Jan. 7—The No. 22-ranked team in Class 5A (Lufkin) paid a visit to John Alexander Gymnasium on Friday night to battle the No. 22-ranked team in Class 4A (Jacksonville).
One sub-par quarter by the Tribe was all Lufkin needed to leave town with a 43-35 victory over the Indians.
Trailing 23-17 to start the second half, Lufkin began to hit on all cylinders in the third frame and outscored the Indians 15-3. The Panthers (22-3) opened the key frame on a 9-1 run and wrapped up the segment by outscoring the home team, 5-0.
After Karmelo Clayborne and Devin McCuin dropped in 11 and eight points each, respectively, in the first half, the Panthers made some halftime adjustments that prevented the Indians' two main scoring threats from scoring a single point in the second half.
In addition, the Tribe turned the ball over six times in the third period, compared to having just two miscues in the entire first half.
Koda Canady and Jermaine Tayler tossed in seven points apiece and Devarion Boyd had two.
Clayborne and Canady each drained a shot from downtown.
Jacksonville (14-6) was able to cut the Lufkin lead to four points, 34-30, with 4:20 left to play when Jermaine Taylor swished a basket off of an assist from Boyd.
Elijah Moody of Lufkin scored on the Panthers' next-two possessions to quickly give the Pack some breathing room. Moody was the game's high scorer with 14 points. He sank two of his team's six 3-pointers.
Brandon Walker canned 10 for the Panthers.
Leading Jacksonville in rebounds was Boyd with eight, followed by McCuin (7) and Clayborne (5).
Jacksonville went on an impressive 13-0 run in the second quarter to command a 23-10 lead over the Pack with 2:25 left in the opening half. Clayborne dropped in nine of the Indians' points.
At 7 p.m. Monday the Tribe will wrap up non-district play by visiting Waco LaVega (10-8).