In a game Robert E. Lee had to win to stay within reach of a playoff spot, things did not get off to the most promising of starts. Longview’s Brandon Beck drained a jumper followed by a basket from Romeo Noel to make it 4-0 with just over 30 seconds elapsed.
The Lobos never led again as Lee took control of the game and its season with a 59-42 District 11-5A basketball victory on Tuesday at the REL Varsity Gymnasium.
Lee raises its record to 16-9 overall, but more importantly, notched its first district win (1-3) while Longview dropped to 9-11 and 1-3.
“We knew if we didn’t get this one done that it would be very tough to get into the playoffs,” said Lee junior Taylor Tankersley, who led all players with 23 points and seven rebounds.
“We came out here and played hard and my teammates played well.”
After his team fell behind 4-0, Evan Tomlinson got Lee on the board with a 3-pointer followed by a basket from Tankersley. This was the start of a 16-0 run by the Red Raiders, who built a 10-point cushion and stayed in front.
Tomlinson and fellow senior guard Jarrod Coleman accounted for nine of the 16 points with Tomlinson ending the run with a four-point play.
“They’ve got real good guard play,” said Longview coach Billy Goffney. “Their two guys, (Coleman and Tomlinson) do a great job taking care of the ball and it’s hard to get turnovers. They shot the ball extremely well, so there weren’t a lot of second-chance points. They were knocking their shots down and we missed a lot of ours around the basket.”
Tomlinson finished with 12 points and three rebounds while Coleman chipped in 13 points to go along with three board and three steals.
Longview was led by Jaquan Jackson’s 12 points while T.D. Snyder had 10 rebounds and two blocks before fouling out a pivotal time in the fourth period.
In its three district games prior to Tuesday, Lee had either been ahead or tied in two of them at halftime before running out of gas in the second half.
That wasn’t the case against Longview. Lee led 31-20 at halftime and was able to do enough to answer the Lobos’ comeback efforts in the second half.
Longview used a 6-0 surge between the end of the third and the beginning of the fourth periods to cut Lee’s lead to single digits, 42-35, but REL responded with two baskets from Tankersley and free throws by Tucker Boyd to push it back to 48-37.
Any more chances of a Longview comeback were doused after Snyder picked up his fourth foul, followed by a technical foul.
Tankersley went to the line and sank four free throws and then came around a screen and drained a dagger 3-pointer.
“After the first two free throws I knocked them down pretty well so Coach (Alan Johnston) wanted me just to stay out there and take the technical ones because I was in the groove,” Tankersley said. “I felt pretty good after that and then Evan hit me (with the pass) and I let it rip.”
Tankersley’s seven-straight points gave Lee a 55-37 lead and enabled REL to play ball control and drain the clock after that to secure its first district victory.
The Red Raiders led 16-4 thanks to their 16-0 run, but were then outscored 11-4 by Longview as the Lobos clawed their way back to within five points, 20-15. Lee responded by outscoring Longview 11-5 the rest of the half to lead by 11 points at the break.
“We just wanted to control the tempo more than anything, and there was a stretch for about three or four minutes in the second quarter where we lost that,” Johnston said. “We were playing a little too fast. But (we got that sorted) and we went back to playing the way we’d been playing (before district).
“It’s a good win against a solid, athletic team and it sets us up for a great road trip Friday at North Mesquite.”
Robert E. Lee 59, Longview 42
Longview 10 10 13 9 — 42
Robert E. Lee 16 15 11 17 — 59
LONGVIEW — Brandon Beck 2; Romeo Noel, 7; Jaquan Jackson, 12; Stephon Anthony, 2; Jordan Whitaker, 4; Jakory Morris, 6; T.D. Snyder, 4; T.K. Snyder, 5. FG: 16-51. FT: 6-14.
ROBERT E. LEE — Jarrod Coleman, 13; Austin Fleet, 2; Evan Tomlinson, 12; Luke Derfus, 0; Taylor Tankersley, 23; Will Dougherty, 4; Caleb Johnston, 0; Tucker Boyd, 5; Justin DeSalvo, 0. FG: 18-34. FT: 18-26.
THREE-POINT GOALS — LV (4-17): Jackson, Morris (2), T.K. Snyder. REL (5-12): Tomlinson (2), Tankersley (5).
RECORDS — Longview 9-11 (1-3); Robert E. Lee 16-9 (1-3).
NEXT UP — DeSoto at Longview, 7 p.m.; Lee at North Mesquite, 7 p.m.
Lady Raiders get back on track with win at Longview
LONGVIEW — The injuries keep mounting for the Lee Lady Raiders, but it hasn’t deterred junior Ciara Johnson, who continues to produce double-figure games. Johnson led all players with 24 points as Lee snapped a two-game losing skid and beat Longview 62-46 Tuesday night at Lobo Coliseum.
Lee (21-7, 4-2 in 11-5A) remains in at least a tie for second in the district, depending on how the other league games went. Longview dropped to 1-5 in district with the loss.
“I am happy to get out of there with a win,” said Lee coach Lloyd Mahaffey. “Right now injuries are shooting us in the foot and we are just trying to work through it. CJ stepped up tonight and had a big game for us.”
Despite being forced to dress just seven players for the second-straight game, the Lady Raiders jumped out on Longview 22-4 in the first period to take control and never look back. Senior Bre Brooks chipped in 14 points while Dominique Thomas had 7.
Lee 62, Longview 45
Robert E. Lee 22 19 13 8 – 62
Longview 4 11 20 10 – 45
ROBERT E. LEE – Tree Brooks, 3; Ciara Johnson, 24; Dominique Thomas, 7; Berjae Lewis, 5; Dajah Thompson, 4; Bre Brooks, 14; Emem David, 5.
LONGVIEW – Akia Patrick, 6; Ashley Moore, 7; Tay Whaly, 2; Mikayla Smith, 6; Raven Chism, 9; Maci Hopkins, 5; Kiara Ross, 7.
THREE-POINT GOALS – REL: T. Brooks, B. Brooks, Johnson. LV: Patrick, Moore (2), Chism.
RECORDS – Longview (1-5); Robert E. Lee 21-7 (4-2).
NEXT UP – North Mesquite at Lee, 7 p.m.; Longview at DeSoto, 7 p.m.