Tigers end basketball season with loss to West Mesquite


Photo by Kayleigh Moreland

Head coach Keith Jones talks to the team on the sidelines at their game against Sulfur Springs. The Tigers ended their season with 17 wins and 10 losses.

Story by Tye Shelton, sports editor

The boys basketball team began its playoff run Tuesday, Feb. 21, but it was short lived. After winning the last four games of the season, including an overtime thriller against Hallsville, the Tigers advanced to the first round against a familiar foe–West Mesquite.

West Mesquite defeated the Tigers in the first round of football playoffs this year, and the trend continued as they eliminated the Tigers Tuesday night, this time in basketball. The Tigers lost by a score of 74-65 that featured key performances by seniors Quan Hampton and Lavon Brown.

The team began the season on a roll; during tournament play the Tigers faced several 6A schools.

“I think the highlight of our season would have to be winning the Camden Fairview tournament, the championship game went into overtime,” head coach Keith Jones said. “Winning that one really set the tone for the season, especially in helping us win games like the one senior night against Hallsville.”

That night a Hallsville player hit a half-court buzzer beater to tie the game 70-70. The Tigers prevailed in this contest as well, winning the game in the first overtime.

The Tigers finished with an overall record of 17-10, as compared to last year’s 19-10 record. While the Tigers were lacking in size and an inside presence, guard play brought success for the season.

“We had a good season, it just did not end the way we envisioned it,” Brown said. “I feel the seniors stepped up as best as they could. We just lacked experience, which got us in the end.”

Coach Jones shared the same grievances with the size the team featured this year.

“I think our biggest downfall this year was our lack of size. It made things really difficult for us,” Jones said. “I think next year we will face this problem. We may be even smaller, which will call for more fundamentals being stressed.”

Losing against West Mesquite meant that it was the final game many seniors will ever play. While Quan Hampton will continue with Division I football, Tuesday did mark the final time he will suit up for a basketball team.

“It does not seem real at all, but it is something we have to live with as players,” Hampton said. “Maybe things could have been different, but overall it was a good season.”

Coach Jones will be heading into his third season as head coach for the Tigers.

“We may be smaller next year than before, but it will just provide a change in style for us,” Jones said. “Everyone still has to practice, everyone still has to play and everyone has to play hard so, we will see what happens.”