HALLSVILLE — Longview head coach Don Newton stopped short of saying the Lobos were peaking at the right time, but said they were starting to knock the rust off.
Either way, the timing is good.
Longview grabbed its fourth-straight win in a wire-to-wire victory over Hallsville, 72-57, to close out the Lobos’ first run through district action on Tuesday night at Bobcat Coliseum.
“I’m proud of the way we competed and have been competing this week,” Newton said. “We’ve got some good practices in but still have a long way to go in this district.”
Longview started 0-2 in District 15-5A action, but since its roster has been bolstered by the addition of players from the Lobos’ football team, they’ve won four-straight since then, including a buzzer-beating victory over Sulphur Springs this past Saturday.
On Tuesday, Jalen and Tyree Hale set the pace from the jump against the Bobcats, who fall to 13-6 overall and 3-2 in 15-5A action.
Jalen Hale had nine points and five rebounds in the first quarter and Tyree followed with three assists and three steals for Longview, which raced to a 17-8 lead.
Jalen finished his night with a 22-point, 11-rebound double-double with a pair of steals. Tyree paced a smothering Lobo defense with seven steals and seven assists to go with five rebounds and four points.
Kybrien Jackson-Jamerson followed with 15 points and eight rebounds. Demarco Washington had 11 points with a pair of assists. Caed Liebengood finished with seven points and 11 rebounds for the Lobos, who controlled the boards 43-26 overall and 24-12 in the first half.
For Hallsville, Luke Cheatham led with 14 points and Benjamin Samples joined him in double digits with 11 points and five rebounds.
David Ruff and Taylor Sheffield added seven points apiece and Jai Locario added six. Anthon McDermott had a team-high eight rebounds and Cheatham had three assists for the Bobcats, who shot 7-of-21 overall in the first half.
After the teams exchanged 3-pointers to start, Jalen Hale had a steal and then drained a three off an assist from Tyree. The two continued that through the first quarter, with Jalen recording a putback and then going coast-to-coast off a defensive rebound. He capped his a solid first quarter with a bucket off an assist from Liebengood for a 17-8 Lobo lead.
The second quarter was one of runs.
Cheatham, a sophomore, opened the quarter with a 3-pointer and Jake Hall hit four-straight from the free-throw line. Samples capped a 6-0 run off a steal and assist from Cheatham for a 17-all game with 6:40 left.
Longview responded with a 10-0 run, highlight by solid minutes from freshman Willie Nelson, who had a pair of free throws, a layup off a steal and then an assist to Liebengood who drained a triple to cap a 10--0 run.
Hallsville responded with another 6-0 run before Jalen Hale went on a 4-0 run to close the half and put Longview up, 31-23.
Jackson-Jamerson had back-to-back buckets off assists from Washington and a steal from Jalen Hale gave Longview a 17-point lead in the third quarter.
A couple of three-pointer from Cheatham and Samples trimmed the Lobo lead down to 11 midway through the fourth quarter but Longview thwarted the comeback with its defense and free-throw shooting.
Longview is idle on Friday while Hallsville visits Mount Pleasant on Friday in the first-half finale for the district. The Tigers moved to 5-0 in 15-5A on Tuesday with an overtime win at Sulphur Springs, which drops to 3-2.