By Don Wallace

sports@jacksonvilleprogress.com

NACOGDOCHES — It’s a good thing the Maidens did not need a win over Nacogdoche s Tuesday night.

Jacksonville got nipped at the buzzer 74-73 in overtime when the Lady Dragons hit a bucket late.

The final shot came off a rebound with the winning bucket at the final horn.

“We were up by six points with 14 seconds left in overtime,” Tony Harris lamented. “We fouled when we shouldn’t have late. A Nacogdoches player threw up a 3-pointer and it went in. We missed some free throws, we had some things go against us.”

Harris continued, “We can learn several good lessons from this loss. The game is not over until the final horn sounds. You have to play the whole game, because Nacogdoches scored the final bucket with just fractions of a second left. You can never let up, especially in this very competitive district.”

Amber Tilley led the Maidens with 23 points while Tiandra Smith tossed in 21 and Victoria Abu scored 15. Other scorers were: Sarah Brand and Jackie Cartwright with 4 each; Christina Martinez, Ashley McAnally and Amber Whitmill scored 2 apiece.

LaMorgan Davis led the Lady Dragons with 31 points.

Score by quarters

JHS — 12-16-21-14-10-73

NHS— 21-17-9-15-11-74

Nacogdoches won the District 12-4A title with a 13-1 mark with Whitehouse second at 10-4 and the Maidens securing third with a 9-5 mark.

Jacksonville won the district title last year. The Maidens have made the playoffs four of seven years under Harris.

“We lost four senior starters last year and win district. So we retooled and got after it and made the playoffs again,” Harris said. “The fact we made the playoffs is all a direct result of the hard work this team has put in.”

Harris said with a grin, “I can put that tough loss to Nacogdoches behind me now, because going into the playoffs, all the times are 0-0. It’s very exciting and rewarding, because this has taken a lot of work.

“Making the playoffs is really a big feat,” Harris said. “We played well and got third place. But in the playoffs it doesn’t matter if you finished third or first. All the teams are good.”

Harris said that the playoff game with North Lamar will be finalized later with the time, date and location still to be determined by the coaches.

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