Maidens collar Lady Bulldogs 51-37 in bi-district

Feb. 12—TYLER — Jacksonville started out strong and finished the same way in route to capturing a 52-37 win over Chapel Hill in a Class 4A, Region III, Bi-district game that took place at Tyler Junior College's Wagstaff Gymnasium on Monday evening.

The Maidens (26-10) will move on to face No. 7-ranked Silsbee (27-3), who destroyed Hargrave, 86-27, in bi-district play Monday. The day, time and location of the Jacksonville-Silsbee game is to be announced.

Jacksonville jumped out to a 22-8 lead after one quarter of play by mixing a strong inside game with a couple of triples and a stellar defensive effort that forced the Lady Bulldogs (18-16) to turn the ball over eight times in the first 8:00 of action.

"I thought we played well in the first quarter," Jacksonville head girl's basketball coach Sharae Schmitt said. "It's always good to get a playoff win. We are proud of (the girls)."

Offensively, the Maidens sputtered in the second and third stanzas and Chapel Hill, the third place team out of District 17-3A, took advantage by outscoring the Maidens, the District 18-4A co-champions, 18-15.

Jacksonville led 29-16 at halftime, but the Lady Bulldogs made things interesting by pulling to within nine points, 35-26, with 1:46 left in the third quarter following a basket by Carneecia Johnson. That was as close as the Lady Bulldogs would come to pulling off the upset, however.

Ashuntee Donnell answered for the Maidens by dropping in a deuce at the buzzer, which gave Jacksonville a 37-26 advantage heading in to the final frame. Donnell came in off the bench and gave the Maidens eight second-half rebounds.

"I think we let some of the little things in the game get to us (in the second and third quarters)," Schmitt said. "We have to do a better job of not letting those things, like missed free throws, get to us."

Tia Fuller finished with a double-double (11 points, 11 rebounds) for the Maidens, Marquicia Robertson, who really ignited the Maidens in the opening period, ended the night with 16 points and eight boards while Trunijah Butler knocked in 10 points to go along with six rebounds.

Kiah Cox added seven points, all of which came in the first half, for the Maidens.

Johnson led the Lady Bulldogs in scoring with eight points, with Kaiden Kelly pitching in six points and a game-high 12 rebounds.