No. 21 McLennan Highlanders fall to Tyler

No. 21 McLennan Highlanders fall to Tyler

The 21st-ranked McLennan Highlanders fell to the Tyler Apaches 60-56 this afternoon on the opening day of the Kilgore Classic.
 
Tyler controlled the game from the opening tip as McLennan struggled to find a rhythm on both ends of the court. The Apaches built a double-digit lead midway through the first half. Following the media timeout, the Highlanders made a run and pulled within six before Tyler pulled away once again. The Apaches kept McLennan at arm's length down the stretch, leading by as many as 12. Tyler led 27-17 with just over two minutes to play in the half. A steal and ensuing layup by AJ Barnes with 1:32 to go pulled the Highlanders within two, 27-19. Tyler's Corey Camper ended the half with a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to give the Apaches the 30-19 lead at the break.
 
It was a defensive battle between the two squads to talk the second half as the teams combined to score just five points in the first five minutes. Tyler led 33-21 when McLennan began to start chipping away behind strong play from Jared Clawson. Clawson put together an 8-2 run to pull the Highlanders within six, 35-29. Mason Lockhart and Nick Shogbonyo each added free throw and a four-point play by CJ Hall tied the game at 35 with 12:44 to play. Tyler used an 17-4 run to push the lead to 13 with 6:20 to go, 52-39. The Highlanders rallied late, cutting the lead to four, but that would be as close as they could get.
 
Omarion Smith led the Highlander with 13 points and Jared Clawson added 11.
 
Tyler: Randy Crosby1 1-2 3; Marcus Rigsby Jr. 3 2-4 10; Ray Barrion 0 2-2 2; Corey Camper Jr. 8 3-7 21; Makel Johnson 1 0-0 3; Dariyus Woodson 5 0-0 14; Amir Locus
Bullen Taban 1 3-4 5; Boubacar Mboup 0 0-0 0; Totals: 20 11-21 60.
 
McLennan: Nick Shogbonyo 1 1-2 4; CJ Hall 2 3-3 8; Jacobi Lewis 0 0-0 0; Dayvaughn Froe 0 0-0 0; Jaylen Thompson 2 0-0 4; A.J. Barnes 2 1-1 5; Jared Clawson 3 3-5 11; Omarion Smith 3 7-7 13; Mason Lockhart 4 1-2 9; Kaleb Pouncy 1 0-0 2; Khalif Allim 2 0-0 0; Totals: 18 16-20 56.
 
3-pointers: McLennan 4 (Clawson 2, Shogbonyo 1, Hall 1), Tyler 9 (Woodson 4, Rigsby Jr. 2, Camper Jr. 2, Johnson 1); Total fouls: McLennan 18, Tyler 16; Halftime score: Tyler 30, McLennan 19; Record: McLennan 6-2.
 
Next Up: The Highlanders will face host Kilgore at 4 p.m. Saturday to close out the Kilgore Classic.