Head basketball coaches usually set goals for their teams and Whitehouse coach Brent Kelly reached two of those goals last week.
The Wildcats posted the 20th win of the season and they were able to remain unbeaten in the first half of District 17-5A action. A district crown is likely the next goal and Whitehouse is well on the way to achieve that milestone.
At 20-6 for the season and 5-0 in the loop standings, the Wildcats hosted Ennis Tuesday, Jan. 30, and will play at Lindale Friday, Feb. 2. Tip-off will be at 7:30 p.m. Whitehouse will conclude the regular season at Corsicana Tuesday, Feb. 6, will host Nacogdoches for the final home game Friday, Feb. 9, and will play at Jacksonville Tuesday, Feb. 13. Varsity games begin at 7:30 p.m.
Whitehouse 55, Jacksonville 32
It wasn’t a great start but the Wildcats did manage to take an 11-6 edge after one quarter of action. McKade Marquis dropped in a three-point shot and Javiler Neal, Jackson Mahomes, Brandon Bullard and Kolby Jimmerson each added two points for Whitehouse. Jaeshyn Bush matched Marquis with a three-pointer of his own and DeShaun McCuin scored three points for the Indians.
The Whitehouse defense held Jacksonville to five points in the second quarter. Meanwhile, Jimmerson matched the Indians’ five points with five of his own, including a three-point bucket, and Marquis went one step better with a pair of three-point baskets for six points. Mahomes scored four points, including two free throws, and Hayden Holley tallied the fourth three-point basket and three more points for the Wildcats, who finished with 18 points in the frame.
The run left Whitehouse on top 29-11 at the break.
Defense continued to be the focus for the Wildcats in the third quarter. The Indians were held to a single field goal, a three-point shot by senior guard Brady Robinson. Jacksonville did, however, score on five of six free throws. But Neal dumped a trio of field goals for six points, Jimmerson tallied his second three-pointer and scored five points and Mahomes scored four points for a 15-8 run in the third stanza. The Wildcats entered the final frame with a formidable 44-19 advantage.
Robinson was able to light up the scoreboard with a trio of three-point baskets in the final minutes, but the production was not near enough to erase the Whitehouse lead. Neal countered with six points of his own in the frame and the Wildcats coasted to a 55-32 victory.
A trio of Whitehouse players finished in double figures, including Neal with 14, Jimmerson contributed 12 and Mahomes scored 11 points. Marquis added nine to the team total, Holley posted five and Bullard and Kyevon Rider each scored two points.
The Wildcats, who were called for 14 personal fouls, scored on seven of 11 for 64 percent at the free throw line.
Robinson paced the Indians with 12 points, all from three-point range. McCuin added eight points, Bush scored seven, Cason McCuin contributed three and Garry Minifee scored two points.
Officials whistled the Indians for 16 infractions, and Jacksonville connected on nine of 12 for 75 percent at the charity stripe.
Whitehouse 53, Nacogdoches 48
The Wildcats needed the lead they forged in the first half of the game with Nacogdoches. The Dragons played a stout second half but still fell short of overtaking the Wildcats in district action last week.
Whitehouse used an 11-8 run to capture the early advantage. Neal broke out for a trio of field goals for six points, and Jimmerson added the other five points, including a three-point basket. Senior guard Nick Smith and Nana Antwi-boasiako, a sophomore forward, each dropped in a three-pointer to pace the Dragons in the opening minutes.
Field goals were hard to come by for both teams in the second stanza. Mahomes and Jimmerson each found the net for a goal and Marquis was successful on both of his free throw attempts. Peyton Kennedy also hit a free throw but Neal helped keep the Wildcats in the plus on the scoreboard with eight points, including a pair of free throws.
Junior guard Devious Whitaker and Deonte Jackson, a sophomore guard, each scored a three-point basket for the Dragons, and senior point guard Michael Little scored four points, including a pair of free throws to help keep Nacogdoches in the game.
Whitehouse eased to a 26-20 halftime lead.
There were three long range shots in the third quarter. Marquis and Jimmerson each dropped in a three-pointer for Whitehouse and Smith led Nacogdoches with a three-point bucket and a pair of free throws for five points. Neal continued to have a true hand at the charity stripe with two more free throws and he added a field goal for four points. Kennedy also scored and the Wildcats managed an 12-11 edge during the frame.
The Dragons rallied for 17 points in the fourth quarter. Smith led the charge with eight points, including two from the three-point arc, and Little added four points.
The Nacogdoches defense was unable to stop Neal, who added 12 points on four field goals and four more free throws to keep the Wildcats in the lead. Mahomes had a three-of-four performance at the line in the final minutes and that helped Whitehouse maintain the lead for a 53-48 victory.
Neal, also a senior, scored in each quarter and finished with 30 points. Jimmerson was held scoreless in the fourth quarter but he contributed 10 points and Mahomes and Marquis each added five points to the team total. Kennedy scored three points.
Whitehouse was tagged for 10 personal infractions and the Wildcats scored on 14 of 17 for 82 percent at the charity stripe.
Smith was the leading scorer for Nacogdoches with 16 points, including four from three-point range. Whitaker scored 10 points, Little contributed eight, Bobby Phillips recorded six, James Sowards scored two and Antwi-boasiako and Jackson each scored three points.
The Dragons were whistled for 17 fouls and they connected on five of seven for 71 percent at the line. No player fouled out of the game.
WH11151215 - 53
NA C8121117 - 48