Tigers punch ticket to basketball playoffs

The Wills Point Tigers entered the final two games of District 14-4A play with one simple goal: win either against Van Feb. 12 or Rains Feb. 16 to assure themselves a spot in the 4A UIL Basketball Playoffs.

Wills Point took care of business during their first opportunity to clinch a playoff spot, bouncing back from an early deficit for a 46-34 over their in-county rival.

Van came out hot in the early going against the Tigers, building up a 9-0 lead in the first quarter. Wills Point eventually chipped away four points from that advantage before the end of the frame, as Van held a 9-4 lead entering the second.

The Tiger defense delivered a shutdown performance prior to the half, holding the Vandals to just two points to take a 21-12 lead into the half.

The Vandals entered comeback mode in the second half, narrowing the gap steadily before clutch play late helped Wills Point close out the 46-34 win.

Logan Lockwood led all Vandals with 12 points, all on three-pointers in the loss. Other Van scorers included Holden Myers with 10, Brax Thompson with 6, Bray Doring and Connor Houston with 2 each, and Jake Hutchins and Rielly Krumvieda with 1 each.

Wills Point was led in scoring by junior post Doug Sheldon with 22 points, Tanner Wallace with 11, Robert Smith with 6, all in the fourth quarter, Harlan Gatlin with 5 and Jacob Davis with 2.

Wills Point, now with two district wins under their belt, was scheduled to take on Emory Rains Feb. 16 in their district finale. The bi-district round of the playoffs is scheduled to begin Feb. 22-23.