By Don Wallace
The basketball playoff berth is in the bank.
The Jacksonville Indians concluded District12-4A play Thuesday night with a 10-4 mark, good enough for a third-place playoff berth.
The Indians took a 67-38 win over the Henderson Lions before a big crowd at the JHS gym.
The home game of the year featured the recognition of senior players Jay Jimenez and Kelvin Hall. The contest was also a fund-raiser for the American Cancer Society. No total figure of the amount raised was released, but Henderson fans and players contributed $322 to the cause.
“We were a little distracted with everything going on. But we got it together and played much better in the second half,” said Roynal Bridgeforth, Jacksonville Indians head basketball coach.
“Henderson came out in a zone and we had a hard time against it. Later our defense made the difference and then our shots started to fall,” Bridgeforth said.
In the early going, Jacksonville took a 6-5 lead thanks to buckets by Jimenez and Donovan Bridgeforth.
Hall made a three-point play, sinking a free throw after getting fouled while making a bucket in the paint. Halfway through the opening period the Indians had an 8-5 lead.
Jacksonville closed out the period with a score from Demarcus Session in the lane while Bridgeforth drove the lane tossing in a one-handed floater.
The second period started with Jacksonville up 13-8. But buckets by Henderson’s Major Christian and Jake Lane tied the game at 15 at the 3:11 mark.
The Indians pulled back ahead with fast-break buckets from Bridgeforth and Session. The first half ended with Jacksonville holding a 23-19 lead.
The Tribe went on a 26-9 scoring run in the third period to further extend their margin.
The Indians controlled the boards and the pace of the second half.
Jacksonville 67, Henderson 38
Score by quarters
Jacksonville- Donovan Bridgeforth, 8; Ryan Black, 9; Jacolby Scott, 2; Jay Jimenez, 15; Tredderon Moreland, 4; Demarcus Session, 14; Dowindle Hamilton, 2; Kelvin Hall, 9; Chris Williams, 4.
3-point goals, Black (2); Jimenez, (3).
Henderson-Hunter Skelton, 2; Matt Free, 2; Jake Lane, 4; Josh Francis, 5;Major Christian, 3; Drew Griffith, 9; Russell Wylie, 13.
3-point goals- Francis.
Junior varsity game- Jacksonville 57, Henderson 33.
Jacksonville-Gentry Canady, 20; Cory Hamlett, 5; J. Denman, 2; Lavonte Franklin, 8; Kendrick Hatton, 11; Zaver Jones, 6; D. Hinton, 5.
Freshman game, Jacksonville 56, Henderson 39.
Jacksonville- Ryan Davlin, 6; Qualin Harris, 5; Jonathan Sessions, 6; Skyler Price, 21; Brandon Robertson, 15 and Cody Clark, 3.
The Jacksonville varsity Indians will play Lindale in the first round of the 4A playoffs at a location to be determined later.
By Don Wallace