JHHS and Saline bow out in Quarterfinals

Sometimes you just run across a team that is just better than you. All you can do is give it your best and when it is over, shake their hand and wish them luck. That was the fate for Jackson Parish Journal coverage area schools, JHHS and Saline High, this past Friday in the LHSAA quarterfinals as the pair lost to the top ranked team in their respective classifications. 

At least they didn’t have to travel very far. JHHS ventured to Lakeview where they fell to the district 3-2A champion 79-57. Saline’s trip was even shorter as they went to defending Class B state champion, Simsboro and lost 81-62. 

With the loss Jonesboro-Hodge finishes the 2021-22 boys basketball season with the Class AA quarterfinal loss and 19-8 overall record. The Tigers finished tied for first in district 1-2A play with a 5-1 record but was relegated to second place after dropping a one game playoff against North Caddo. The Class B quarterfinal defeat ends Saline’s year with a 18-19 overall record after finishing in second place in district 1B with a 4-2 mark.

Lakeview 79 JHHS 57: The Gators earned their spot in “Marsh Madness” which is what the state basketball tournament is fondly called. Lakeview won by methodically outscoring the Tigers a little bit more each quarter, leading by two, seven and finally 16 by the end of the third which put the game out of reach. 

Tydre Malone kept JH close early on scoring seven of the Tigers 13 first quarter points. The second quarter found the sledding a little tougher as JH could only muster four baskets and 11 points to go into the half down 31-24.

Cameron Joe scored seven points on one of the three 3-pointers the Tigers made in the frame as JH turned in their best quarter offensively with 20 points. Zion Gray and Justin Calahan made the other two. Despite the increased scoring though the Tigers fell further behind as Lakeview exploded for 29 points to take a commanding 60-44 advantage heading into the final frame. 

Malone led the Tigers with 18 points followed by 15 from Joe and 8 from Gray. District 3-2A champion, Lakeview, made 10 three pointers in the game as they improved their record to a sterling 29-4 on the year. Andre Sewell accounted for four of the “bombs” on the way to a game high 26 points.

#9 Jonesboro-Hodge (19-8) 13 11 20 13 57
#1 Lakeview (29-4) 15 16 29 19 79
(JHHS scoring) Malone 18, Joe 15, Zion Gray 8, Calahan 5, Leonard 4, Tew 3, Mozee 2, Phillips 2 (Lakeview scoring) Sewell 26, Howard 14, Jones 11, Taylor 9, Reliford 6, Holden 6, Pikes 5, Harris 2,

Simsboro 81 Saline 62: It is bad enough to have to win against the defending Class B state champion and top ranked team this year. The task was even harder given the fact that Simsboro was playing on their home floor where they haven’t lost to a Class B or below school in four years. It became impossible when one of Saline’s top players, Titus Malone, went down to injury midway through the second half.

What was the biggest factor of all though was the 34 points that Chilaydrien Newton put up in front of the home folks. The standout playmaker lit Saline up for 11 first quarter points, outscoring the entire Bobcat team by two all by himself. 

Newton added 8 more to his total in the second frame that saw Nick Maryland get into the act with nine to give Saline a commanding 42-26 lead at the break. It would have been worse than that were it not for Stephen Brown, who continued his impressive late season scoring surge by draining three, 3 pointers in the second quarter giving him 13 points at the half. 

The Bobcats clawed their way closer in the third through a solid team effort that saw all five starters score, led by 8 from Ethan Roberts and five by Malone. Simsboro then put the game away by scoring nine baskets to three for Saline in the final frame.

“We knew it would be tough to come in here and get a win. To their credit, they played well,” said Saline head coach Klint Robinson. “I also want to say how much I appreciate the sportsmanship Coach Brown and his team showed after the game, especially Nick Maryland. This young man made it a point to come over and speak to our hurt player and offer his condolences. That was a class act.”

#9 Saline (18-19) 9 17 23 13 62
#1 Simsboro (31-3) 21 21 20 19 81
(Saline scoring) Brown 19, Roberts 15, Malone 9, Jackson 7, Staggs 7, Jones 3, Ledbetter 1, Crawford 1 (Simsboro scoring) Newton 34, Crawford 13, Maryland 12, Abney 9, Brantley 7, Wright 6

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