of the night at 19-7.
After the Indians opened the third with a corner three off the hand of Dadrian Franklin followed up by a Londedric Taylor deuce off of a Lindale turnover the Tribe had expanded thier margin to 24-9, with the rout officially having been launched at that point.
Franklin and Taylor dumped in 11 each to lead all scorers.
Buckingham pitched in eight, followed by Chris Cross with six.
McAnally had five, with Daytron Thompson, Kevin Lybrand and Raybon Riden adding two each.
Completing the scoring for the Indians was Ozzian Clayborne and Claude Franklin who added a point apiece.
Lindale’s top scorer was Mason Terry, who had six.points.
Tribe head coach Brent Kelley said that he was very satisfied with his club’s physical effort.
“We didn’t shoot the ball very well in the first half, ut our energy level was up there all night,” he said. “That’s what having a big crowd does for a team.”
Kelley said once the Indians got revved up in the second half everything seemed to fall in place.
“Lindale slowed it down in the first half, but I thought that we came out in the second half and really got after it and picked up the pace and good things started happening for us.”
The Indians expect to be tested nest week, with road games at Corsicana (Tuesday) and at Nacogdoches (Friday) on the docket.
“This next week will be the most important week of the season for us,” Kelley said. “It’s the first time that we have had (to play) two road games in one week. It will be tough, that’s for sure.”
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