John Tyler coach Mike Smith didn't know what to expect from his team after the Christmas break. But after a week off following a strong start to the season, the Lady Lions have come out firing.

John Tyler put on another strong offensive display to defeat Grace Community 69-39 in the semifinals of the Macy Chenevert Patriot Classic on Tuesday morning at the Herrington Patriot Center.

The Lady Lions advance to the final where they'll play Bullard, which rallied past Gilmer 37-31. The title game is set for 9:30 a.m. today.

In its first three games of the Classic, John Tyler (19-3) has averaged 84.7 points. On Tuesday the Lady Lions shot 50 percent in the first half and 47 percent for the game.

"When we came back the kids were ready to play, they were hungry to get back," Smith said. "You could see that they were ready to play and focused and that's how come we could shoot as well as we do."

Freshman Destini Whitehead led a balanced JT offense with 12 points to go with five rebounds. The Lady Lions had six players with at least eight points: Amia Wickware (11), Ashtyn Beal (11, five rebounds), Shakendra Tilley (nine, five rebounds), Daz Johnson (nine, six rebounds) and Tameal Jones (eight).

Of Jones' eight, six were among the first nine points as JT jumped out to a 9-0 lead. Whitehead hit two 3-pointers in the first quarter to give the Lady Lions a 22-10 lead after one.

Though JT pushed its lead to 40-21 by halftime, the Lady Cougars didn't go away in the second half, with freshman Addie Daughtry doing her best to keep her team in it.

Daughtry finished with 12 points, nine rebounds, three blocks and four assists for Grace.

Aiding Daughtry for Grace, which shot 42 percent, were Hannah Wright (eight points, five boards), Kylie Stinson (eight points) and Bethany Kimmey (four points, five assists). The Lady Cougars had 15 assists on 19 field goals.

"We had two tough games yesterday and played a good Grace team today," said Smith, whose brother Jeff used to coach the Lady Cougars. "They're doing a great job over there. We're fortunate to be in the finals and we'll see if we can take care of business tomorrow."

 

BULLARD 37, GILMER 31

In a battle of two towering centers, Bullard's Lexi Kirgan stood above the competition.

Kirgan scored 12 of her game-high 23 points in the fourth quarter to fuel a drastic comeback and send the Lady Panthers into the Macy Chenevert Patriot Classic final with a 37-31 win over Gilmer.

The junior center did most of her damage in the lane, but when she went unguarded at the top of the key she drilled her only 3-point attempt of the game to give Bullard the lead for good at 32-31 with 2:12 to go.

The Lady Panthers scored 17 points through three quarters and trailed by 10 before coming alive in the final period. They went 2 for 16 in the middle periods before finding their touch to make 7 of 9 shots down the stretch.

Powered by six points from Kirgan, Bullard opened the fourth with a 12-0 run to take a 29-27 lead. Gilmer countered with a 4-0 burst of its own but didn't score over the final 2:30.

Kirgan, who added seven rebounds, six blocks and four steals, finished the game off with a bucket under the basket with 23 seconds to play.

Gilmer took control of the game in the second period thanks to defense from Christian Brown. The quick guard scored four fast-break layups in the second, three coming off steals of her own making and the fourth on a steal by Ashlyn Ray.

Brown led the Lady Buckeyes with 11 points, six steals and three assists. Center Jameekia Homer added 10 points, five rebounds and four steals while battling Kirgan down low before fouling out with 1:29 remaining.

Bullard attempted 25 fewer shots and turned the ball over 25 times but was able to pull out the win by making five 3-pointers, including a pair from Lauren Zachry and Madison Slayter in the fourth quarter. Slayter added a game-high nine rebounds.

The Lady Panthers now gear up for an early-morning finale against John Tyler, which won the Great East Texas Shootout earlier this month.

One area in which Bullard will have an advantage is height, with Kirgan's size a problem for the shorter Lady Lions.

"We're going to have to try to take care of something we don't have an answer for except for our quickness," Smith said. "We'll have to play up tempo. We don't want to have to guard those big people at half court."

2014 Macy Chenevert Patriot Classic

Games at UT Tyler's Herrington Patriot Center (UTT) and Bishop Gorman's Haddad Gym (BG)

Monday

Game 1: Tatum 68, Chapel Hill 43

Game 2: John Tyler 97, Pleasant Grove 51

Game 3: Grace Community 36, New Boston 28

Game 4: Bullard 60, Wills Point 26

Game 5: Kilgore 55, Bishop Gorman 38

Game 6: Gilmer 70, Mineola 38

Game 7: Pleasant Grove 62, Chapel Hill 45

Game 8: Wills Point d. Bishop Gorman

Game 9: John Tyler 88, Tatum 68

Game 10: Bullard 56, Kilgore 44

Tuesday

Game 11: John Tyler 69, Grace 39

Game 12: Bullard 37, Gilmer 31

Game 13: Pleasant Grove 62, New Boston 41

Game 14: Mineola 61, Wills Point 34

Game 15: Chapel Hill 58, Gorman 25

Game 16: Tatum 64, Kilgore 34

Wednesday

Game 17, Consolation Final: Pleasant Grove vs. Mineola, 11 a.m. (BG)

Game 18, Third Place: Grace vs. Gilmer, 8 a.m. (UTT)

Game 19: New Boston vs. Wills Point, 9:30 a.m. (BG)

Game 20, Championship: John Tyler vs. Bullard, 9:30 a.m. (UTT)

Tuesday's Box Scores

Game 11

John Tyler 69, Grace 39

Grace    10    11    10    8      —     39

John Tyler    22    18    16    13      —     69

GRACE — Addie Daughtry, 12; Bethany Kimmey, 4; Hannah Wright, 8; Tori Intlehouse, 2; Kandice West, 5; Kylie Stinson, 8.  FG: 19-45. FT: 1-4.

JOHN TYLER — Amia Wickware, 11; Alyssa Mayfield, 5; Destini Whitehead, 12; Kaleigh Hackett, 2; Tameal Jones, 8; Ashtyn Beal, 11; Shakendra Tilley, 9; Daz Johnson, 9; Shakala Johnson, 2. FG: 30-64. FT: 8-17.

THREE POINT GOALS — Grace (0-2): None. JT (5-12): Wickware (3), Whitehead (2).

———

Game 12

Bullard 37, Gilmer 31

Gilmer    7    16    4    4      —     31

Bullard    12    3    2    20      —     37

GILMER — Christian Brown, 11; Belynda Ray, 4; Destiny Brooks, 6; Jameekia Homer, 10. FG: 13-57. FT: 4-8.

BULLARD — Hannah Lloyd, 4; Lauren Zachry, 3; Kristen Chamberlain, 1; Madison Slayter, 6; Lexi Kirgan, 23. FG: 14-32. FT: 4-8.

THREE POINT GOALS — Gilmer (1-13): Brown. Bullard (5-10): Zachry, Lloyd, Slayter (2), Kirgan.

———

Game 13

Pleasant Grove 62, New Boston 41

Pleasant Grove    10    22    17    13      —     62

New Boston    8    12    13    8      —     41

PLEASANT GROVE — Carley Barrett, 18; Britton Anderson, 2; Nakina Levingston, 5; Faith Lipham, 6; Madeline Haak, 15; Aubrey Ashby, 11; Brette Wacha, 11; Brittney Colorigh, 1.

NEW BOSTON — Keke Bland, 7; Madison Thomas, 2; Sydney Humble, 3; McKenzie Madill, 2; Brandi Crowder, 6; Haley Steward, 2; Marqueshia Thompson, 15; Hannah Burnett, 2; Hailee Nero, 2.

THREE POINT GOALS — PG: Barrett (2), Lipham.  

———

Game 14

Mineola 61, Wills Point 34

Mineola    12    9    20    20      —     61

Wills Point    5    13    5    11      —     34

MINEOLA — Alexis Newell, 4; Lauren Almuete, 6; Sister Green, 14; Taylor Griffin, 7; Bri McCalla, 7; Aubrey Bush, 3; Cheyenne Hayes, 7; Keaundra Meankins, 12.

WILLS POINT — Meredith Edwards, 2; Sierra Spindle, 5; Summer Golden, 3; Kalin Harding, 4; Savanna McAfee, 3; Norma Cunigan, 9; Emily Smith, 3, Kendall Brown, 4.

THREE POINT GOALS — M: Bush.  

———

Game 15

Chapel Hill 58, Bishop Gorman 25

Chapel Hill    21    13    17    5      —     58

Gorman    7    2    6    10      —     25

CHAPEL HILL — Princess Suell, 5; Kadeja Warfield, 19; Kennedi Wilson, 1; Mykaela Alfred, 16; Gabby Brooks, 6; Kyia Moore, 5; Schuyler Wages, 7.

GORMAN — Paige Rebmann, 2; Abbie Guevara, 3; Kristen Guevara, 8; Savanna Reeves, 3; Jordan Phillips, 9.

THREE POINT GOALS — CH: Warfield (5), Alfred (2), Suell. BG: Phillips.

———

Game 16

Tatum 64, Kilgore 34

Tatum    21    15    16    12      —     64

Kilgore    7    3    6    18      —     34

TATUM — Destiny Hicks, 10; BriAnna Mitchell, 16; Alexus Freeney, 2; Diamond Sammons, 6; Ro'Nishia Simpson, 7; Alexes Bell, 21.

KILGORE — Hanna Davis, 2; Diamond Massie, 4; Mikayla Thomas, 6; Destiny McAfee, 15; Alexis Gaitan, 2; Clinton, 3.

THREE POINT GOALS — T: Mitchell 2.

 

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