The season is still young, and the Tivy basketball team still has plenty of room for improvement.

Still, Antlers’ coach Brian Young acknowledged that his team’s performance this weekend at the Tivy Thanksgiving Tournament was a step in the right direction.

Last week, the Antlers lost several close games to Class 6A schools at the Justin Northwest Tournament in Fort Worth. They responded to those setbacks by playing their best basketball of the season at their own holiday tournament, winning all four games on Friday and Saturday to improve to 6-6 this season.

“They are starting to figure some things out,” Young said. “We stepped on the floor and played to win all four games in this tournament. There wasn’t any hesitation so that was good.”

Tivy’s biggest win of the Tournament came against Class 6A Austin Anderson, who entered Saturday with only one loss. Senior Jackson Young had 19 points and Abraham Viera contributed 15 to help the Antlers triumph 53-47 over Anderson. Jackson Young buried a triple from the left wing with 2:08 left to give Tivy a 44-41 lead. On Tivy’s next possession, Viera rifled a pass from the elbow to Jackson Johnston, who drew a foul while scoring a layup to give the Antlers a two-possession lead. That proved to be the dagger.

“I thought we did a solid job of defending,” Brian Young said. “But we also controlled the boards in that game. We didn’t give them many second shots. … Will Johnston per size is probably one of the best rebounders I have had. He is going to get after it. Now, his younger brother (Jackson Johnston) on the floor — he’s long and he gets a lot of defensive rebounds.”

In Tivy’s second game against Lockhart, Jackson Young buried six triples to finish with 25 points to lift the Antlers past the Lions, 56-33. Tivy was never threatened, building a 15-4 lead after the first quarter. 

Viera added seven points against Lockhart. Niko Nieto produced six.

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