Photo/James Pugh

Whether they won or lost, their seeding in the upcoming district tournament was secure. Northeast Jones – as a three-seed in Region 5-4A – knocked off West Lauderdale Tuesday night, 67-51, inside of Tigers Gymnasium. The boys basketball team has one district game left on the schedule till the Region 5-4A Tournament next week.

“Our aim is to take one game at a time,” said head coach Jay Stafford. “Our focus  tonight was West Lauderdale, and Thursday night it will be Newton County.”

Northeast Jones started great and finished strong, but the two quarters in-between wasn’t what head coach Jay Stafford wished for. 

“The first quarter we came out smoking,” said Stafford. “In the second and third, I don’t know if we got complacent or we got a little lazy defensively, but we put it back together in the fourth quarter.”

Winning quarter one, 20-5, and outscoring West Lauderdale, 27-19, in the fourth, Northeast Jones stumbled in the second and third periods, 17-12 and 11-8. Careful not to make too much of an excuse, Stafford said the game versus Mendenhall the night before was draining.

“We played at Mendenhall last night and won 62-60 in a game that came down to the last shot,” said Stafford. “So, I’m not making excuses but we did play last night and had to turn around and play again tonight. And we have to play Thursday night too, but I think this whole week will be good for us as we start district tournament play next week. During the district tournament we have to play Thursday, Thursday and Friday.”

Senior guard Tyquan Jasper led the way for the Tigers with 19 points. Fellow senior teammates Javier (Fafa) Magee and Jay Jones finished in double digits as well with 13 and 12, respectively. 

Northeast Jones (14-12) will play Region 5-4A for Newton County on the road Thursday night to close out the regular season.