Athens Review, Athens, Texas

March 1, 2014

CLASS A, DI, REGION III SEMIFINALS: LaPoynor heads to finals with 75-72 OT win

Joe Elerson
The Athens Review

TYLER — The No. 6-ranked LaPoynor Flyers proved they can deal with adverse situations as they advanced to the Class A, Region III final today with a 75-72 win over the No. 12 ranked San Augustine Wolves at TJC’s Wagstaff Gymnasium.

With the win, the Flyers (31-4) will face the No. 2 ranked Grapeland Sandies today at 4 p.m. for a trip to the state tournament.

“We have to get some rest and that was a physical game tonight,” coach Dean Nuckolls said. “We need to come back tomorrow and play well in that game.”

Grapeland thumped Tenaha, 83-49, in the first game of the day.

Nuckolls said prior to the game that Grapeland is ranked No. 2 in the state for a reason due to many different weapons they have on the court.

LaPoynor was in control for most of the third quarter and with 1:52 remaining, LaPoynor held a 13-point lead at 50-37.

San Augustine then went on a big run and with 1:10 remaining, Jarvis Smith g ave them its first lead of the second half with a three-pointer off an assist from Jamikel Roberts for the 65-63 lead.

“We needed to take care of the ball and my kids kept fighting,” Nuckolls said. “It was a great game and very aggressive. My kids never let their heads down during the game.”

During the run, San  Augustine used its size on the interior to control the rebounding as LaPoynor was figuring out ways to cut down on the run.

LaPoynor forced overtime as James Jackson found a driving Mason Motal for the easy layup to tie the game at 65-65.

In the extra frame, LaPoynor took care of the game at the free-throw line as they converted six-of-10 free throws.

Following a three-point basket by San Augustine’s Dez Randle off an assist from Roberts to get the game to within, 73-72, with 16 seconds remaining, Nuckolls quickly called a timeout.

Following a quick foul from Jeremy Jenkins for San Augustine, junior Colton Clair iced the game with two big free throws for the 75-72 finale.

“San Augustine is a great ball team,” Nuckolls said. “We knew that they would make a run at the end and I warned them about it. We are a very physical team and we are a great team.”

In the first half, both teams played a very physical game as they traded the lead early in the contest.

Crear gave them a, 16-14, lead at the end of the quarter as  Crear drove hard in for the layup with time running out in the quarter.

Crear scored 15 of his game high 31 points in the first 16 minutes of the game.

He was clutch for the Flyers as they jumped out to a 35-25 lead at the half.

Mason Motal added 11 points for the Flyers, while  Seth Anderson had 10 points off of the bench. Mason Motal chipped in 11 points.

One of the big issues for the Flyers in the game was the turnovers as they committed 30 turnovers.