Marquette Martin

Tyler's Marquette Martin brings up the basketball in a game earlier this year against Texas High. Martin, a junior, had a key steal and a clutch 3-pointer, in the Lions' 50-40 bi-district win over Kingwood Park in Lufkin on Tuesday.

WILLS POINT — After taking on a Houston area school in bi-district, the Tyler Lions face a Metroplex team in the second round of the basketball playoffs.

The Lions (21-10, runner-up in District 15-5A) play Lancaster (22-7, winner of District 14-5A) in an area playoff game at Wills Point High School on Friday (1800 W. South Commerce Street, Wills Point 75169).

Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. The game was originally scheduled to start at 7 p.m.

The winner of the Lions and Tigers will tangle with the winner of the area playoff between Crandall and Longview, who are slated to play at 7 p.m. Friday in Caddo Mills.

All four teams from 14-5A are still alive in the playoffs with bi-district wins — 1, Lancaster (67-46 over Melissa); 2, Forney (77-38 over McKinney North); 3, Red Oak (65-48 over Sherman); and 4, Crandall (44-35 over Lucas Lovejoy).

District 15-5A teams were 3-1 in bi-district — 1, Mount Pleasant (57-38 over Porter); 2, Tyler (50-40 over Kingwood Park); 3, Longview (52-34 over Nacogdoches) and Hallsville (lost to Lufkin, 54-41).

Mount Pleasant will be meeting Forney at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Tyler Junior College's Wagstaff Gymnasium. The first game of the DH at Wag will have Lufkin meeting Red Oak at 6 p.m.

Lancaster is led by 6-8 junior wing Dillon Battie, who had 20 points, 12 rebounds and two blocks in the win over Melissa. He has offers from Texas A&M, Louisiana Tech and Sam Houston State. Senior 5-11 point guard Khamari Ford directs the team. He scored 14 points against the Cardinals in bi-district. Joseph Mayberry III (6-7 senior forward) had nine points, five rebounds and four assists against Melissa.

Kade Douglas, a 6-2 3-star guard, has signed with UTA Arlington. He is the son of Coach Ferrin Douglas, who recorded his 400th career win earlier this season against Red Oak. He has led the Tigers to three state championship since taking over the program in 2007.

The Lions counter with 6-2 guard Ashad Walker, who is averaging 21 points a game. He scored just that in the Lions' win over Kingwood Park on Tuesday in Lufkin. With the Lions ahead 44-40 and the Panthers' Mark Garcia about to set up for a 3-point attempt, Walker tipped the ball to Marquette Martin who passed ahead to the wide-open senior for dunk nad a 46-40 lead with 1:16 on the clock. Walker also had nine rebounds in the contest.

Tyler scored the final eight points of the game for the victory.

The projected starters for the Lions include: four-year starter Walker, point guard Tacorey "TJ" Gilliam, senior guard Shakavon "Tank" Brooks, junior forward Jace Sanford and senior forward Montrell Wade.

Others who saw significant playing time against Kingwood Park were junior guard Derrick McFall, junior guard Martin, sophomore forward Jaishua Brown and junior forward Julian Dews.

Also on the squad are senior guard D'Marius Stephens-McGowan, sophomore guard Geordon Mitchell and freshman guard Kenson "KJ" Anderson.

Justin Johnson is his second year as head coach of the Lions. The former standout Lion, TJC Apache and Iowa Hawkeye, has directed Tyler to the playoffs both years. His assistants are David Sanders, Vernon Johnson and Warren Perry.

The Tigers' only loss in district was to Red Oak, 61-60, on Jan. 3 in Lancaster. The Tigers have since won 11 consecutive games, including a victory over Melissa in bi-district. In the second district meeting with the Hawks in Red Oak, Lancaster won 70-42 on Jan. 27.