By Todd Wills
Corsicana Daily Sun
The Tigers opened the eyes of their fans Tuesday night with a 79-66 victory over undefeated Forney at Tiger Gym.
Talk on the street has been as positive as it’s ever been in Don Newton’s three-plus seasons as coach, and he’s thankful for that, he said Thursday.
Especially after an opening night loss at Lorena that saw the Tigers lose 35-32. They doubled that output and more against a Forney team that has a 27-point win over Waxahachie on its resume.
The Tigers (4-1) will put their four-game winning streak on the line at 1:30 p.m. Friday when they play private school Houston St. Thomas in the Bruce G. Brookshire Classic at Tyler All Saints Episcopal School.
Newton and the Tigers are brimming with confidence.
“I knew we had an opportunity to be OK if we continued to improve,” Newton said. “I’m proud that we started off with a horrible evening the first night out and we continued to trust the system and we’ve been working hard.”
The Tigers started off slow Tuesday against Forney, but bounced back to produce a 31-point first quarter led by the scoring of Mike Lewis, Dzifa Mallet and Ernest McGhee.
They held on tight in the second half.
“We showed in the Forney game we’re going to play harder and be more intent on trying to do things right,” Newton said. “The kids were proud of that effort because it felt good. We beat a good team.”
Lewis, Mallet and McGhee combined for 59 points in the win. Lewis has a 27- and 25-point night already in this young season.
But keep in mind that the Tigers are getting production up and down their bench.
They are playing well and their fans noticed it Tuesday on a high-scoring and high-energy night.
“We keep preaching with the kids that if you play with character and play hard, they’re going to come back and support that,” Newton said. “The feedback from here is they are receptive to being coached pretty hard.”