John Tyler sprung to life in the second half after Whitehouse hung tight for two periods.
Fred Ross rose high for a pair of one-handed dunks and scored a game-high 19 points to keep JT spotless in district after a 52-41 win over Whitehouse at the Lions Den on Friday.
Tyus Bowser posted another double-double (12 points, 14 rebounds) for the Lions
JT sped up the game late with 35 second-half points, and held Whitehouse to nine points over the second and third to beat Whitehouse a third time. The Lions (22-5, 11-0 in 14-4A) increased their winning streak to 21 games overall, and 25 in district play.
Whitehouse (17-9, 6-5) followed up a three-point loss last month to JT — the Lions’ closest call in district — with another valiant effort over a squad ranked No. 25 in 4A.
“They’re a very well-coached team,” JT head coach Tony Pinson said of Ryan Tomlin’s Whitehouse squad. “I knew coach Tomlin would have them ready to play. We made some adjustment at halftime and the kids came out and executed.”
Whitehouse startled JT early, leading 8-0 after a pair of 3-pointers from Correy Davis (12 points, five rebounds) and a putback from Ross Vierger.
The outcome remained in doubt until JT charged to life with 13 straight points to end the second and start the third period.
Caleb Willis pulled JT even at 20 with a 3-pointer on the Lions’ first possession of the second half. Ross rebounded two misses and converted a three-point play to give JT the lead for good.
After a Willis steal near midcourt, Ross raced downcourt and flushed down a one-hander to put JT ahead 27-20. Whitehouse went scoreless more than nine minutes as JT took control.
Ross recorded 11 points in the fourth. Ross muscled his way through the lane for another one-handed dunk to give JT a 10-point lead (46-36).
Darion Flowers finished with 11 points for JT, all but two in the fourth.
Both offenses struggled — JT from outside, where it missed 12 of 14 3-pointers and Whitehouse from inside the paint, where it scored only 18 points to match its output from beyond the arc (six 3-pointers).
“We were just playing good, solid defense the second half,” added Pinson. “We played good enough to keep ourselves in the game. We missed a lot of easy shots taking too many jump shots and not attacking the basket. But we came back and picked it up like good teams do.”
LIONS’ TALES: Prior to the game, John Tyler honored former head coach Royce Franklin, who coached the Lions for five years, taking the school to their only state championship game appearance in 1976. Pinson presented a plaque and flower to Franklin’s family. ...Nancy Caraway received a loud ovation after singing the national anthem. ... JT plans to honor its seniors and sponsors in its final home game next Friday against Kilgore. JT plays at Marshall on Tuesday, and at Jacksonville on Feb. 14 to end the regular season.
John Tyler 52, Whitehouse 41
John Tyler 1161421—52
WHITEHOUSE — Ross Vierger, 4; Correy Davis, 12; Pat Mahomes, 10; Jaylon Dews, 3; Jake Parker, 6; Keywon Cartwright, 2; Ryan Cheatham, 2; Spencer Shaw, 2.
JOHN TYLER — Darion Flowers, 11; Greg Ward, 6; Fred Ross, 19; Caleb Willis, 3; Tra’vion Horn, 1; Tyus Bowser, 12.
FIELD GOALS — Whitehouse 16-44; John Tyler 21-53. FREE THROWS — Whitehouse 3-4; John Tyler 8-11. THREE-POINT GOALS — Whitehouse 6-18 (Davis 2, Mahomes 2, Dews, Parker); John Tyler 2-14 (Bowser, Willis). REBOUNDS — Whitehouse 24 (Parker 8); John Tyler 28 (Bowser 14). ASSISTS — Whitehouse 10 (Dews, Parker 3); John Tyler 10 (Willis 4). TOTAL FOULS — Whitehouse 13; John Tyler 10. EST. ATT. — 1,300.
RECORDS — Whitehouse 17-9 (6-5); John Tyler 22-5 (11-0).
NEXT UP — Whitehouse vs. Pine Tree, Tuesday; John Tyler at Marshall, Tuesday.
John Tyler 54, Whitehouse 37
John Tyler 14121513—54
WHITEHOUSE — McDaniel, 5; Lundmark, 10; Dudley, 6; Neel, 2; Boykin, 2; Haskell, 2; Hill, 7; Dunning, 1.
JOHN TYLER — Lemone Gossett, 2; Jeremy Wilson, 2; Jaylon Stewart, 6; Isaac Warren, 8; Hennessey Lampkin, 4; Chris Jones, 2; Nicholas Cain, 8; Vernon Thomas, 2; Darren Farmer, 5; Devonte Humber, 2; Rodney Bendy, 4; William Vaughn, 6; Jorean Jackson, 3.
RECORDS — John Tyler 16-6 (11-0)
John Tyler 59, Whitehouse 39
John Tyler 10201910—59
WHITEHOUSE — Burrage, 5; Hollie, 8; McNalty, 3; Stickley, 4; Bullington, 3; Smith, 7; Watkins, 9; Webb, 1.
JOHN TYLER — Leon Gossett, 17; Ken Gossett, 3; Travonte Wade, 10; Tommy Dyer, 5; Tony Johnson, 2; Geovari McCollister, 4; J’Michael Jasper, 8; Kendall Holmes, 6; D’Monte Starks, 4.
RECORDS — John Tyler 10-7 (9-2).