Mineola boys use runs, get past Quitman
The Mineola Yellowjackets and Quitman Bulldogs combined for three quarters of excellently-played basketball last Friday. Mineola took advantage of a run late in the second period and early in the third to build a lead which gave them a decisive win, 67-46.
Several things set this game apart. Most notably, the referees called a very tight game from the tip. Both teams adjusted well and the game progressed smoothly.
Additionally, both teams played composed basketball. The first half saw the Bulldogs and Yellowjackets play to their strengths and effectively counter each other. Quitman had four scorers in the half and Mineola five.
Quitman’s Aiden Corrior opened the scoring with an offensive rebound put-back. The action went back and forth during the first quarter. Trailing 10-8, the Yellowjackets came out of a time out with a scripted play to hit Jonah Fischer with a backdoor pass to tie the score.
Bulldog Trey Berry promptly stole the ball and scored. Two more drives by Fischer put Mineola back on top. Jace Reid’s 3-pointer gave Quitman the lead at the quarter break.
Three-point scores by Reid and Berry and a beautiful reverse put-in by Corrior built a 4-point Quitman lead with 3:00 to play in the half. The next three minutes were all Mineola. Fischer led the charge with five points and two assists. T.J. Moreland contributed a 3-pointer, and Kaleb Griffin scored twice in the paint to make the score 33-26 Mineola at the half.
The two assists by Fischer highlighted the action. The first was an alley-oop to Dawson Pendergrass and the second was a beautifully-executed give and go between Fischer and Griffin.
The first three minutes of the second half continued the productive Yellowjacket effort. Mineola started on a 7-0 run. These two minutes combined with the 14-3 run at the end of the first half proved the winning margin.
Quitman surged back in the third quarter, but all Bulldog scoring in the second half came from Reid and Berry. This allowed Mineola to focus its defense.
The Yellowjacket intensity of effort secured the win. Late in the fourth quarter, Pendergrass deflected an offensive rebound which Wylie Franks secured and put back up. He missed the shot but secured his own rebound twice more before being fouled. The sequence defined the competitiveness of play on both sides.
Fischer led Mineola scorers with 21 points. Kelby Bruner and T.J. Moreland joined him in double figures. Reid tallied 23 points to lead the Bulldogs with Berry chalking up 13.