LINDALE — Jacksonville knocked down three first period 3-pointers to open up a lead that would never be in question until the very last minute of the game as the Indians defeated Mount Pleasant 45-44 on Tuesday in a Class 4A bi-district basketball game at Lindale High School.
The Indians advance to meet Lancaster in area play later this week.
Darius Clater paced Jacksonville with 11 points, while Raybon Riden and Alphonso Cooper added nine and eight points, respectively.
The Indians (26-8) closed out each quarter in the first half with buzzer-beaters to up the Indians count.
Kedarrius Buckingham nailed a jumper in the paint to make it a 14-4 score at the end of the first period.
Clater ended the second period with a 17-foot jumper to make it a 24-14 halftime.
“I thought we should have had a bigger lead than 10 points at halftime,” said Jacksonville head coach Brent Kelley. “We did not do a lot of small things like block out; and we made some bad passes that cost us. But they are a great team and played with a lot of intensity and they never gave up.”
However, Cooper came up big in the final period scoring four of his eight points while controlling the boards.
The Indians failed to convert at the free throw line while Mount Pleasant made it a game in the final quarter.
D’Quane Hines made a free throw to pull the Tigers within 45-41 at the 2:15 mark.
The two teams swapped out baskets on consecutive possessions before Clater made the front end of a one-and-one to make it 44-37.
The Tigers had to turn to the foul game and it paid off as Jacksonville failed at the charity stripe and the Tigers chipped away.
Mount Pleasant’s Jordan Peoples made his first bucket of the game with 39 seconds remaining in the game; closing it to a 44-41 Indians lead.
The Indians managed to score when they needed it as Riden was fouled next and made the first of two for a 45-41, lead but the Tigers kept coming.
Hines made his final basket with two seconds left to close it to the 45-44 final score.
Class 4A Region II Bi-District
Jacksonville 45, Mount Pleasant 44
Mt. Pleasant 4 10 8 22 - 44
Jacksonville 14 10 11 10 - 45
MOUNT PLEASANT – Montravious James, 2; D’Quane Hines, 16; Andrew Flanagan, 6; Jonathan Johnson, 7; Rodney Todd, 9; Jordan Peoples, 2; Diotre Hill, 2.
JACKSONVILLE – Dadrian Franklin, 6; Ladarius Session, 4; Kedarrius Buckingham, 3; Londedric Taylor, 4; Darius Clater, 11; Raybon Riden, 9; Alphonso Cooper, 8.
THREE-POINT GOALS – MP: Todd (3), Johnson, Hines. J: Clater (2), Riden.
RECORDS – Mount Pleasant 23-12. Jacksonville 25-8.
NEXT UP – Area: Jacksonville vs. Lancaster, TBA.