JACKSONVILLE — With a showdown looming this weekend against Trinity Valley, the Apache Ladies were hopeful of staying focused against Jacksonville College.

The No. 16-ranked Tyler Junior College women’s basketball squad did just that, scoring a 71-58 win over the Lady Jaguars before about 100 fans at Curtis Carroll Field House on Wednesday.

It was the Apache Ladies’ 11th straight win. Their last loss was a 103-96 overtime decision to unbeaten and No. 1-ranked Trinity Valley on Jan. 11. TJC has also won 15 of its last 16 games as well.

The two powerhouses will battle at 2 p.m. Saturday in Athens.

But first, the Apache Ladies wanted to knock off the Lady Jags.

Markisha Hawkins led TJC (22-5, 13-2 Region XIV) with 21 points while Carolina Lopez and Ashley Benjamin added 10 points apiece.

The Apache Ladies cleaned up on the glass, outrebounding JC 50-32. Keaira Arion, Cecilia Okoye and Kirbi Clark each had seven boards while Benjamin contributed six rebounds.

“We had our moments tonight,” TJC coach Trenia Jones said. “We got to play a lot of people and that was good for them gaining experience. We had some ill-advised shots and turned the ball over at times.”

Jones was especially pleased with Lopez, who demonstrated a mini-hook shot.

“Now we have a ninth player we can depend on in the rotation,” Jones said.

Jacksonville fell to 5-23 overall and 2-14 in Region XIV and thus were eliminated from contention for a postseason tournament berth. Only the top eight teams advance and Panola holds the tiebreaker over the Lady Jags.

“We played well at times,” JC coach Lynn Nabi said. “We were up 7-6 with about 13 minutes left it got away from us.”

TJC went on 27-4 run to take a 33-11 lead.

“Trenia’s team plays so well defensively,” Nabi said. “They swarm to the ball. Their backcourt plays so well.”

Brooke Taylor led Jacksonville with 13 points, while Sierra Nevels added 11.


No. 16 Tyler Junior College 71, Jacksonville College 58

TYLER — Ericka House, 5; Markisha Hawkins, 21; Amber Ames, 8; Carolina Lopez, 10; Ashley Benjamin, 10; Keaira Arion, 9; Cecilia Okoye, 2; Shawnee Johnson, 2; Kirbi Clark, 4.

JACKSONVILLE — Brooke Taylor, 13; Chelsea Rogers, 6; Shelby Petross, 0; Sierra Nevels, 11; Jinaki Robinson, 9; Jasmine Robinson, 6; Anna Mbura, 9; Creshay Thompson, 0; Breanna Burford, 4; Daira Kryuchkova, 0.

THREE POINT GOALS — TJC: House. JC: Taylor, Rogers (2). 

HALFTIME SCORE — Tyler 39-18.


FREE THROWS — Tyler 14 of 27; Jacksonville 16 of 22.

TOTAL FOULS — Tyler 22, Jacksonville 22.

RECORDS — Tyler 22-5 (13-2), Jacksonville 5-23 (2-14).

NEXT UP — Tyler at Trinity Valley, 2 p.m. Saturday; Jacksonville at Lon Morris, 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.

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