Kilgore High School boys basketball coach Jerry Timmons has said on occasion that he saw improvement in the Bulldogs, good, steady improvement.
And now he’s seeing his team win close games.
The Bulldogs held off visiting All-Saints, 56-55, on Tuesday night, picking up a victory in one of Kilgore’s final non-district contests of the year. Kilgore (8-10) was off Friday night, and will host Henderson on Tuesday to wrap non-district play. District 15-4A’s schedule begins next Friday, Jan. 13, for the ‘Dogs, who will host Chapel Hill that night.
Timmons attributed the win not only to improved individual offensive play, but team defense.
“(I was) very happy with our defense in the first quarter,” he said. “We need to do a better job of sustaining that all the way through. We still have work to do, but it’s getting closer to how it should look.”
Kilgore got 16 from big-gun senior Tray Dunn, and 12 from sophomore Deiontrae Wheat. Nesba Brown, another sophomore, chipped in seven, and Octavian McKee had six. Dre Thurmond scored four; and Seth Thomas, Sam Kosel, A.J. Henson and Elijah Williams each had two.
Sean Phillips led All-Saints with 20 points, and Lance Lee and Nathan Jasper each had nine.
Kilgore also won the junior varsity game.
The district schedule dealt KHS a kind hand: the Bulldogs get three of their first four district games at home: Chapel Hill on Jan. 13, Bullard on Jan. 17, and Spring Hill on Jan. 24. Sandwiched in there is a road trip to Gilmer on Jan. 20. They round out the first round of district play on Jan. 27 in Gladewater.
Timmons took over a program that had won back-to-back district championships, but graduated a lot of players before last season. The Bulldogs missed the playoffs last year, but are seeking a playoff return this spring.
Likewise, coach David Aguilar’s Lady Bulldogs would love a return to the postseason. Kilgore (6-15 on the season so far) was to open 15-4A play on Friday at Spring Hill, following the print deadline for this edition of the News Herald. Kilgore’s girls, which haven’t been home practically all season, will play three straight home games: they host Gladewater on Tuesday, Chapel Hill next Friday, and Bullard on Jan. 17.
Kilgore’s varsity had the night off Tuesday night.
Sabine: Coach Keith Taylor’s Sabine Cardinals got win number 13 on Tuesday, picking up a 48-45 victory over the Overton Mustangs in Overton.
Sabine (13-5) got 21 from Will Shawn, seven from Goodwin and six each from Glenn George and XXX Oliver.
Kamron Hawkins and Levi McCasland led Overton with 13 points each.
Sabine was to host Troup on Friday night, resuming District 15-3A play, as were the Lady Cardinals. They both visit West Rusk on Tuesday night.
Overton was to play at East Texas Christian School on Friday night, and then will take a night off on Tuesday before playing a district game at Hawkins next Friday.