Addison Wallace

Freshman Addison Wallace led Cleburne with 12 points on Tuesday night, but the Jackets fell to Fort Worth Western Hills, 58-50. The Jackets are set to compete in the Boswell Tournament starting Thursday.

A lack of late-game execution and self composure were the primary downfalls for Cleburne’s 58-50 loss to Fort Worth Western Hills on Tuesday night at Jeff D. Cody Gymnasium.

Cleburne (1-3) opened the game with a 7-0 lead. But a 16-3 run for the Cougars gave Western Hills a 16-10 lead.

In the second quarter, Cleburne used a 12-0 run as the Jackets reclaimed the lead at 22-21 after an Addison Wallace steal and assist to Jordan Ramirez, and from there, the Jackets controlled the game until Western Hills took a 41-40 lead in the final seconds of the third quarter.

Despite giving up the lead late in the third, the Jackets kept it close in the fourth quarter. Trailing 52-46, Wallace scored on a baseline drive with 1:55 left to pull the Jackets to within 52-48. But from that point on, the Jackets’ offensive execution disappeared.

“We’re just not grasping the concept of what we have to do to be successful,” Cleburne Coach Kurt White said.

After Western Hill’s Dre Shelton split a pair of free throws, the Jackets pulled to within 53-50 when Blake Bryson hit two free throws with 1:10 left after getting a defensive rebound and drawing a foul.

On Western Hill’s next possession, a Jacket player was called for a technical foul due to unsportsmanlike conduct, and Shelton hit a pair of free throws for a 55-50 lead with 1 minute remaining.

“The bottom line is, when you do something like that, you embarrass me, yourself, your school and your family — you can pick any order you want,” White said. “We’re not going to do that. We expect our athletes to learn from that mistake and not let it happen again. That’s exactly what I told them. A Yellow Jacket player is not going to act like that.”

Three straight empty possessions from the Jackets and a few free throws by the Cougars was enough to ice the game for Western Hills.

Shelton led the Cougars with a game-high 31 points as he gave the Jacket defense fits all night with his deep outside shooting touch paired with his ability to drive past defenders to get to the rim.

“He did a good job and we made no attempt to even get a hand in his face,” White said. “We knew he was a good player going in, believe it or not. And he was a good player. He shot the ball well and he took advantage of our weakness on defense. You’ve got to hand it to him.”

Western Hills hit 9-of-24 attempts from 3-point territory while the Cougars made 8-of-17 from inside the arc. The Cougars also scored 15 points at the free-throw line on 28 attempts.

The Jackets hit just 5-of-13 attempts from the foul line in the first half and then went 2-of-2 in the second half. Overall, Cleburne shot 39 percent from the floor including 5-of-19 from 3-point range.

Both teams committed 20 turnovers.

Wallace led Cleburne with 12 points on 5-of-8 shooting with three rebounds, two assists and two steals. Bryson added 10 points and six rebounds.

Ramirez scored eight points with four assists and a pair of steals. Reed Donaldson had five points and five rebounds.

The Jackets will look to get back on track in the Applebee’s Classic at Boswell High School on Thursday.

“We’re looking for improvement,” White said. “We’ve got to learn how to defend people off the dribble and execute offensively.”

Cleburne opens tournament action at 4:30 p.m. Thursday against host Boswell.

JV Jackets get huge effort from Jacob Gray

The junior varsity Cleburne Yellow Jackets defeated Fort Worth Western Hills, 50-41, on Tuesday night.

The Jackets got a dominant effort from sophomore Jacob Gray, who scored 20 points, hauled in 18 rebounds and had three blocked shots. Gray dominated the paint and also showed a soft touch as he hit a pair of 3-pointers.

Cleburne Varsity Coach Kurt White said he’s been pleased with what the junior varsity and freshmen teams have shown in the early season.

“I think our younger kids are coming around,” White said.

Along with Gray’s big effort, the Jackets got a big night from Jordan Gann, who scored 12 points and was key in attacking the Cougars’ full- and half-court press.

The freshman Jackets lost to Western Hills, 37-32.

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