Kilgore High School basketball coach Jeff Coleman often has talked to his team over the years about learning how to win.
Apparently, the Bulldogs are pretty solid at taking notes.
Kilgore passed test one with flying colors at Hallsville High School’s gym on Tuesday night, facing Liberty-Eylau in the first, or bi-district, round of the University Interscholastic League’s Class 4A boys playoffs.
Coleman’s Bulldogs shut L-E down in the second half, allowing just 11 points total, and won the battle, 42-39.
The Bulldogs move on to round two to face Quinlan Ford, who beat Canton Tuesday night. That game will be Friday night at 7:30 p.m. at Tyler Junior College's Floyd Wagstaff Gymnasium, the site of a handful of games Coleman has coached at Kilgore.
Against L-E, one of Kilgore’s few seniors, Jeremiah Hoskins, hit free throws late to help Kilgore seal the win. Hoskins finished with 16 points. Another senior, Rowdy Rieke, added seven, and Thomas Hattaway, Jake Thompson and C.J. Ingram each had six.
The Leopards’ leading scorer, Beandre Wafer, had just 12 points in a really low-scoring game.
Tatum 64, Sabine 49 (boys): Things didn’t go nearly as well for Sabine High School’s Cardinals, who tried to fight off battle-tested Tatum Tuesday night in a UIL Class 3A first-round game at Longview High School, but the Eagles put distance between themselves and the Cards in the first couple of minutes of the fourth quarter to get the win.
Sabine fought hard to get the third playoff seed in District 16-3A, but Tatum is having a special season – that was their 24th win. Tatum will face Atlanta in the second round.
A.J. Gresham and David Robinson each had 10 points for Sabine, who finished the season with a 16-14 record. Bre’den Ford had seven points. Jayden Boyd led Tatum with 15 points.