From Staff Reports
The Athens Review
LaPoynor Flyers head coach Dean Nuckolls probably wishes he had the last second back of Tuesday night’s Region 3, Class A quarterfinal matchup against No. 9-ranked Kerens Bobcats.
Kerens sophomore guard Nate Betts drove into the lane with with the game tied at, 57-57, and was fouled.
Betts calmly went to the line and drained two free-throws to give Kerens a 59-57 win over No. 11-LaPoynor at Wagstaff Gymnasium on the campus of Tyler Junior College.
With the loss, the Flyers end the season as 26-7 overall.
This was the third season the Flyers have been ousted in the quarterfinal round of the tournament.
Kerens (24-7) now faces the winner of the New Summerfield and No. 8-ranked San Augustine matchup Friday afternoon in the regional semifinal.
Tipoff is set for Noon at Wagstaff Gymnasium on the TJC campus.
LaPoynor held an eight point lead at, 43-35, on two free throws by Mason Motal with two minutes remaining in the third quarter, but Kerens found a way to storm back outscoring the Flyers 13-4 the remainder of the quarter.
With the game tied at 47-47 heading into the final frame, the Flyers were unable to gain the lead back as Kerens used a heavy dose of Betts and Tobyus Thomas in the quarter.
Earlier in the contest, LaPoynor senior guard Deon Johnson was able to keep them in the contest as he scored 15 of his team high 20 points in the first half.
Johnson gave the Flyers a 12-8 lead with just under two minutes remaining in the opening quarter before Kerens found a way to tie the game up at 13-13 heading into the second quarter of play.
After a basket by the Bobcats with just over six minutes remaining in the first half, LaPoynor went on a 5-0 run to take a, 21-17, lead as freshman James Jackson, Johnson and Octavius Crear scored points during the run.
Kerens continued putting on the pressure in the second quarter but Nuckolls’ squad was able to counter to keep the game close.
Following a 6-0 run by the Bobcats that gave them a 28-25 lead, Jackson found Logan McClelland for a long trey to tie the game up at 28-28 with 35 seconds remaining in the half.
LaPoynor was led in scoring by Johnson with 20 points, while Crear added 11 points and Jackson added 10 points off the bench in the loss.
Kerens was led in scoring by Betts with 23 points, while Thomas added 18 points.
LaPoynor was the area round champs with a, 60-40, win over Axtell last weekend.
This was the final game for LaPoynor seniors Coy Gonzales, McClelland, Ashton Abendroth, Johnson and Justin Street.
Kerens 59, LaPoynor 57
LaPoynor 13 17 17 10 — 57
Kerens 13 15 19 12 — 59
LaPoynor — Octavius Crear 11, Logan McClelland 8, Deon Johnson 20, Mason Motal 6, Ashton Abendroth 2, James Jackson 10.
Kerens — Tobyus Thomas 18, Shelton Sayles 5, Nate Betts 23, Brandon Ward 5, Dustin Jock 6, Rayvon Faulk 2.
TURNOVERS — LAP: 11. Kerens: 7.
FREE THROWS — LaPoynor: 13-20. Kerens: 5-12.
THREE POINTERS — LaPoynor: Johnson (3), McClelland. Kerens: Thomas (2), Jock (2), Sayles, Ward.
RECORDS — LaPoynor 26-6, season complete. Kerens 24-7.