CORSICANA —One John Tyler team recently discovered a groove to beat its first two district opponents; the other wants to get theirs back and bust a move up the District 16-4A basketball standings.
The Lions look to remain undefeated while the Lady Lions try and snap a two-game skid tonight against Corsicana.
The Lions (8-12, 2-0 in 16-4A) share the district lead with No. 12 Jacksonville (25-0, 2-0). The Lady Lions enter the final game of the first round in a three-way tie for the final playoff berth.
The girls game gets under way at approximately 6:15 p.m., with the boys to follow.
JT heated up in the second half and defeated Whitehouse 78-65 for its second district win. The Lions won for the fifth time in six games after starting 3-11 with more than half their roster finishing football season.
JT’s depth showed the last two games, with 10 players scoring in a win over Nacogdoches (79-51) and eight finding the net against Whitehouse.
The Lions play Jacksonville in a much-anticipated showdown Tuesday on the road. JT coach Cedeno Clark wants to go into the game 3-0, meaning the Lions need to focus on Corsicana, first and foremost.
“We’re not looking ahead,” Clark said. “We’re just going to take it one game at a time. We’re looking to get better every practice and every game.”
Corsicana (18-6, 0-2) caught fire in non-district before hitting a bump in the road in district play with losses to Whitehouse and Jacksonville.
“They won’t be easy,” Clark said. “They shoot the 3 well. We’ll have our hands full, but we’ll be up for the challenge.”
The Lady Lions lost a 16-point lead to fall to Whitehouse on Tuesday, and are in danger of missing the postseason for the first time in four years.
With first-place Lindale (20-4, 4-0) on deck, the Lady Lions (16-11, 1-3) need a win after Corsicana (15-12, 1-3) beat Jacksonville (14-10, 1-3) on Tuesday to create a three-way tie for fourth.
The JT girls struggled on the defensive end in a 79-65 loss to Nacogdoches last week, and followed with an off-night offensively, shooting 27 percent in the 52-45 setback to Whitehouse.
The Lady Lions like to play at a faster pace than the Lady Tigers. JT is averaging 55.3 points and allowing 59.8 points in district, with Corsicana scoring 40.0 points and giving up 49.8 points to 16-4A opponents.
“I just know we have to get ready to regroup,” Lady Lions coach Mike Smith said. “You can either stay in a corner or fly out of it. I think we have the character. We’re going to have to do some things different.”