Jacksonville Daily Progress
WHITE OAK —
The Jacksonville Fight'n Indian basketball team went about their business in sort of a reverse manner on Tuesday evening, using its stifling defense to spur on the Indian offense.
Things could not have worked any better for the home team as the Tribe improved to 8-0 on the year by defeating Tyler-Robert E. Lee 61-47.
The No. 22-ranked Indians were able to avenge two losses that came courtesy of the Red Raiders (7-2)
last year — Lee is the only team to have defeated Jacksonville at the JHS Gymnasium during the Brent Kelley coaching era.
So, revenge was particularly sweet on Tuesday.
“We've had this game circled on the calender for a long time,” Kelley said. “We prepared for it like it was a district game and I think it was a big win for us because we have a lot of respect for the Lee program.
“I didn't have to say a lot to our kids about this game. These seniors knew that they had never beaten Lee in here and that was all the motivation that they needed.”
The difference maker in the game was the Tribe's efficiency at running its pressing defense, which forced Lee to turn the ball over 21 time. Jacksonville made just 11 miscues in the game.
The bulk of those Red Raider mistakes resulted in easy baskets for the speedy and athletic Jacksonville guards.
“We hang our hats on our half-court defense and our press and that is what we spend most of time on in practice,” Kelley said. “Our press and our half-court defense is what has carried us all year.”
The court general, the spark plug — the man that made things happen for the Tribe — was senior Londedric Taylor.
Taylor parlayed his being named as MVP of the Madisonville Tournament last weekend into a game-high 20-point effort against a stout Red Raider outfit.
“We moved Taylor away from the ball this year — he started at point guard the last two years — and he bought into that,” Kelley said. “He was our leading scorer tonight and he's our leading scorer this season. He is shooting the ball well.”
The Tribe led 20-16 at intermission and then proceeded to peel off a 17-5 run to open the third quarter as Jacksonville moved in front, 37-21, with 3:34 left in period three.
Dadrian Franklin, who finished with 11 points, drained a pair of stop-and-pops off the right wing from behind the arc to give Jacksonville the double-digit advantage.
Lee kept battling, however, as the Red Raiders reduced the Tribe's margin to 43-35 heading into the final eight-minute segment.
Lee's Jack Calhoun opened the fourth quarter by swishing a trey off the left side and Taylor Takersley then added a shot from the free-throw line to put the Red Raiders back to within four points, 43-39, with 5:53 left in the game.
Jacksonville responded by going on a 9-0 run as the Indians were able to regain a firm grasp of things.
Lee got it back to single digits after Caleb Johnston dropped a long ball in at the 2:18 mark that cut the Tribe's lead to 54-45, but Jacksonville bounced back by closing the tilt out on a 7-2 progression to subdue the Red Raiders once and for all.
Daytron Thompson added a dozen points for the Tribe, while Kedarrius Buckingham added in six.
Takersley paced the Red Raiders with 11 points and Johnston had eight.
The Tribesmen were scheduled to play Woden this morning in opening round action of the Fairfield Tournament, which has drawn a salty field which includes a handful of state-ranked clubs, in addition to the Indians.