By Jay Neal
Jacksonville rookie-head coach Brent Kelley said prior to the start of Friday’s game against Longview that he was worried because the game was his team’s first with only a few abbreviated practice sessions under the Indians’ belt due to the state playoffs in football.
Kelley also was nervous because Longview entered the game having played in a game — a 67-60 win over Nacogdoches Tuesday — already.
Turns out Kelley didn’t have anything to fret about after all as the Fightin’ Indian hoopsters presented the 26-year-old Garrison native a victory in his first game as a varsity head coach by beating Longview 71-54 at the JHS Gymnasium.
After a first quarter that was played on even terms for the most part ,Jacksonville held a 16-12 lead after the first eight minutes.
But a 7-0 spurt to open the second stanza gave the Indians the needed separation and Longview never seriously threatened from that point on.
Jacksonville outscored the Lobos (1-1), who were missing several players due to the state football playoffs, 23-13 in the second period to take a comfortable 39-25 advantage into the dressing room.
Ryan Black pumped in 13 points in the first half, in route to a game-high 21-point evening to lead the Indians.
A Duke Hamilton trey off the left wing that came near the midpoint of the third put the Tribe in front by 18 points, 50-32, with the Indians maintaining that margin through the duration of the period — the Tribe led 54-36 with one period remaining.
Eight out of the 11 Indians to dress out scored at least two points with Justin Davis (15) and Hamilton (10) being the additional double-digit men, along with Black.
Devonte Hinton and Traderreon Moreland added eight points a piece for the Tribe as well.
Top scorers for the Lobos were Damien Lawson with 25 and Luke Mack who tossed in 18.
“A win is a win, but there are a lot of things we have to clean up,” Kelley said following the game. “For the kids to have had just four practices, I thought they came down the floor well. We just have a few things we will have to fix next week.
“Longview is a good team that is picked to win their district and I know they were missing a few players because of football, but they are (still) a good team.”
The Tribe have one more game prior to dismissing for Thanksgiving. That will come at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday when the Indians host Crockett.
Note: Kelley said 56 boys tried out for the Indian freshman, junior varsity and varsity teams this week, with 37 selected to fill the respective rosters which is a significant increase in the overall numbers from a year ago.
Jacksonville 71, Longview 54
LHS 12 13 11 19 54
JHS 16 23 15 17 71
LHS — Damien Lawson, 20; DeAndre Benton, 5; Luke Mack, 18; Mason Simmons, 4; Green Carroll, 6; R. Wells, 1.
JHS — Traderreon Moreland, 8; Duke Hamilton, 10; Ryan Black, 21; Jacolby Scott, 4; Brandon Orr, 3; Justin Davis, 15; LaVante Franklin, 2; Devonte Hinton, 8.
LHS — Lawson (2), Mack (4)
JHS — Hamilton (2); Orr
Jacksonville vs. Crockett
By Jay Neal
This Week's Circulars
MiMi-Sandra of Fort Worth, born 7 September 1945 in Jacksonville to Joe Selman Gore and Jeffie Gwendolyn (Lazenby) Gore. Preceded by her parents and five siblings. Survived by her husband, daughters, four siblings, nieces and nephews.
Aubrey 'Skip' Evans passed away May 29, 2021. Memorial services will be June 29, 2021 at 10:30 a.m. at Flint Community Church formerly known as Flint Church Of The Nazarene, 11019 County Rd 174, Bullard, TX 75757
Wilbur Thomas (W.T.) Chandler, 75, passed away on Sunday, May 30,2021 in Jacksonville. Private family graveside will be held in Griffin Cemetery in Cherokee County. Arrangements by Autry Funeral Home.
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