Lee's Tomlinson goes from cheering to leading

Robert E. Lee senior guard Evan Tomlinson hopes to lead his team into the postseason. (Christopher R. Vinn | Tyler Morning Telegraph)

Now you see him …

Robert E. Lee senior guard Evan Tomlinson doesn’t look as quick as he is. The 5-9 shooting guard will receive a pass, give a bit of a fake and then explode down the baseline to the hoop for a layup.

His defender can only watch as Tomlinson adds to his point total.

And to think that this time last year, Tomlinson’s main role was as a cheerleader from the bench. He did not score enough points to warrant a season average. A year before that, he was on the bench in junior varsity as a backup point guard.

“He doesn’t realize how good he is. He’s invaluable to this team,” said Lee coach Alan Johnston. “He’s deceivingly quick and makes some steals sometimes that you don’t even see how (he did it). He gives us a very good second guard and that 20-foot threat. People have to guard out on him.”

Tomlinson leads the team, shooting 31 percent from beyond the arc with 25 3-pointers. When defenders forget about the aforementioned quickness, it usually leads to a layup.

“He also finishes around the basket. He doesn’t just go in there (out of control). And when he does draw contact, he goes to the free-throw line and makes his free throws.”

Tomlinson began the season averaging double figures, but that has since dropped. He currently is scoring 8.6 points per contest.

The senior co-captain thinks he knows why.

“Lately, I’ve been shooting a little bit too much instead of getting to the basket and the free-throw line which is what I am the best at I feel,” said Tomlinson, who is shooting 68 percent from the charity stripe.

The senior also has 43 steals, 35 assists and drawn eight charges.

In last Friday’s loss at Mesquite, Tomlinson scored 10 points with two steals, an assist and he took a charge. The Red Raiders (15-9, 0-3 in District 11-5A) need to get on the winning track if they want to achieve their goal of making the playoffs.

Tomlinson said he and his teammates understand that must start tonight at home against Longview.

“We’ve just got to focus and just play harder and not worry about all of the other stuff,” Tomlinson said.

The Red Raiders and Lobos are scheduled to tip-off at 7 p.m. at Varsity Gymnasium.

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