Lady Lions blow past Marshall, 76-42

John Tyler's Quanisha Johnson shoots and draws the foul from Marshall's Jhaenniece Rasberry in their basketball game at the Lions Den on Tuesday night. (Herb Nygren Jr. | Tyler Morning Telegraph)

John Tyler’s seniors went out in style, combining for 24 rebounds in a 76-42 win over Marshall Tuesday night in the regular season finale at the Lions Den. 

LaTifah Rainey, one of three players honored on “Senior Night,” collected 22 points, 12 rebounds and eight blocked shots to lead JT.

Tiaka Lee, a junior point guard, gave JT a late spark and scored 20 points. 

The Lady Lions (23-8, 12-2 in 14-4A) wrapped up the regular season with their ninth consecutive win. JT finishes second in district behind Pine Tree, which claimed first in district with a 13-1 mark after an eight-point win over Whitehouse. JT turned around its season after a three-point loss to Pine Tree, one the Lady Lions avenged last week in a double-digit victory. 

The win over Marshall now over, JT sets its sights on traveling to Marshall, where the Lady Lions meet Texas High in a Class 4A bi-district playoff on Tuesday at East Texas Baptist University. 

“If I had to point to one single thing that turned our season around, it was that Pine Tree game,” JT coach Mike Smith said. “After that game the girls worked harder and gained a lot of confidence. There’s a lot to be said by that loss. I think it turned us into who we are right now.”

Seniors Danicia Jasper (four points, five rebounds, two steals) and Khadaysia Young (three points, seven rebounds) both started for a change and injected energy into JT’s lineup.

With the game already on ice, DeShalyn Jones fed Jasper in the right corner. Jasper spotted up and knocked down one final shot at home. 

“That was appropriate to finish the season,” Smith said. “Nici’s always practicing that shot. I’ve always given her a hard time about it. She snuck out there and put it up and shot it. That was a beautiful ending for our seniors this year.” 

JT asserted its dominance early, with Quaneshia Johnson scoring seven points as the Lady Lions jumped ahead 12-0. JT lead 19-3 after the first, thanks to Rainey’s three-point play.

The Lady Lions went four minutes scoreless during a slow-paced second period. They picked it back up with a 50-point second half, which featured a 14-0 run in the third, with freshman Amia Wickware supplying half the points, including a 3-pointer to put JT ahead 43-17. 

JT swished 11 3-pointers. Lee led JT with five 3-pointers, with three-coming during a 27-point fourth. Johnson, another junior guard, tallied 11 points and three treys for the Lady Lions.

The junior backcourt mates combined for 12 assists, with Johnson’s seven topping the team. JT assisted on 21 of 28 field goals. 

The Lady Lions outscored the Lady Mavericks 20-4 on second-chance points and 30-12 on points inside the paint. 

“We’ve spent a lot of time shooting, as you could tell (Tuesday),” Smith said. “I’m really happy with who we are right now.”

John Tyler 76, Marshall 42

Marshall          2     12       14      14      —       42

John Tyler      19      7       23      27      —       76

MARSHALL — Breana Douglas, 3; Whitney Timmins, 10; Jhaenniece Rasberry, 10; Leosha Lovely, 15; Raquel Hiner, 4. 

JOHN TYLER — DeShalyn Jones, 3; Tiaka Lee, 20; Tameal Jones, 2; Quaneshia Johnson, 11; Amia Wickware, 7; Nola Jackson, 2; Khadaysia Young, 3; Kayla Webb, 2; Danicia Jasper, 4; LaTifah Rainey, 22. 

FIELD GOALS — Marshall 18-53; John Tyler 28-69. FREE THROWS — Marshall 1-5; John Tyler 9-15. THREE-POINT GOALS — Marshall 5-22 (Lovely 3, Douglas, Timmins; John Tyler 11-26 (Lee 5, Johnson 3, D. Jones, Jasper). REBOUNDS — Marshall 37 (Lovely 8); John Tyler 37 (Rainey 12). ASSISTS — Marshall 12 (Lovely 5); John Tyler 21 (Johnson 7). TOTAL FOULS — Marshall 13; John Tyler 10. 

RECORDS — Marshall 3-20 (1-13) ; John Tyler 23-8 (12-2).

NEXT UP — Marshall season complete; John Tyler vs. Texas High in Class 4A bi-district playoff, Tuesday in Marshall.