Big Second Quarter Propels Lovelady Lions Past Latexo

Latexo freshman Evan Ivey (35) is defended by Lovelady’s Hunter Patton (12) Tuesday night.Latexo freshman Evan Ivey (35) is defended by Lovelady’s Hunter Patton (12) Tuesday night.The Lovelady Lions used a 34-point second quarter spurt to cruise past the Latexo Tigers 98-63 on the road in a District 20-2A showdown Tuesday night.

Both teams came into the contest riding momentum from victories in their district openers.

Lovelady improved to 2-0 in district to keep pace with undefeated Grapeland, while Latexo slipped to 1-1.
The young Tigers matched up well with Lovelady in the first quarter, holding their guests to a 21-18 lead.
The Lions outscored the Tigers 34 to 23 in the second period. Holding a 40-34 lead with 3:00 to go in the second, the Lions closed out the quarter with a crucial 15 to 5 spurt to open up a 55-41 halftime lead.
Lovelady continued to pull away in second half, taking a 76-53 lead at the end of the third quarter and then outscoring the Tigers by 12 in the final frame.

"We have a lot of depth, so we were able to play a lot of kids, keep pressure on them and just wear them down," said Lovelady coach Jon Lowery. "We played a lot more kids, so foul trouble wasn't really a concern for us. At halftime we had three players with three fouls and a couple of others with two fouls, but it wasn't something that was in the back of our minds because we were playing so many kids that it allowed us to put constant pressure on them, and that really paid off for us."

Four Lovelady scorers reached double figures. Hunter Murray, who sparked the Lions with 14 points in the second quarter, finished the night with 24 points (3 treys).

Courtell McQuirter canned 20 and Ty Stubblefield tossed in 10 for the Lions.

Petey Little stepped up after a scoreless first half and scored 14 (2 treys) in the second half. "Petey has been struggling offensively but he found his rhythm tonight," said Lowery.

Rounding out the Lions' scoring were Taylor Womack with 8 (2 treys), Jacob Jeffus 6, Mason Lowery 5, Alex McKnight 4 and Da'Mario Mattingly 4, Kade White 2 and Hunter Patton 1.

Lovelady shot 17 of 29 at the free throw line for 59%.

"I didn't realize it during the game, but we had 11 of our 12 people scoring. We have a lot of kids contributing and a lot of those coming off the bench are underclassmen," noted Lowery.

Latexo's scoring was led by Sonny Townsend with 19 points (1 trey). Evan Ivey followed with 14) 1 trey) and Keshaun Smotherman had 13. Jack Woodford drained a pair of treys for his 6 points and Lane Stephens had 4. Shane Oswald, Trevor Thomas and David Taylor each chipped in 2, and Kase Miller had 1.
Latexo shot 57% at the line, hitting 17 of 30 attempts.

"Latexo did a good job running the floor and getting a lot of run outs off the transition game. We were able to get away from them, but I can tell you that Coach (Mike) Gain is doing a great job with those guys," said Lowery. "They have four freshman on the varsity and two started tonight. They did an outstanding job beating Slocum in their first district game, and that's something we weren't able to do last year.

"We were happy to get this victory, but it was closer than the score would indicate. I wouldn't want to play Latexo if all we could play is half-court. I think we'd be in trouble playing these guys in something other than a full-court game," added Lowery.