LONGVIEW, Texas (KETK) – For the third straight year, the Mineola Yellow Jackets are headed to the 3rd round of the UIL boys high school basketball playoffs.
Mineola took over in the second half against Jefferson Thursday after trailing 31-26 at the break, and pulled away for a 66-49 triumph at Spring Hill High School.
Sophomore TJ Moreland led the Jackets with 23 points as they improve to 20-5 on the season.
However, the game was marred as with 1:03 seconds left in the contest, a Jefferson fan came out of the stands and onto the court to confront a Mineola player, looking to start a fight.
Fortunately, order was restored and all fans were told to leave with the Jefferson crowd exiting the facility first, followed by the Mineola faithful.
The rest of the fourth quarter was played with game personnel only.
The Yellow Jackets will face No. 13 Atlanta in the Class 3A Region 2 quarterfinals at 6:00 p.m. Saturday at Hallsville High School.
The Rabbits edged past the Arp Tigers, who’s upset bid came up just a bit short, falling 56-53.
Arp came out aggressively, and did not show any sign of intimidation as they took on McDonald’s All-American and University of Kentucky signee Daimion Collins.
The Tigers led by four after one quarter, and 33-31 at the half.
But after the two teams went into the fourth tied at 41, Collins took over, as the Rabbits built a 53-45 lead with two minutes to play.
Then a power outage happened with 1:32 left in the game.
Once power was restored, Arp went on a 6-0 run to get within two with 25 seconds to go.
However, with Atlanta up 54-53, Collins hit two free throws with 1.3 seconds left to make it a three-point game. The Tigers then turned the ball over on the inbounds play, and the Rabbits held on for the victory.
Collins, rated by many as the top player in Texas, and No. 11 in the nation for the class of 2021, had his second straight triple-double this week as he finished with 24 points, 15 rebounds, 15 blocked shots, 6 assists, and 3 steals.
Atlanta improves to 18-4 on the season, while Arp despite a valiant effort saw their 2020-21 campaign come to an end at 17-7.
Zach Mauldin led the Tigers with 14 points, Johnathon Blackwell added 12.
Watch the video to see highlights of both games.