By Todd Wills
Corsicana Daily Sun
The Tigers have been searching for a signature win in this third season under Coach Don Newton. They got it on Friday night.
Corsicana handed John Tyler its third district loss in 34 games, dominating the Lions 60-46 at Tiger Gym.
The Tigers used a 16-0 run in the second quarter to derail a John Tyler team that didn’t make shots, especially from behind the 3-point arc. The Lions didn’t make a 3-point shot all night.
Corsicana (19-6, 1-2) pushed its way into a fourth-place tie in District 16-4A with Nacogdoches. John Tyler (8-13, 1-2) dropped out of first place, leaving undefeated Jacksonville atop of 16-4A alone.
The Tigers have an interesting week coming up with last-place Lindale on the road Tuesday and Nacogdoches at Tiger Gym on Friday (both games start at 8 p.m.)
“This was the biggest win we’ve had since I’ve been here,” Tigers coach Don Newton said. “We need to build on this. We’re starting to see we can play with these teams.”
Corsicana should have all kinds of momentum after beating John Tyler, even with the Lions down four starters because of football recruiting visits.
Tigers senior guard Dzifa Mallet led the way, scoring 22 points to go with 10 rebounds, three assists and two steals. Mallet had a one-handed dunk and two 3-pointers in the third quarter as the Tigers extended a 12-point halftime lead to 45-26 victory over the Lions.
“We played with a lot of character tonight,” Mallet said. “I’m proud of my teammates.”
Corsicana led by as many as 22 points at 50-28 with 6:43 left in the game when Jamaal Evans made a layup. Ernest McGhee, who has been stuck in foul trouble in all three district games, had 5 of his 7 points in the quarter.
Sophomore point guard Ralph Watts ignited the Tigers in the second quarter, scoring 7 of his 8 points in the period. His 3-pointer with 2:13 left in the first half gave the Tigers a 26-16 lead. Lathan Carter followed with a putback for a 12-point halftime lead.
Anthony Jones gave the Tigers a 19-16 lead with a 3-point play, and Corsicana never trailed again. John Tyler didn’t score for the final seven minutes of the first half.
Mike Lewis had eight points, four assists and three steals for the Tigers. Watts had five rebounds and three assists. Evans had four points and led the Tigers on the hustle board with seven rebounds, five assists and three assists.
The Lions were without starters Tyus Bowser, Darion Flowers, Fred Ross and Greg Ward.
It should make the second matchup in Tyler next month an interesting one.
Corsicana 60, John Tyler 46
John Tyler 14 2 10 20 -- 46
Corsicana 11 17 17 15 -- 60
John Tyler - Jordan Caldwell 7, Isaac Warren 11, Elliott Hurt 3, Keaunte Humber 12, Javante Tramble 4, William Vaughn 1, Rodney Bendy 8.
Corsicana - Dzifa Mallet 22, Mike Lewis 8, Daniar Martin 3, Anthony Jones 6, Ernest McGhee 7, Lathan Carter 2, Ralph Watts 8, Jamaal Evans 4.
Records -- John Tyler 8-13, 2-1 in 16-4A; Corsicana 19-6, 1-2.
District 16-4A Boys Stadings
Jacksonville 3-0 26-0
John Tyler 2-1 8-13
Whitehouse 2-1 18-6
Corsicana 1-2 19-6
Nacogdoches 1-2 12-9
Lindale 0-3 9-13
Note: The top 4 teams make the playoffs
Corsicana 60, John Tyler 46
Jacksonville 53, Nacogdoches 37
Whitehouse 63, Lindale 54
Corsicana at Lindale, 8 p.m.
John Tyler at Jacksonville, 8 p.m.
Whitehouse at Nacogdoches, 8 p.m.