Jordan Holmes drives through a group of Hardin Jefferson defenders to lay the ball in the basket during the Tigers win over the Hawks on Tuesday. - Photo by Danny Reneau
Tuesday night the Silsbee Tigers travelled to Ford Park in Beaumont to play their arch rivals Hardin-Jefferson. Silsbee took a 4-0 district record into the game against the 4-1 Hardin Jefferson Hawks.
Silsbee stretched the Hawks to the maximum and came up with an 81-76 victory to take sole possession of first place for the moment in District 21-3A.
Silsbee opened the game with a couple of free throws and went on to take an 8-0 lead in the game before
Davonte Johnson scored to break the ice for the Hawks.
Silsbee’s speedy players had little or no trouble breaking the Hawks press and their defense had the Hawks befuddled.
Before the quarter was over Chris Elam had hit for six points and the Tigers had a 20-8 lead.
After the break at the end of the quarter, Elam went right back to work. He hit a basket, then Jordan Holmes added a field goal before he made a great pass to Elam, who followed up with a basket. The Tigers had a 28-11 lead at that point.
Late in the quarter, Patrick Reed scored a couple of baskets. Silsbee continued to build its lead. The lead was 39-22 at the half.
Elam had scored 15 of the Tigers 39 first half points.
Silsbee was still having virtually no problems penetrating the Hawks defense. Meanwhile, the Tigers’ pressure trapping defense was giving the Hawks fits.
All year, the Tigers have had trouble making free throws and during this game they were making about 75 percent from the charity stripe.
After the intermission, Silsbee continued to roll. HJ opened the third quarter with a basket to cut the margin to 15 and then Silsbee went on an 10-3 spurt. Elam and Holmes each nailed three point baskets.
Then with 5:19 left in the third period, Reed picked up his third foul.
Bjori Bosha was beginning to find the range. He hit a three point shot and scored six quick points.
The Hawks did not have an answer for Elam. He added another basket and then made a field goal and then added another three point shot. He hit for ten in the third period.
Silsbee closed out the third quarter with a 60-39 lead.
The Tigers had had no problem on offense or defense through the first three periods and it appeared that the game was virtually on ice.
The the fourth quarter started and Coach Sigler called off the dogs. The Tigers pressure defense relaxed and they quit attacking the basket.
When Bosha hit a three with early in the fourth quarter, HJ had their first rally of the game going. During the first 1:14 of the fourth period, HJ outscored the Tigers 12-2 to cut the Tigers lead to 62-51.
Bosha hit a field goal and was fouled with 5:10 left in the game. The three point play cut the Tigers lead to 67-58 and the Hawks had the margin under 10 points.
Bosha fouled out with 1:23 left in the game. By this time, HJ was relying on fouls. All year, the Tigers had had trouble at the free throw line. Friday they shot them well.
Dante Wilson made four of six from the free throw line during the final minute of the game. Silsbee was challenged late but still managed to hang on to claim the win over their arch rivals.
After scoring only 39 points during the first three quarters of the game HJ scored 37 in the fourth period.
More importantly the win gave the Tigers two game lead over the Hawks.
Elam took scoring honors in the game with 32 points. Holmes finished the game with 15 and DaVaughn Thomas hit for 12.
Other Tigers who scored included Wilson with six, Yancy Brydson with one, Jake Dobbins with four, Reed with eight and Zayon Jackson with three.
Reed led the Tigers in rebounding with 14. Thomas had five assists and Wilson had two steals.
Hardin Jefferson was led by Braylin Haron with 22. Johnson hit for 20 and Bosha 17. Other Hawks who scored included Mitchell with nine, Stevens with five, and Mays with three.