John Tyler’s LaTifah Rainey and Tiaka Lee caused Nacogdoches double trouble.
Make that double-double trouble.
Rainey recorded 21 points and 16 rebounds and Lee totaled 15 points and 10 assists to spark John Tyler in a 64-44 win over Nacogdoches Friday at the Lions Den.
JT (20-8, 9-2 in 14-4A) clinched at least a tie for second place in district with the victory, its sixth straight. JT also avenged an earlier loss to the Lady Dragons (20-10, 6-5), which slipped three games behind the Lady Lions with three left to play after a third straight setback.
Lee scored all but two of her 15 in the second half and tacked on three steals. Rainey went 9 for 10 from the field and 3 for 4 from the free throw line.
Quaneshia Johnson (10 points), Nola Jackson (eight points) and Amia Wickware (six points) rounded out JT’s starting lineup.
“Tiaka was not only scoring but she was distributing the ball to everyone,” JT coach Mike Smith said. “We know Tiaka and LaTifah can score, but I think we’re a better team when everybody is involved. That’s what we got tonight.”
The Lady Lions won for the sixth straight game by double figures after consecutive losses to Nacogdoches and first-place Pine Tree.
JT trailed by one on two occasions, but never after Lee drained a jumper to beat the second period buzzer for a 27-26 lead.
Nacogdoches knotted the score at 30-all early in the third before the Lady Lions logged 31 of the next 38 points to take full control.
Lee started the third for JT with a 3-pointer before passing for four assists. Lee later stripped a defender for a breakaway layup and added a free throw to send JT into the fourth with a 48-35 lead.
JT started the final frame with the first eight points, with Lee dishing down low twice to then ending the run by dribbling near the free throw line and rising up for a 15-footer. JT’s lead peaked at 24 points (61-37) after Johnson (10 points) buried her second trey of the game.
JT tightened its defense in the second half, where Nacogdoches shot just 7 for 31 (23 percent).
“The beginning of the second half is when we had some good things happen,” Smith said. “They performed well as a team and made some big plays.”
No team has hit the 45-point plateau against JT since Nacogdoches accomplished the feat in a nine-point win earlier in the month. JT shot 50 percent from the field, assisting on 18 of 26 passes.
“We know we could’ve won that (first) ballgame,” said Smith, whose team allowed only 34 points per game over the last three weeks. “You can’t ever make up for it but you want the other team to know you’re a better club than that.
“We had to re-evaluate our goals. They know we have to not only prepare ourselves physically, but mentally.”
John Tyler 64, Nacogdoches 44
Nacogdoches 12 14 9 9—44
John Tyler 16 11 21 16—64
NACOGDOCHES — Emauza Johnson, 6; Ki’Audra Hayter, 11; Charity Page, 10; Ja’Nessa Gaddis, 10; Ty’Kejah Hall, 7.
JOHN TYLER — Tiaka Lee, 15; Tameal Jones, 2; Quaneshia Johnson, 10; Amia Wickware, 6; Donishia Rouege, 2; Nola Jackson, 8; LaTifah Rainey, 21.
FIELD GOALS — Nacogdoches 18-61; John Tyler 26-52. FREE THROWS — Nacogdoches 6-12; John Tyler 8-18. THREE-POINT GOALS — Nacogdoches 2-10 (Gaddis, Hayter); John Tyler 4-15 (Johnson 2, Lee, Wickware). REBOUNDS — Nacogdoches 30 (Gaddis 7); John Tyler 32 (Rainey 16). ASSISTS — Nacogdoches 8 (Hayter 3); John Tyler 18 (Lee 10). TOTAL FOULS — Nacogdoches 16; John Tyler 10.
RECORDS — Nacogdoches 20-10 (6-5); John Tyler 20-8 (9-2).
NEXT UP — John Tyler at Pine Tree, Tuesday.
John Tyler 20, Nacogdoches 19
Nacogdoches 3 7 7 2 —19
John Tyler 6 2 8 4 —20
NACOGDOCHES — Grigsby, 7; Newsome, 4; Wright, 6; Smith, 2.
JOHN TYLER — Jocelynn Brown, 7; Tajnae Thomas, 2; Antranette Lee, 4; Jasmin Hill, 7.
RECORDS — John Tyler 14-10 (8-3).
John Tyler 42, Nacogdoches 16
NACOGDOCHES — Samantha Fuller, 2; Rachel Scott, 2; Monica Paro, 7; Montrika Willis, 4.
JOHN TYLER — Kadeja Warfield, 14; Tyvasia Smith, 9; Ramey Duncan, 6; Jermonique Ward, 10; Johnetta Preston, 7.
THREE-POINT GOALS — Duncan.
RECORDS — John Tyler (15-1 (7-1).
Lions Reach 20-Win Plateau With Rout Of Nac
NACOGDOCHES — Tyus Bowser posted 15 points and 15 rebounds and John Tyler reached the 20-win plateau with a 65-36 win over Nacogdoches on Friday.
JT held Nacogdoches to 15 points in the first half to take a 21-point lead at the midway point.
“We played very well on defense,” said JT coach Tony Pinson, whose team won for the 19th straight game.
The Lions received balanced scoring from the likes of Darion Flowers (nine points), Greg Ward (eight), Tra’Vion Horn (seven), Keaunte Humber (seven), Fred Ross (six) and Caleb Willis (six).
JT followed up an earlier 11-point win over Nacogdoches by tying its best defensive effort in district.
The Lions improved to 9-0 in district play heading into a home game Tuesday against last-place Pine Tree.
John Tyler 65, Nacogdoches 36
John Tyler 14 22 15 14 —65
Nacogdoches 5 10 7 14 —36
NACOGDOCHES — Proctor, 8; Willeford, 6; Winfield, 6; Page, 4; Barnes, 3; Caraway, 2; Sanders, 1.
JOHN TYLER — Tyus Bowser, 15; Darion Flowers, 9; Greg Ward, 8; Keaunte Humber, 7; Tra’Vion Horn, 7; Fred Ross, 6; Caleb Willis, 6; Jordan Caldwell, 5; Javonte Tramble, 2.
RECORDS — John Tyler 20-5 (9-0); Nacogdoches 12-14 (3-6).
NEXT UP — Pine Tree at John Tyler, Tuesday.