Pleasant Grove’s boys opened the door by missing five layups at the start of the third quarter, while Liberty-Eylau responded with five 3-pointers.
The Hawks’ nine-point advantage at intermission turned into an 11-point deficit in five minutes, and the Leopards held on for a 63-59 victory. L-E (16-10, 3-5) swept its District 15-4A series with the Hawks. The Leopards advance to play state-ranked Spring Hill next Tuesday at Mount Vernon.
Thanks to a Paris win over North Lamar Tuesday night, the Hawks (14-15, 4-4) will still be the second seed out of district. They will play Henderson next Tuesday at Pine Tree High School in Longview.
“District did not go like we wanted it to, but tonight we showed that we can play with anybody,” said L-E coach Stasik Vaughn. “We’ve got some shooters. It just depends if it’s going in, or not. We shot with confidence tonight. I’m so proud of these guys.”
Leopards’ outside shooting was difference
Pleasant Grove led 30-21 at halftime, but that lead disappeared in a hurry. Deveoncha Meadows, Howard Barron and Isaiah Cross combined for five treys, giving the Leopards a 46-35 lead.
The Hawks answered right back with a 12-0 run to recapture the lead, but they couldn’t hold it.
Meadows led L-E’s balanced attack with 13 points. Talvevion Cooper scored 11, while Barron and Dominique Williams contributed 10 points each.
Robinson’s 25 points, 14 in the fourth quarter, was a game-high. Teammate Kamren Woods was next with 17 points.
“We still finished second, but you want to win that in-town game; L-E just caught fire in the third quarter,” said Pleasant Grove coach Dwight McCowan. “They just started making shots, and we were not making shots. We controlled the tempo, attacking the basket. That’s just how basketball goes sometimes.”
The Leopards missed several free throws in the fourth quarter that kept the game close. Williams converted two free throws with seven second left to put L-E on top 63-57. Garrett Young made a meaningless bucket at the buzzer for the Hawks.
Lady Hawks advance in 4A playoffs
LONGVIEW, Texas – Pleasant Grove (27-3-1) advanced to the area round of the 4A playoffs Tuesday night by dominating Tyler Chapel Hill, 61-44.
“I wasn’t happy with our turnovers and our offense in the first half, but we really turned on our defense,” said Pleasant Grove coach Marsha Cowling. “We did a better job on offense in the second half.”
Senior Shanequa Henry led the Lady Hawks with 19 points. Keshawn Davis scored 14 points, while Mayia Ware contributed 13.
5A playoffs next for Texas High
ROYSE CITY, Texas – C.J. Kelley and Octavien Richardson scored 11 points each Tuesday night in leading Texas High (26-7) past Royse City, 70-55.
Onyenia led the all scorers with 15 points for the Bulldogs.
The Tigers next action will be against Pine Tree in bi-district action at Mount Vernon.
Lady Rabbs top defending state champs
MOUNT PLEASANT, Texas – Atlanta’s girls scored a shocking upset Tuesday night by eliminating 3A’s defending state champion Mount Vernon in overtime, 35-32.
It was no surprise that Keyona Easter led the Lady Rabbs with 15 points, 8 rebounds, 4 steals and 3 assists. Sheveonia Smith added 9 points. Lawry led the Lady Tigers with 11 points.
Atlanta finishes unbeaten in district
NEW BOSTON, Texas – Atlanta (28-3, 13-0) let its bench pour in 31 fourth quarter points Tuesday night in beating New Boston, 75-29.
The Rabbs advance to play Winnsboro in the 3A playoffs next Tuesday at Mount Pleasant. Atlanta has a warmup game with Coldspring Oakhurst on Friday.
Eleven players scored for Atlanta, Daimion Collins leading the pack with 14 points. Kylan Carter was the only other Rabb in double digits with 11 points. Fields had 11 for the Lions.
Fouke girls reach district semifinals
AMITY, Ark. – Fouke (23-5) built a 48-11 halftime cushion Tuesday night on its way to a 66-29 win over Smackover in the 3A district tournament.
The Lady Panthers were bombing away as usual with 12 treys. Taylor Hardin led the way with 20 points, while Mallory Oliver scored 18.
Laykin Smallwood contributed 7 points and 6 blocks, while Madison Crow added 7 points and 9 rebounds.
Fouke plays CenterPoint in the semifinals Thursday at 6:40 p.m.