By Charlie Chitwood
TEXARKANA, Texas – Jefferson’s Dee Mitchell hit eight fourth-quarter free throws before burying the penultimate basket before the buzzer for a 61-60 victory at Liberty-Eylau on Tuesday night. The victory gave the Bulldogs a measure of revenge for falling to the same Leopards 68-63 at the Union Grove Tournament.
Mitchell’s night wasn’t all about the fourth quarter, however, as he poured in a team-high 30 points. The junior hit seven field goals – three of them from threepoint range – and finished 13-of-14 at the foul line to match L-E’s AJon Gray pointfor-point.
The Dawgs raced out to a 15-8 advantage in the first and led 33-20 at the break before the Leopards started their comeback, outscoring Jefferson 16-14 in the third and 24-14 in the back-and-forth fourth quarter.
Grayson Early backed up Mitchell’s big night with 16 points – three three’s and seven made free throws – while Taylor Smith added six more. Kepha Luster added four points and Maurice Rudd (three points) and Kylan Thomas (two points) rounded out the Dawgs’ scoring.
Liberty-Eylau got the big night from Gray and a 17-point effort from Isaiah Cross but couldn’t get enough from the supporting cast to out-last Jefferson.
The Dawgs play this weekend at the Pleasant Grove tournament in Texarkana with games Thursday, Friday and Saturday, then open District 16-3A competition next Tuesday at home against Harleton.
DAWGS PICK UP ONE VICTORY IN THREE TRIES AT UNION GROVE TOURNEY;JEFFERSON 67, WILLIS 48
UNION GROVE, Texas – Jefferson jumped out to a 24-9 first quarter lead and held off any hopes of a Willis comeback en route to a 67-48 victory in the opener of the Union Grove Tournament.
Grayson Early poured in 31 points and Dee Mitchell added 16 to lead Jefferson to the victory. The Dawgs were outscored 17-12 in the second frame but still had a 10-point lead at the break, then outscored Willis 15-7 in the third before coasting to the 19-point win. Maurice Rudd added eight points while Taylor Smith tallied six for the Dawgs.
Jefferson’s scoring was rounded out by Cameron Hicks’ four points and two more by Kepha Luster.
Willis had two players – Mark Hector with 14 and Malik Hadnot with 10 – reach double-digit scoring.
LIBERTY-EYLAU 68, JEFFERSON 63 (OT)
A furious fourth-quarter rally by L-E tied the game before the horn, then the Leopards out-scored Jefferson 11-6 in overtime to pick up a victory in the championship bracket of the Union Grove Tournament.
Jefferson led 11-10 at the end of the first and was ahead 26-25…
To continue reading this article, please contact us today for a print or email subscription to the Jefferson Jimplecute! — (903) 665-2462, JIMPLECUTE1848@GMAIL.COM)