By Todd Wills
Corsicana Daily Sun
The Tigers held on for their fifth straight win with Tuesday night’s 63-57 victory over Class 2A Whitney.
Corsicana coach Don Newton took the opportunity to urge his basketball team to give him more in their post-game conversation, even after the Tigers improved to a season-best nine games over .500 at 12-3.
Newton wasn’t happy with the Tigers’ work on the defensive end. Whitney has a methodical style that encourages pounding the ball inside or getting open looks from behind the 3-point arc. It’s a philosophy the Tigers will see when they get into 16-4A games against Whitehouse and Lindale.
“I was disappointed with our effort,” Newton said. “That’s the same style we’ve struggled against that we’re going to see with Lindale and Whitehouse.
“We need to play defense for more than 15 seconds. We won’t play defense for 45 seconds at a time and we have to if we want to beat those teams.”
Whitney, which advanced four rounds in last year’s 2A playoffs, scored with the Tigers for three quarters. It was 29-29 at halftime and Corsicana held a 47-43 lead entering the fourth quarter.
Corsicana made 7 of its 13 field goals in the final quarter as the Tigers were able to push the lead to 63-53 with 2:38 left in the game. Mike Lewis scored 10 of his 15 points in the quarter.
Dzifa Mallet scored 11 of his 19 points in the first half. But Corsicana didn’t have an answer for the inside play of Whitney’s Tavaris Owens, who had a 17-point first half.
Mallet and McGhee were able to score at the rim in the third quarter, combining for 12 points. Mallet made consecutive baskets for a 45-41 lead and Alonzo Gipson had a steal and layup to make it a six-point lead with 28 seconds to go in the quarter.
The Tigers were good enough on offense Tuesday night. They’ll have to play better on the defensive end against a West team that will play a similar style to Whitney.
“We have to be more disciplined,” Newton said. “We were unable to turn (Whitney) over a lot. We have to get better.”
Corsicana 63, Whitney 57
Whitney 10 19 14 14 — 57
Corsicana 11 18 18 16 — 63
Whitney — TQ Echols 19, Fisher Hennig 4, Noah Kirk 4, Tavaris Owens 18, Gavin Bean 5, Matt Reed 2, Cash Calahan 5.
Corsicana — Dzifa Mallet 19, Mike Lewis 15, Tedrick Wilson 5, Anthony Jones 7, Ernest McGhee 15, Alonzo Gipson 2.
Records — Whitney 8-7, Corsicana 12-3.