A night ripe for second chances bounced all John Tyler’s way.

LaTifah Rainey ripped the nets for 25 points to go with 22 rebounds and eight blocked shots, and John Tyler tipped off the second half of District 14-4A play with a 48-33 victory over Kilgore Tuesday night at the Lions Den. 

Rainey, a 6-1 senior post, pieced together another in a long line of double-doubles, scoring 14 points off seven putbacks. Rainey snagged 13 of JT’s 21 offensive rebounds, helping the Lady Lions score 19 second-chance points on the night as they denied the Lady Bulldogs a second time. 

JT (17-8, 6-2 in 14-4A) notched its third consecutive win, sweeping the series with Kilgore (2-6) after an 83-46 rout against the same team on the road to open district play last month. 

Rainey accounted for 23 of JT’s 33 points through three periods — only four fewer than Kilgore — as the Lady Lions took a six-point lead into the final frame. 

“We were cold as ice from outside,” said JT coach Mike Smith whose team made 17 of its 21 shots from inside the paint. 

“We’re thankful we had LaTifah there to save us.”  

JT tallied the first 11 points of the fourth period to take a 17-point advantage, finally ending the suspense in a game it never trailed.

Nola Jackson scored nine points, more than JT’s other three starters combined. Jackson started the fourth with a jumper off a pass from Tiaka Lee. After taking a charge, Lee (five points, four assists, three steals) drove down the baseline for a bucket then spotted Jackson for a 15-footer before knocking down a 3-pointer of her own. Rainey finished the 11-0 run by outmuscling a defender for a rebound and putting it back in for a 44-27 cushion. 

Rainey recorded her first four and last seven makes off caroms on the way to a 11-for-12 showing from the field. 

“We thought at any moment we could get it together,” Smith said. “We got a lot more focused in the fourth quarter and played together.”

Kilgore never found its rhythm offensively, turning the ball over 24 times and shooting 34 percent from the floor. JT totaled 10 steals to go with the eight blocks. 

After playing the bottom three teams in the district, JT embarks on a tough stretch, starting Friday at Jacksonville. 

“We wanted to go from zone to man and man to zone without letting people loose,” Smith said. “We’ve got to get five people adjusting at the same time to be champs. We can find a lot of mistakes and try and fix them and get ready for Jacksonville.” 

———

John Tyler 48, Kilgore 33

Kilgore81186—33

John Tyler15 9915—48

KILGORE — Mehringer, 4; Sheffield, 8; Burks, 14; Rossum, 1; Dean, 4; Spiro, 2.

JOHN TYLER — Tiaka Lee, 5; Tameal Jones, 2; Quaneshia Johnson, 3; Donishia Rouege, 2; Nola Jackson, 9; Kayla Webb, 2. 

THREE-POINT GOALS — Kilgore 0-5; John Tyler 1-7 (Johnson). FIELD GOALS — Kilgore 11-32; John Tyler 21-48. FREE THROWS — Kilgore 11-16; John Tyler 5-10. REBOUNDS — Kilgore 18 (Sheffield, Burks 7); John Tyler 35 (Rainey 22). ASSISTS — Kilgore 0; John Tyler 9 (Lee 4). TOTAL FOULS — Kilgore 12; John Tyler 14. 

RECORDS — Kilgore (2-6); John Tyler 17-8 (6-2). 

NEXT UP — John Tyler at Jacksonville, Friday. 

 

Junior Varsity

John Tyler 54, Kilgore 7

Kilgore1600—7

John Tyler261288—54

KILGORE — Clinton, 2; Murillo, 2; Williams, 3. 

JOHN TYLER — Harley Linton, 2; Jocelynn Brown, 14; Charde Young, 7; Tajnae Thomas, 6; KeyAna Tatum, 2; Antranette Lee, 8; Jasmin Hill, 13. 

RECORDS — John Tyler 12-9 (6-2). 

NEXT UP — John Tyler at Jacksonville, Friday. 

 

Freshmen

John Tyler 60, Kilgore 8

Kilgore0800— 8

John Tyler19171212— 60

KILGORE — Carrell, 1; Johnson, 7. 

JOHN TYLER — Duncan, 6; Warfield, 20; Smith, 6; Ward, 11; Bellot, 6; Preston, 8; Jones, 2; Wade, 1. 

RECORDS — John Tyler 14-0 (8-0). 

NEXT UP — John Tyler at Jacksonville, Friday. 

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