Jacksonville Daily Progress
Depth is an asset of the Jacksonville Fight'n Indian basketball team and an array of Tribe reserves stepped up and answered the bell when called on with the game on the line Friday night.
After Nacogdoches cut the Indian lead to 26-25 with 5:44 to go in the third quarter, Jacksonville went on a 10-2 run that was largely the result of the play of non-starters Kevin Lybrand, Charles Kendrick and Jeremy McAnally.
That scoring spurt was just what Jacksonville needed to put away the Dragons as the Tribe improved to 26-0, 3-0 in District 16-4A, by coming away with a 53-37 win over Nacogdoches before a decent-size crowd, which included plenty of Indian fans as well, at the roomy Dragon Coliseum.
A Kendrick basket with just over five minutes to play in the third followed by a Lybrand triple from the top of the key at the 4:01 mark and another trey from Lybrand with 3:11 showing on the clock in quarter number three served as the bulk of the Tribe's production in the run as Jacksonville went up 36-27, following Lybrand's last three ball.
McAnally, who was fouled while putting up a three from the corner, made good on two of three free throws to keep the Tribe margin at eight points in side of 50 seconds to go in the third.
The efforts of the aforementioned trio came at a most welcomed time for the Tribe as the team's leading scorer, Dadrian Franklin, was forced to the pine with 3:51 to go in the second quarter, after picking up his third foul.
Franklin did not re-enter the game until inside of the two minute mark of the third period of play.
“Some of our kids like Kendrick and Lybrand really helped us out with DD (Franklin) on the bench,” Jacksonville head coach Brent Kelley said. “We've talked all year about how deep this team is and having that depth, kids that could in off the bench and get the job done, played a big part in this win.”
The Tribe held their foot on the gas pedal and outscored the Dragons (13-9, 1-2) 15-5 in the final stanza to finish strong.
One starter who had a good night for the Indians was Raybon Riden.
Riden topped out with a game-high 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting from the field.
Daytron Thompson accounted of 11 of the Indians' points.
Jacksonville will now turn its attention to John Tyler as the Indians are scheduled to host the Lions at 7:30 p.m. tonight at the JHS Gymnasium.
The Lions (8-13, 2-1) were upset by Corsicana, 60-46, on Friday as three John Tyler starters were absent due to football recruiting visits.
“We want to encourage all of fans to come out tonight,” Kelley said. “Come on out early to make sure you can get a seat and enjoy watching the freshman and junior varsity games.”