The Lufkin Panthers’ basketball team got off to a slow start in their return from the Christmas holidays as they dropped a pair of games at the Leroy Romines Memorial Basketball Tournament in Longview on Wednesday.
Lufkin started the day with a 68-62 loss to Center, the 15th-ranked team in Class 4A, then followed that with a 51-47 setback against John Tyler in a rematch of a game the Panthers won in triple overtime just before the Christmas break.
In the loss to Center, Courtnee Garcia led the Panthers with 18 points. He was joined in double digits by Nick Wilson, who had 10 points.
Other Lufkin scorers were Kordell Rodgers (8), KeVonte Hurts (7), James Jefferson and Jeremiah Davis (6), Breylon Garcia (4) and Chris Thompson (1).
Lufkin held a slim 47-46 lead going into the final quarter before faltering down the stretch.
Later in the day, Center went on to a 67-25 blowout win over Buna.
In the Panthers’ loss to John Tyler, Hurts led Lufkin with 11 points while Breylon Garcia had 10. Courtnee Garcia added nine points.
Other Lufkin scorers were Kodie Callison (6), Nick Wilson (4), Jefferson, Thompson and Davis (2) and Rodgers (1).
The Panthers will continue the tournament on Thursday morning at 10 as they take on Buna.