The Cleburne Yellow Jackets once again got off to a fast start, but then wilted late as they fell to Midlothian, 51-34, on Tuesday night at Panther Gym.

Cleburne (2-15, 0-2) jetted out to a 10-3 lead in the opening minutes, but the Panthers (10-8, 2-0) closed the period on a 12-0 run to retake the advantage for good.

It only got worse for Cleburne from there as Midlothian limited the Jackets to six second quarter points.

The Panther offense put up 15 points in the second period to lead, 31-16, at halftime.

Cleburne head coach Greg Kudrna said the Jackets continue to be their own worst enemy.

“We just didn’t take care of the ball, that’s the bottom line,” Kudrna said. “It’s been our nemesis all year long. When adversity hits, we try to do it ourselves and we don’t work as a team.”

Kudrna said getting away from the original game plan became the death knell for Cleburne in its 15th loss of the season.

“We were moving the ball well as a team,” Kudrna said. “We had a plan and we were following it, but then they went to their plan. I was disappointed in us not doing what we knew would work.

“We’ve been running the press-breaker offense all year and they just refused to do it then, for some reason.”

The Panther onslaught continued in the third period, and the Jackets offense continued to come up empty handed while managing just five points in the quarter.

In the final period after an opening Midlothian basket made the score 47-21, Cleburne went on an 8-0 run with mostly the second string in to cut the lead to 18.

Connor Martyniuk was key to the small burst in the final quarter with seven of his team high nine points in the quarter.

“I guess my second group is better than Midlothian’s,” Kudrna said. “They probably have more experience since we’re behind a lot.”

Kudrna said his team can learn from the beginning of the game, and said the Jackets must recognize that they can still compete in 16-4A competition.

“We showed we can play with them,” Kudrna said. “They beat Waxahachie by 15. We can play in this district because we’re not 20-point underdogs every night. We’ve got to do it correctly.

“If we don’t, then yeah, we’re going to get beat by 20 every night.”

Tyler Chappell put in eight points for Cleburne, and Cody Murphy finished with five.

Brodrick Martin and Shyrod Anderson each had four points, Austin Wilborn had three and Pete Black had two.

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