Lions, Raiders ready for another chapter in rose city rivalry

It is the East Texas basketball rivalry game so big, they had to move the location to accomodate the crowd.

Friday night, John Tyler and Lee will hit the court in another chapter of the rose city rivalry.

"For us, it's the district game," John Tyler coach Gerald Anthony said. "For everybody else, it's the bragging rights game.

No matter which side of the court you are on, in JT versus Lee, the city of Tyler always wins.

"If we have winless season, our goal, we want to beat Lee," Lee junior Jaron Johnson.

In 2008, John Tyler won both matchups, including a one-point overtime thriller.

"It's my fifth year here at Robert E. Lee," coach Alan Johnston said. "We've had nothing but close games so it will be a battle."

At this point last year, John Tyler had already lost 15 games. This season, they are 14-4 overall, 1-1 in district.

"When they get into the game, they figure they can win the game, period," Coach Anthony said of his players. "Last year, we were just trying to stay close."

"It's a big change because everybody's confident, we want to win," John Tyler post Gerron Anthony said.

Lee is 16-6 on the season and like John Tyler, 1-1 in district.

"We don't have the muscled up, big masculine-looking athlete," Lee coach Alan Johnston said. "We don't have the high-risers. What the guys have done is show the true heart of a champion.

John Tyler and Lee play at 7:30, Friday, January 23 at TJC's Wagstaff Gymnasium.