By Don Wallace

This time it was a tougher game.

Early in the season when John Tyler and Jacksonville were just switching from football to basketball and the Tribe put an 11-point whipping on the Lions.

On Friday night, after both teams had made overall improvements, Jacksonville still won.

The Indians outscored the Lions 15-10 in the final quarter to take a 61-52 win.

The game was closer than the score might indicate.

John Tyler hurt themselves connecting on just 12 of 25 free throws.

“Give John Tyler credit, they did look a lot better. They played hard and would not quit. We had to match their intensity. They came down to our gym ready to play. We had a good crowd, it was a good atmosphere. We never could get even buckets to be comfortable with our lead and pull away,” said Roynal Bridgeforth, Jacksonville head boys basketball coach.

The coach said that late 3-pointers by Donovan Bridgeforth and Jay Jimenez helped seal the deal in the fourth period.

Score by quarters

John Tyler 20-11-11-10-52

Indians 19-16-11-15-61

Jacksonville was led by Jimenez who hit for 18 points, including four 3-pointers; Kelvin Hall, 15; Bridgeforth, 12 with three 3-pointers; Jeremy Chappelle, 5; Demarcus Session, 4; Eric Taylor and Chris Williams, 2 each.

John Tyler got 15 from Billy Thompkins, including two 3-pointers.

Jacksonville is 9-3 for the year, John Tyler is 1-8.

“We shot the ball pretty well against John Tyler. We handled the pressure they used against us. That is something they always do, use a lot of presses and traps. We handled it and that is a good sign for our younger players,” Bridgeforth said.

“We challenged the John Tyler shots. We were in the right position. We played pretty well on defense. We could have rebounded better. John Tyler scored off several offensive rebounds. We did all right on the defensive boards,” Bridgeforth said.

Bridgeforth said he thinks John Tyler will continue to improve and be a force in their district later in the year.

The Indians also have district games looming on the horizon.

The first 12-4A matchup for the Tribe is Dec. 18 at Marshall.

In the near future, the Indians have several days for rest before a Dec. 14 upcoming game against 3A power Bullard at the JHS gym.

“We need to rest our legs. We have had several games in a row. We have some bumps and bruises. We are pretty sore from tough games. We look forward to having a good game with Bullard coming up. It is another one which will test how much improvements we have made,” Bridgeforth commented.

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