Aside from the opening stanza, Jacksonville and Nacogdoches battled on even terms on Tuesday night at the John Alexander Gymnasium.
The Dragons, however, zipped out of the gate to take a 23-11 lead after one period of play, which proved to be a difference maker, and went on to defeat the Tribe, 61-46.
The Indians (9-19, 0-10) trailed by as many as 22 points at the 4:22 mark of the third stanza, but continued to dig and scrape until the final horn had sounded.
Jacksonville closed the gap to 11 points, 56-45, with 3:04 left in the game,
An Indian scoring spurt that was highlighted by senior Desmond Fuller, who finished with 14 points, hitting a shot from down low and connecting on the front end of a pair of shots from the charity line was enough to put the Indians back to within a workable difference.
Vito High knocked down 14 points for Jacksonville, with Jonathan Denman pitching in 12.
The win enabled Nacogdoches (24-8, 9-1) to keep pace with Marshall in the battle at the top of the District 16-5A standings.
The Dragons were led in scoring by Deonte Johnson, who poured in a game-high 21 points. Thirteen of Johnson's points came in the first quarter.
The Indians will welcome Whitehouse to town on Friday. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m.