Robert E. Lee opened up District 12-5A play with an impressive 67-47 victory over the Rockwall Yellowjackets at Varsity Gymnasium.
The Red Raiders (12-3, 1-0) out-rebounded Rockwall 30-11 and found a way to slow down Yellowjackets standout guard Austin Grandstaff, who finished his night with a game-high 27 points, three rebounds and one assist.
After Lee jumped out to a 7-4 lead with 6:23 left in the first quarter, the Red Raiders went cold Rockwall led 14-7 at the end of the first.
In the second quarter, the Red Raiders clawed their way back into the game behind the great play of Taylor Tankersley, Christian Boone and Caleb Johnston. The three combined to score 12 of REL's 20 seocnd-quarter points to go into the locker room with a slim four-point lead, 27-23, at intermission.
Rockwall (10-7, 0-1) began to get careless with the ball in the second half, committing six turnovers and Lee capitalized on those mistakes to stay in front, 44-37, entering the fourth quarter.
Lee's defense stiffened in the fourth quarter and it resulted in the Red Raiders increasing their lead to 53-42 with 4:58 remaining. And in a span of 25 seconds, Lee boosted its lead to 16 points.
Tankersley produed a stellar stat line of 29 points, 13 rebounds and three assists. He made play after play to keep the Yellowjackets out of sync. Johnston posted eight points and six rebounds while Dougherty battled in the paint to finish with seven points, six rebounds and two assists.
"This was a great way to go into the Christmas break," said Lee coach Alan Johnston. "Taylor played a great game and made some huge shots. I was really proud of how we stepped up in the second half. I thought overall we had a great effort.
"That was a great way to open up district play.
Robert E. Lee 67, Rockwall 47
Rockwall 14 9 14 10 — 47
Robert E. Lee 7 20 17 23 — 67
ROCKWALL — Thomas Stanky, 1; Austin Grandstaff, 27; David Broach, 2; Skyler Simmons, 3; Trevor Blum, 4; Sheridan Bee, 3; Will Murdock, 2; Aaron Maxwell, 5.
ROBERT E. LEE — Jack Calhoun, 6; Luke Derfus, 4; Darriun Smallwood, 2; Christian Boone, 3; Taylor Tankersley, 29; Jared Williams, 4; Will Dougherty, 7; Caleb Johnston, 8; Tucker Boyd, 4.
THREE POINT GOALS — ROC: Grandstaff (2). LEE: Tankersley (2), Johnston, Derfus, Calhoun, Boone.
RECORDS — Rockwall 10-7 (0-1); Robert E. Lee 12-3 (1-0).
NEXT UP — Team 1 vs. Team 4, 7 p.m. Tuesday; Team 2 vs. Team 3, 7 p.m. Tuesday.
Rockwall 59, Robert E. Lee 28
ROCKWALL — The Lady Raiders fell behind 15-4 in the opening quarter on the road and never recovered.
Sophomore guard Tree Brooks led Lee with 13 points.
The loss evens Lee's District 12-5A record to 1-1 while Rockwall remains unbeated at 3-3.
Robert E. Lee 4 5 9 10 — 28
Rockwall 15 17 15 11 — 59
ROBERT E. LEE — Alex Thorne, 4; Tree Brooks, 13; Dajah Thompson, 3; Dominique Thomas, 4; Emem David, 4.
ROCKWALL — M. Day, 7; S. Williamson, 17; H. Hughes, 8; K. Hutton, 2; E. Baker, 18; M. Grandy, 4; A. Austin, 2; H. Clark, 2.
THREE POINT GOALS — LEE: Brooks. ROC: Day, Baker (6).
RECORDS — Robert E. Lee 9-11 (1-1); Rockwall (3-0).
NEXT UP — Lee vs. Kilgore, 8:30 p.m. Thursday at Macy Chenovert Tournament, UT Tyler's Herringon Patriot Center.