Wildcats advanced to regional tourney

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By all measures, Whitehouse had a great basketball season.

The Wildcats went undefeated in District 17-5A and won three playoff games to advance to the Region III Tournament. Whitehouse also won 28 games this season but the Wildcats would have enjoyed adding more to the win column.

The 2017-2018 season came to an end at Delmar Fieldhouse in Houston Friday, March 2. In the regional semifinals, the Wildcats faced Port Arthur Memorial, the fourth ranked Class-5A team in the state. The Titans pulled away for a 66-43 victory to advance to the regional finals opposite Fort Bend Elkins.

Whitehouse finished with a 28-7 mark and Memorial improved to 31-5.

The loss also ended the WHS careers for 11 seniors, including Brandon Bullard, Jake Clemons, Theron Cobb, Hayden Holley, Kolby Jimmerson, Jackson Mahomes, McKade Marquis, Nyrese Mayberry, Javier Neal, Kyevon Rider and Nick Slavinsky.

Port Arthur Memorial 66, Whitehouse 43

The Wildcats were able to stay close for much of the first quarter, but the Titans stormed to a 19-

8 advantage with several late three-point baskets. Whitehouse kept the scoring close in the second quarter though Port Arthur did take a 19-16 edge on the scoreboard. On the strength of the first quarter run, Memorial took a 38-24 lead into the halftime break.

Whitehouse needed a strong third quarter on the offensive board to get back into the game.

The Wildcats were unable to respond and suffered one of their poorest offensive outputs for a quarter this season. The defense did hold Memorial to 13 points but the offense only managed five points and Whitehouse trailed 51-29 at the start of the fourth quarter.

Memorial played a safe game the final frame and was able to stall any effort for a Whitehouse rally. A 15-14 run for the Titans left the final score at 66-43.

Mahomes and Neal each scored 15 points to lead Whitehouse. Marquis added six points to the team total. For Memorial, Jamyus Jones scored five three-point baskets and 17 points to pace the Titans.

Memorial 19 19 13 15 -66

Whitehouse 8 16 5 14 -43

Whitehouse 48, Pflugerville Connally

Whitehouse dominated action at the free throw line and that was the difference in a 48-44 victory over Pflugerville Connally in the Region III quarterfinals last week.

Jimmerson dropped in a three-pointer and Kennedy hit a pair of free throws and a goal for four points to help lead the Wildcats in the first stanza. Neal had the hot hand in the second quarter with 11 points and Whitehouse was able to squeeze out a 24-23 halftime lead.

In the third period, Neal scored seven more points but Marquis and Mahomes each scored a goal and Clemons connected on an important three-point bucket to help keep the Wildcats in the game. The Cougars edged Whitehouse 15-14 in the quarter and the two squads entered the final frame tied at 38-38.

Defense was the focus of both squads in the final minutes. The Cougars held Whitehouse without a field goal in the fourth quarter and the Wildcats held Connally to a pair of field goals. Neal, however, connected on seven of his eight free throw attempts in the fourth quarter and Marquis hit three of four tries. Connally made five trips to the charity stripe in the fourth stanza and the Cougars scored on two of the attempts.

Neal led the team with 26 points, including a 14 of 17 performance at the line. Marquis scored eight, Jimmerson finished with five, Kennedy scored four and Clemons scored three points.

For Connally, Ja’Quai Najomo scored 13, Tyrone Perry added 12 and Jamal Shead scored 11 points.

Connally was called for 18 personal fouls and the team scored on 10 of 17 for 59 percent at the charity stripe. Whitehouse had 14 infractions and the boys scored on 19 of 24 for 79 percent at the line.

WH 11 13 14 10 -48

PC 13 10 15 6 -44

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