MABANK — In the wake of a lopsided defeat, Whitehouse coach Ryan Tomlin spoke highly of his team. Up against the wall, the Wildcats often played with four sophomores on the floor.
But they hustled and competed until the final buzzer.
Until the final moments of their season.
“I’m very proud,” Tomlin said. “These guys are some of the best competitors I’ve ever coached. They don’t care who they’re playing. They just love to play and they play together.”
With a bright future ahead, Whitehouse fell 66-44 to a bigger, quicker and more experienced West Mesquite squad in the Class 4A Region II area basketball playoffs Friday night at Mabank High School.
After hanging with the junior-laden Wranglers throughout the opening half and trailing by only six at the break, the Wildcats were overwhelmed in the second half, outscored 32-16.
With the win, West Mesquite (27-7) advances to face Lancaster in next week’s regional quarterfinals. Whitehouse finished the season 20-11.
“I’m excited about the future,” Tomlin said. “I couldn’t be more proud of our guys.”
West Mesquite junior point guard Braylon Rayson finished the night with a game-high 20 points, scoring 14 in the opening half before getting his teammates more involved in the second. Anthony Walker, a 6-6 junior forward, added 12 points and 13 rebounds against the smaller Wildcats.
Whitehouse’s Patrick Mahomes, who scored 29 points in the opening-round win against Sherman, finished with 18 points and seven boards. The sophomore forward, however, was limited to one basket in the second half after putting the Wildcats on his shoulders before the half.
West Mesquite entered the second half ahead 35-29 and then took over the game to increase the margin to 52-32 with 15 seconds left in the third. Much of the scoring came after rebounds and near the basket, evidenced by an underneath basket by Kameron Miles that made the score 41-31 with 6:07 left and a tip-in by Jalen Etienne that increased the lead to 15 points with 3:35 showing.
Miles, a 6-3 junior guard, ended the game with 12 points.
“It was three-pass-shot and three-pass-shot, and that wasn’t our game plan,” Tomlin said. “Our game plan was to hold the ball for a while and get seven or eight passes before each shot. And we did that in the first half. They also got us on the boards in the second half.”
In the first half, West Mesquite raced out to an 11-3 lead, forcing Tomlin to call a timeout with 4:41 left in the opening quarter. The Wranglers went into the second quarter up 19-13, but watched the lead evaporate before ending the half on a small run.
Class 4A Region II Area Playoff
At Mabank High School
West Mesquite 66, Whitehouse 44
West Mesq. 19 15 17 15—66
Whitehouse 13 16 6 10—44
WEST MESQUITE — Trent Edwards, 1; David Lankford, 2; Braylon Rayson, 20; Jordan Johnson, 4; Anthony Walker, 12; Jordan Johnson, 2; Kameron Miles, 12; Jalen Etienne, 7; Nate Davis, 5; Tyrone Davis, 1.
WHITEHOUSE — Matthew Malcolm, 2; Patrick Mahomes, 18; Spencer Shaw, 6; Jaylon Dews, 4; Ryan Cheatham, 4; Ross Viergever, 6; Jake Parker, 4.
THREE POINT GOALS — WM: Rayson (2), Etienne. W: Shaw (2).
RECORDS — West Mesquite 27-7; Whitehouse 20-11.
NEXT UP — West Mesquite vs. Lancaster, regional quarterfinals, TBD.
Manor 63, Kilgore 50
BUFFALO — Manor went on an 11-0 run in the second quarter en route to a 63-50 win over Kilgore on Friday in a Class 4A boys area basketball playoff game at Bison Gymnasium.
Manor advances to play Ennis in a regional quarterfinal game next week. Kilgore (19-15) was led by Jerrick Massenburge’s 15 points.
Jacorey McQueen paced the Mustangs (20-10) with 21 points.
Lancaster 53, Jacksonville 42
FAIRFIELD — Jacksonville’s season came to a close Friday with a 53-42 loss to Lancaster at Fairfield High School in the Class 4A area playoffs.
At Fairfield High School
Lancaster 12 13 15 13 —53
Jacksonville 11 18 7 6 —42
LANCASTER — Douglas, 14; Fisher, 8; Hall, 7; Sowels, 5; Matthews, 4; Cooper, 4; Lewis, 4; Foster, 4; Word, 3.
JACKSONVILLE — Dadrian Franklin, 12; Darius Clater, 8; Raybon Riden, 5; Londedric Taylor, 6; KB Buckingham, 5; Ladarius Session, 5; Daytron Thompson, 1.
THREE POINT GOALS — L: Douglas (4), Sowels. J: Franklin (2), Clater (2), Riden, Taylor.
RECORDS — Lancaster 22-8; Jacksonville 25-9.
NEXT UP — Lancaster vs. West Mequite at TBD, 7 p.m. Tuesday.