CENTRAL HEIGHTS — With a chance to knock off its third state-ranked opponent in as many days, the Nacogdoches Dragons couldn’t find the range at the free throw line Saturday night, as they connected on only 3-of-10 from the charity stripe as they dropped a 55-51 overtime loss to No. 2-ranked Brock (Class 3A) here in Russell Gymnasium in the boys championship of the Central Heights Holiday Hoop Fest.
Dragons Deonte Jackson (16 points in the final) and A.J. Johnson (16 points) were named to the all-tournament squad for their efforts.
Jacksonville defeated Central Heights, 76-41, in the third-place game of the Championship Bracket, while Shelbyville topped Diboll, 55-22, in the title game of the Consolation Bracket, and Center topped Central Heights 73-45 in the title game of the Bronze Bracket. In guaranteed games, Woden knocked off Bridge City, 64-54, and Central clipped Oakwood, 43-41
Nacogdoches 56, No. 1 (2A) Shelbyville 52 (Thursday) — The Dragons trailed No. 1-ranked Shelbyville 41-38 after three quarters on Thursday, but outscored the Dragons 18-11 in the final period to claim the four-point win. Deonte Jackson scored six points in the final stanza for Nacogdoches, while A.J. Johnson added five.
Jackson led the Dragon scoring with 22 points, while Johnson added 13, Eddie Cross dropped in 12. Charles Hervey and Jatavious Deckard both scored three points and Jahquay Sweat chipped in two.
Nacogdoches 68, Christian Homeschool Sports Ministry 27 (Friday) — A.J. Johnson had another strong scoring game to finish pool play on Friday as the Dragons claimed the top seed in the Championship Bracket with a 68-27 win over CHSM.
Johnson finished the game with 25 points, dropping in 10 points in the second period and six more in the third. Other scorers for the Dragons included: Deonte Jackson, 13; Jeramiah Williams, 11; Jatavious Deckard, 10; Eddie Cross, 5; Charles Hervey, 2; and Nazavion Floyd, 2.
Nacogdoches 61, Crockett 37 (Friday) — The Dragons claimed their second tournament victory over a state-ranked team in as many days when they rolled past No. 5-ranked (Class 3A) Crockett in the semifinals of the Championship Bracket.
The Bulldogs led 11-7 after the opening period, but Nacogdoches came alive in the second quarter, scoring 19 points to grab a 26-17 lead at the half. Deonte Jackson scored eight points in the period, while Jatavious Johnson added four.
The Dragons continued to turn up the defensive pressure in the third quarter, outscoring the Bulldogs 18-13, and then pulled away with 17 fourth-quarter points.
Jackson led the Dragon scoring with 25 points, including converting 12-of-13 free throws. A.J. Johnson hit 10-of-13 from the charity stripe, to finish with 20 points. Jatavious Johnson and Jatavious Deckard both dropped in four points, Charles Hervey and Jeramiah Williams threw in three points apiece and Nazavious Floyd scored two.
Central Heights 51, Huntington 27 (Friday) — The Blue Devils opened play in the Bronze Bracket with a 21-point win over Huntington to advance to the title game.
Drew Hiebert scored six of his game-high 12 points in the second quarter. Jackson Flynn and Logan Farrell added nine points apiece, while Trey Huddleston chipped in seven, Trey Smith scored four, Preston Watson and Michael Perry scored three points apiece, and Devante Caldwell and D.J. Ransom both contributed two points.
CENTRAL HEIGHTS HOLIDAY HOOP FEST
Bracket Play Games
Brock 67, Jacksonville 60
Nacogdoches 61, Crockett 37
Diboll defeated Bridge City
Shelbyville defeated Newton
Central Heights 51, Huntington 27
Center 59, CHSM 38
Oakwood defeated West Sabine
Central defeated Woden
Brock 55, Nacogdoches 51 (OT) (Championship)
Jacksonville 76, Central Heights 41 (3rd Place)
Shelbyville 55, Diboll 22 (Championship)
Bridge City vs. Newton (Cancelled)
Center 73, Central Heights 45 (Championship)
Huntington 67, CHSM 58 (Consolation)
Central 43, Oakwood 41
Woden 64, Bridge City 54