PARIS -- A 12-point run in the third quarter Saturday effectively sealed a junior high district championship for Fountain Lake in a game the junior Cobras controlled from the tip against rival Jessieville.
Freshman forward Carson Hair completed a three-point play with 3: 57 remaining in the third quarter to cut the junior Lions' deficit to 12 points at 30-18. Fountain Lake (19-4) scored the next 12 points in less than three minutes for a 42-18 lead.
The junior Cobras won the 3A-4 district tournament final, 52-35. Fountain Lake coach Bob Kerlin said he wanted his team to push the tempo.
"We really got good pressure on the point guard," Kerlin said. "We really got good pressure on the ball and caused them to extend what they were doing on the floor by six or nine feet."
Four different players scored during the junior Cobras' 18-point third quarter. Five different players scored in the opening quarter as they took a 13-7 lead in the opening six minutes.
Trouble began early for Jessieville (17-6). The junior Lions trailed just 6-5 when Hair picked up his second foul early in the first quarter.
"It's huge. You take somebody's best player out a minute and a half into the game, it is hard to overcome in a game like this," said Jessieville coach Jared White. "It is tough when he gets into foul trouble like that."
Home Paris fans hung around for the boys' final and cheered on the junior Cobras. Paris won the girls' final, 25-24, with a basket in the final minute against Lamar.
Colby Lambert scored for Fountain Lake at the 2:11 mark in the opening quarter and Jessieville received a technical foul. Michael Moore then hit a pair of free throws to extend the lead to 11-5.
Noah Futch cut into the lead less than a minute later with a pair of free throws. Moore scored again in the final minute to give Fountain Lake a 13-7 lead.
Jessieville trailed, 21-13, in the final minute of the first half. Landin Kizer made it 23-13 before Lambert completed a three-point play at the buzzer to make it 26-13 at the break.
White said he talked to his team at halftime about not trying to make up the 13-point deficit all at one time. The junior Lions only returned to the court as the buzzer sounded for the end of halftime.
"We had guys just not being in that situation," White said. "In a 13-point ballgame, you are in it. You've got a lot of ball left, but we tried to get it all back once, and we weren't able to."
Moore scored twice and Lambert scored once to start the 12-0 run in the third. White called a timeout with 1:57 remaining in the quarter, but Lambert hit a 3-pointer on the next possession. Kizer added two more to set the 42-18 spread.
"When we made the run on them, it was defense," Kerlin said. "Just straight up defense. Just getting in your face and pressuring the ball.
"You pressure long enough, eventually something is going to give."
Jessieville's Luke Baker ended the run with a 3-pointer. Evan East scored Fountain Lake's last points of the quarter before the referees allowed a potential three-point play at the buzzer for Hair. The missed free throw attempt kept it at 44-23 to start the fourth.
Hair tipped a pass and rounded a Fountain Lake player for a layup with 4:15 remaining in the game to make it 47-27. He fouled out nine seconds later.
Fountain Lake was 8-for-10 on free throws in the final quarter until the starters were subbed out. The junior Cobras began the game 2-for-5 at the line, but they finished 12-for-19, 63.2 percent.
Jessieville made 9 of 13, 69.2 percent, free throw attempts.
"Credit to Fountain Lake," White said. "We did not make them shoot anything but layups.
"It is hard to beat a team in the championship game when they don't have to make a shot. They outplayed us. Credit to them."
Fountain Lake and Jessieville tied with Perryville for the regular season conference championship. Seeding in the district tournament was decided by tiebreaker rules.
The junior Lions were the top seed, the junior Mustangs were No. 2 and the junior Cobras were seeded third. Fountain Lake outscored the top two seeds, 96-52, in the final two games.
Lambert led all scorers with 17 points, including seven in the third quarter. Moore scored 14 points, Kizer had nine and Juan Diggs added six for the junior Cobras.
Hair finished with nine points, all in the second half. Futch and Baker added seven points each.
Freshmen for Jessieville and Fountain Lake will move up to the senior high teams this week as both begin postseason play with the 3A-4 district tournament at Two Rivers in Ola.Sports on 02/11/2019
Print Headline: FL wins JH district final over J'ville