The varsity Henderson Lions (7-9) traveled to Brownsboro last week to participate in the East Texas Shoot Out basketball tournament, suffering losses to Brownsboro and Mineola and stacking up wins against Van, Tyler’s Grace Community, Rains, and Sunnyvale for the consolation championship title.

In the first round, the Lions made a statement on the court as they defeated the Van Vandals 46-35.

Both teams spent the first quarter sizing each other up. They fought tooth-and-nail for the lead, but Henderson came out on top 8-6.

However, this didn’t hinder the Vandals. Again, they battled for the win in the second quarter, but again, Henderson led 17-15.

Van came back for revenge in the third quarter, just barely pushing ahead 10-9. However, the Lions remained in the lead by three points.

The last quarter sealed the Lion’s fate as the round’s victors, as they raced past the Vandals for a 14-9 win.

In this round, small forward Devin Phillips led the group as he put up 22 points on the scoreboard for the Lions, with four two-point field goals, four three-point field goals, and two free throws.

Power forward and center Austin Berry was behind him with five two-point field goals and two free throws.

Guard Deuce Davis scored eight points with three free throws, one two-pointer, and one three-pointer. 

The next round proved difficult for Henderson, as they took on Brownsboro. Despite keeping neck-and-neck with the Bears in the first half, the Lions slipped behind and lost 26-30.

Brownsboro claimed the lead in the first quarter with two two-point field goals and two field goals. Henderson lagged behind with four points.

The Lions refused to stay down in the second quarter as they attempted to close the gap, but both teams each added five more points to their sides of the scoreboard.

In the third quarter, Henderson reclaimed the lead as they put nine more points up on the scoreboard, while the Bears only added four points.

The Lions’ hopes of winning the match were soon dashed as Brownsboro overpowered them by scoring fifteen more points. Henderson stayed behind with eight points.

In this match, Berry led the team with four two-point field goals and three free throws, totaling 11 points.

Phillips contributed five points for the Lions with one two-pointer and three free throws.

Forward and guard Brandon Paske also added five points to the Lions’ side of the scoreboard with one three-pointer and two free throws.

Small forward Jay Alexander shined as a sophomore with four points.

The Mineola Yellowjackets added insult to injury as they dominated over Henderson 58-28 in the next round. In the first quarter, the Yellowjackets raced ahead to take the lead and held it for the rest of the match. 

Davis lead the group this time with 11 points from two two-point field goals, two three-pointers, and one free throw.

Behind him, Berry contributed six points for the Lions with two two-point field goals and two free throws.

Tobiaus Jackson had two two-pointers, guard Garry Antunes had one three-pointer, center Dequavion Kelly had one two-pointer and a free throw, and Alexander had one two-pointer.

Henderson quickly bounced back from this slump and breezed past Tyler’s Grace Community Cougars 52-31 in the next round. 

From there, the Lions proved to be an overwhelming force for the Rains Wildcats and took a 53-38 win.

In the final round of the tournament, Henderson was unstoppable as they took a 41-31 win against Sunnyvale, which also won them the consolation championship for their bracket.

“The Lions had some adversity due to injuries,” Henderson head coach Gary Carr said. “But the other Lions stepped up with a relentless defense.”

Next, Henderson will travel to Lufkin to face the Hudson Hornets at 7:30 pm on Friday. The Hornets currently sport a 9-6 overall record in their season.

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