POTEET BOYS BASKETBALL TYLER JONES

Tyler Jones and Poteet are in third place in 13-5A heading into the second half of the district season.

There has not been much suspense at the top of the 13-5A standings and that is not a surprise.

Lancaster has looked every part of its No. 1 ranking in the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches Class 5A state poll.

There is much more intrigue involving the battle for the other three playoff berths and that is a race in which Poteet and West Mesquite are well-positioned heading into the second half of the district season.

Here is a look at the 13-5A picture:

Poteet (10-9, 4-2)

The Pirates are no stranger to close games, having had four games decided by seven points or less, including an overtime loss to Kaufman on Friday.

The good news for Poteet is that it has found a way to win the other three of those contests, putting them in sole possession of third place.

The Pirates have relied on a scoring-by-committee approach, with different players stepping up on a given night.

That corps includes guards Tyler Jones, Jaylond Police, Jalon Alexander and Javonte Valdes and forwards Charles Brown, Malcolm Vernon and King Moore, among others.

Poteet was the district runner-up a season ago and a strong second-half push could find them as the second seed once again.

Key Game: vs. Kaufman (Feb. 18)

West Mesquite (8-11, 3-3)

The Wranglers were edged out of the postseason in a three-way tiebreaker a year ago, but they are poised to return to the playoffs for the first time since 2017.

West Mesquite is also a bounce or two away from being in a better spot, having fallen to Kaufman by three and Poteet by six.

The Wranglers are a senior-dominated squad, but the offense has been led by a junior as forward Eli Hughey has averaged 14.8 points per game in district play.

West Mesquite has also gotten steady performances from senior forward Glendon Gilbert and senior guards Iruan Hawkins, Josh Bennett, Adam Jones and AJ Rymers.

Key Game: at North Forney (Feb. 11)

Lancaster (24-2, 6-0)

The Tigers challenged themselves early and dropped a pair of tough games against TABC Class 6A No. 1 Duncanville and nationally-ranked Prolific Prep of Napa (Calif.) Christian.

Since then, they have reeled off 23 consecutive victories, with only three of those being decided by single digits.

Lancaster has taken it a step farther in 13-5A action, where they are scoring 94.2 points per night and winning by an average margin of 53.3 points, with the closest game being a 33-point spread.

There is plenty of star power with TCU-commitment Mike Myles, senior Marco Foster highly-rated junior Wade Taylor, but the Tigers’ depth and talent goes far beyond that trio.

Key Game: at Kaufman (Feb. 11)

Kaufman (13-10, 5-1)

The Lions tend to fly under the radar in local circles given their distance away from this area, but they have made their presence felt in the standings.

In their two biggest games in the battle for second place, they held off West Mesquite to win by three and rallied from a halftime deficit to top Poteet in overtime.

Kaufman might not have the deepest team, but they players they have needed to contribute have done so, including seniors Joseph McCray and Jamar McCray and sophomore Daylon Dickerson.

Key Game: at Poteet (Feb. 18)

North Forney (6-12, 2-4)

The Falcons should not be forgotten about as they lurk just one game back in the playoff race.

Seniors Jonathyn Williams and Dario Woodson have carried the scoring load recently for North Forney.

Key Game: vs. West Mesquite (Feb. 11)

Forney (5-17, 1-5)

The Jackrabbits are down but not out of it just yet. There is generally good upside potential with the development of younger players and Forney has seen that with freshman guard Ayden McDonald and 6-4 sophomore Nick Bene.

There is also size in the middle with 6-9 senior Luke Smith.

Key Game: vs. North Forney (Feb. 7)

Terrell (2-22, 0-6)

The Tigers have endured their share of struggles and have embraced a youth movement, as their rotation features prominent roles for sophomores Zamandrick Hambrick, Ki’Juan Davis, Chris Miller and Perry Garfield.

It might not help them get back into the playoff race this season, but could pay dividends in the future.

Key Game: vs. North Forney (Feb. 18)

For continued coverage on the local sports scene, follow Devin Hasson on Twitter: @DevinHasson

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