WINNIE — With 2.3 seconds left in a game tied at 63-63, the West’s Jakobi Jones stole a pass, dribbled into the right corner, took a breath and then sunk a rainbow 3-pointer as time expired.
His teammates sprinted over and turned the corner into an impromptu dogpile, as the West squad beat the East 66-63 in the first annual Southeast Texas Coaches Association All-Star boys basketball game Friday at East Chambers.
“I don’t think he’s ever made a jump shot in his life, and he comes in here and hits the game winner,” Nederland guard and East team member Kirby Hanley said, jokingly.
He may not have hit many, but Jones came through when it counted on Friday, capping an incredible game full of great moments. Both teams went on long scoring runs as the lead seesawed back and forth for much of the first three quarters.
But, in the fourth, both teams got into a groove and started hitting shot after shot. West team MVP Travis Stevens of Hardin-Jefferson hit three of his game-high five 3-pointers in the final quarter, ending with a game-high 15 ponts.
Another 3 from the East brought the crowd to its feet, as Port Neches-Groves guard Brandon Pham hit his own triple with less than 15 seconds to play.
“DaVaughn (Thomas of Silsbee) told me he was looking for me,” Pham, who finished with 11 points, two rebounds and a steal, said. “I got myself ready and put it up.”
Pham joined with Nederland’s Kirby Hanley, Port Arthur Memorial’s Qualyn Broussard, Jasper’s Dranzell Haynes and Sabine Pass’ John Warren as the East’s second line. That unit pushed the East lead to 17- 5 by the end of the first quarter, as the entire unit worked together for basket after basket.
Broussard finished with 10 points, nine rebounds and one steal.