LINDALE — Robert E. Lee senior point guard Bre Brooks will sign a scholarship Wednesday with North Texas.
On Tuesday in Robert E. Lee’s season opener against Lindale, Brooks decided to give the Mean Green a little preview of what they will be getting. Brooks led all players with 19 points to go along with six steals and near double-digit assists in a 61-47 win at Eagle Gymnasium.
Junior Ciara Johnson nearly posted a triple double for the Lady Raiders (1-0) as she finished with 14 points, 10 rebounds and eight steals.
Lee never trailed in the contest, building an 8-0 lead in the opening minutes and maintaining its supremacy throughout. The closest Lindale (0-1) got was three points, 8-5, in the opening seconds of the second period.
It was also Lloyd Mahaffey’s first win as girls head coach. Despite the Lady Raiders missing 19 of their first 22 shots, Mahaffey said REL settled down and did what needed to be done.
“The first game of the season and it was sloppy,” Mahaffey said. “But we got the win and I’m happy with that.”
The game would’ve been much closer if Lindale had taken care of business from the free-throw line. The Lady Eagles attempted an astounding 54 free throws, but made just 24 of them. MaKaylee Chapman paced Lindale with 11 points and three rebounds in the loss, which coach Greg Strawn said came down solely to not converting from the charity stripe.
“The free-throw line killed us,” said Strawn, whose team made nearly as many free throws as Lee attempted (26). “If we make what we’re supposed to make, this game is anybody’s. I thought the game was really even and the free-throw line was a huge part of it.”
Both teams struggled offensively in the first period, combining to shoot 4 of 36 from the floor. A 3-pointer by Brooks helped give REL an 8-3 lead entering the second, but Lindale answered with a basket from Natasha Malone to cut the Lady Eagles’ deficit to 8-5. REL pushed out to an 18-8 advantage before Lindale reeled the Lady Raiders back in with an 8-2 run.
With under a minute in the half, Johnson helped put REL in control to stay. A steal by Johnson led to two free throws from Tree Brooks. Then with time running out, Johnson made another steal and went coast-to-coast for a bucket at the buzzer to give REL a 24-16 halftime lead.
“I told them when we went in at halftime that we needed to dominate down in the post and told Ciara she needed to (take over),” Mahaffey said.
Johnson scored four points, but it was Brooks who took over, scoring nine points as part of a 13-2 run to give REL a 45-23 lead entering the fourth.
Lindale found the range from the free-throw line in the fourth making 15 of 22. REL stayed in command with 3-pointers from Bre Brooks and Tree Brooks to close out its victory.
“The (fouls) really took us out of our rhythm, but I am proud that we fought through it and came away with a win and that is what is important,” Mahaffey said.
Robert E. Lee 61, Lindale 47
Robert E. Lee 8 16 21 16 — 61
Lindale 3 13 7 24 — 47
ROBERT E. LEE — Ciara Johnson, 14; Bre Brooks, 19; Tree Brooks, 6; Kaylie Brown, 3; Chasity Tennyson, 3; Stacey Malone, 8; Berjae Lewis, 2; Emem David, 6. FG: 20-64. FT: 14-26.
LINDALE — Paige Murphy, 4; Kalyn Peters, 8; Hannah Malone, 2; Natasha Malone, 2; Symonne Brookins, 3; Neeley Doss, 9; MaKaylee Chapman 11; Zhanelle Geathers 4; DiMond Edmund, 4. FG: 9-39. FT: 24-54.
THREE-POINT GOALS — LEE (7-21) B. Brooks 3, Johnson, T. Brooks, Brown, Tennyson. LIN (3-10) Peters 2, Doss.
RECORDS — Robert E. Lee 1-0; Lindale 0-1.
JV SCORE — Lindale 31, Lee 24
NEXT UP — Robert E. Lee at Whitehouse, 8 p.m. Friday; Grace Community at Lindale, 3 p.m. Friday.