Kilgore made it look as simple as one, two and three, getting its first win over John Tyler on the third try to mark the second consecutive stunning loss for the once-unbeatable Lions. 

The Class 3A-bound Bulldogs sent the hosts an unexpected greeting in the third meeting, leaving the Lions Den with a 64-56 upset win on “Senior Night” Friday.

JT played minus head coach Tony Pinson, who was hospitalized on Thursday for a heart condition. Pinson’s future with the team hangs in limbo. 

Kilgore avenged a pair of 45-36 setbacks to JT at the Tatum tournament and on its own floor, leading the final 18 minutes, and by as many as 16 points over the state-ranked Lions. 

Jerrick Massenburg totaled 17 points, seven rebounds and five assists as Kilgore (17-14, 8-5) remained in third place in the boys’ district basketball race. 

KB Brisendine added 14 points, including four 3-pointers, as Kilgore controlled the pace by spreading the court and forcing JT to match up. 

“I’m a sole believer that if you beat a team once, you can beat them twice,” JT assistant head coach Cedeno Clark said after taking Pinson’s usual place on the sideline for the Lions. “If you beat them twice, you can beat them three times.” 

JT started the week with a 21-game win-streak dating back to early December. JT won 25 consecutive district games before falling at Marshall back on Tuesday, 63-62. 

JT (22-7, 11-2 in 14-4A) travels to Jacksonville (24-7, 12-1) for the district championship game on Tuesday. Jacksonville defeated Nacogdoches on Friday. JT needs simply to win to get the first seed by virtue of an earlier win over Jacksonville. 

“We put ourselves in a tough position,” Clark said. “That’s part of it when you lose games.”

Kilgore caught momentum with the final eight points of the first half, with six coming off a pair of treys by Brisendine. 

JT trailed by 13 points after three frames before it opened the fourth on an 8-0 run to get within 49-41. JT pulled within six on three occasions in the fourth.

Kilgore never buckled, going 9-for-11 at the free throw line down the stretch, and 16-for-22 from the stripe overall. 

Tyus Bowser carried JT with 22 points and 10 rebounds, with a dozen coming in the fourth. Greg Ward tossed in 16 points and three steals for the Lions. 

Four players finished in double figures for Kilgore, including Sherrod Kincaide (12 points) and Trey Conrad (10 points). 

After getting the lead, Kilgore slowed down the pace and methodically passed the ball and milked clock. Kilgore notched assists on 15 of 21 field goals. The Bulldogs shot 59 percent for the game.

The Lions hit on 38 percent of its attempts and registered just six assists. Kilgore netted more points in the middle periods (40) than it did in each of the first two games against JT. 

“We gave up too many points in the second and third quarters,” said Clark, who will oversee the Lions again on Tuesday against Jacksonville. “You have to give Kilgore credit. They had a heck of a game plan”

LIONS’ TALES: John Tyler honored its three seniors prior to the game: Tra’Vion Horn, Redis Jones and Caleb Willis. JT also recognized its sponsors for the season: Adrian Peterson’s All-Day Foundation, Andre L. Thomas, M.D., Classic Toyota-Mercedes Benz, Plastic Network, Rose City Civitan, Southside Bank, Tex-Way Loan, T & T Texaco and Wagner Cadillac. 

Kilgore 64, No. 24 John Tyler 56

Kilgore            9    20    20    15    —    64

John Tyler       5    11    17    23    —    56

KILGORE — Sherrod Kincaide, 12; KB Brisendine, 14; Brazle, 5; Jerrick Massenburg, 17; Trey Conrad, 10; Nick Granger, 6. 

JOHN TYLER — Darion Flowers, 1; Greg Ward, 16; Fred Ross, 6; Keaunte Humber, 2; Caleb Willis, 9; Tyus Bowser, 22.

FIELD GOALS — Kilgore 21-37; John Tyler 20-53. FREE THROWS — Kilgore 16-22; John Tyler 11-22. THREE-POINT GOALS — Kilgore 6-11 (Brisidine 4, Conrad 2); John Tyler 5-14 (Ward 2, Willis 2, Bowser). REBOUNDS — Kilgore 21 (Massenburg 7); John Tyler 25 (Bowser 10). ASSISTS — Kilgore 15 (Massenburg 5), John Tyler 6 (Flowers 2). TOTAL FOULS — Kilgore 16; John Tyler 19. EST. ATT. — 1,200.

RECORDS — Kilgore 17-14 (8-5); John Tyler 22-7 (11-2).

NEXT UP — John Tyler at Jacksonville, 7:30 p.m., Tuesday. 


Junior Varsity

John Tyler 43, Kilgore 37

Kilgore            7    7    9    14    —    37

John Tyler       7   16   8    12    —    43

KILGORE — Thomas, 6; Sanders, 11; A. Davis, 6; Kincaide, 4; Williams, 4; Brewster, 3; Scott, 3.

JOHN TYLER — Jeremy Wilson, 2; Jaylon Stewart, 2; Isaac Warren, 10; Hennessey Lampkin, 8; Vernon Thomas, 2; Rodney Bendy, 12; William Vaughn, 1; Jorean Jackson, 4. 

RECORDS — John Tyler 18-6 (13-0). 

NEXT UP — John Tyler at Jacksonville, 6:15 p.m., Tuesday. 



John Tyler 42, Kilgore 34

Kilgore            13    9    6    6    —    34

John Tyler       10    8   11  13    —    42

KILGORE — Colbert, 2; Gaona, 12; Tinney, 4; Justice, 12; Sammons, 4. 

JOHN TYLER — Leon Gossett, 4; Michael Ross, 10; Jaylon Watson, 4; Detrict Holman, 2; Geovari McCollister, 5; J’Michael Jasper, 11; Martese Christian, 6.

RECORDS — John Tyler 11-8 (10-3).

NEXT UP — John Tyler at Jacksonville, 5 p.m., Tuesday.

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