Tyler tops Nacogdoches for third straight district win


Tyler Morning Telegraph | 1/30/2022

Nacogdoches may have the Dragons as a mascot, but it was the Lions who were breathing fire on Friday night.

Tyler, backed by a hot-shooting first half by Jabari Harris and some long treys from Tank Brooks in the second, rolled to a 73-55 victory over Nacogdoches in a District 16-5A basketball game at the THS Gymnasium.

The Lions won their third straight league contest to improve to 17-10 overall and 3-2 in district. The Dragons fall to 13-16 overall and 1-4 in league.

The second round of district play begins on Tuesday with Tyler traveling to Jacksonville for a big matchup. In the first round, the Indians won by three over the Lions. Nacogdoches is scheduled to host Huntsville that night.

Harris, the Lions 6-1 senior wing, was 4 of 6 from 3-point land and scored all of his 15 points in the first half as Tyler took a 33-21 halftime advantage. Brooks nailed two 3-pointers in the second half and totaled eight points.

Ashad Walker was the leading scorer for the Lions, hitting 16 points. He had one 3-pointer and three assists.

Others scoring for Tyler were Derrick McFall (8), Bryson Hill (8), Kyron Key (6), Ahstin Watkins (5), Marquette Martin (3), Jamarcus Battee (2), Xavier Tatum (1) and Montrell Wade (1).

JT Steadman led the Dragons with 17 points, including five treys. He was followed by Kiran Tutt (13 points, 3 3-pointers) and Jaylon Brown (11 points, 3 3-pointers). Also scoring for ‘Doches were Ian Hodge (4), Lane Laird (4), Brycen Tolson (4) and Yoshi Parks (2).

Key made two treys for Tyler with Walker, Martin and Watkins hitting one apiece.

The Lions only had two turnovers in the second half and 11 for the game. Nacogdoches had 14 miscues.

Walker led his team with seven rebounds, followed by Hill (6), Wade (5), McFall (4) and Watkins (4). Walker had three steals and two blocks.

Tyler was 10 of 27 from 3-point while the Dragons were 11 of 26 (9 made 3s in the second half). The Lions were 8 of 14 from the free throw line and Nacogdoches was 4 of 11.

Brown paced Nacogdoches with seven rebounds, followed by Steadman (6), Hodge (4) and Tolson (4).

The Tyler JV remained unbeaten on the season with a 50-38 win over the Dragons.