The Wagstaff Holiday Basketball Classic at Tyler Junior College is one of the more prestigious tournaments in the area each year and Whitehouse is usually hanging around in the championship rounds.
The 64th annual classic was no different. The Wildcats played for the Diamond Bracket title with Fort Worth Brewer. It was a donnybrook of a contest. The Bears edged the Wildcats 51-50 in overtime to claim the top prize.
Athens overwhelmed Brownsboro to capture the Gold Bracket championship.
Whitehouse defeated North Forney and Tyler Lee in earlier rounds of the Wagstaff tournament. The Wildcats were slated to play at Lufkin Tuesday, Jan. 2, and will play at Pittsburg at 4:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 5. Whitehouse will host Hudson at 6 p.m. Monday, Jan. 8, before the Wildcats begin District 17-5A competition at Ennis Friday, Jan. 12.
Fort Worth Brewer 51,
Whitehouse 50 OT
After the two squads knotted the score at 47-47 at the end of regulation, it took overtime to determine the Diamond Bracket champion. Senior guard Javier Neal connected on a pair of free throws to put Whitehouse ahead 50-49 in the extra period, but David Woosley was fouled in the final seconds and went to the charity stripe. Woosley hit the first to tie the game and calmly dropped his second attempt through the net to put the Bears up 51-50. Two final shots by the Wildcats failed and Brewer won the match.
Whitehouse had the early advantage in the game. The Wildcats held the edge after an 11-8 first quarter output, and Whitehouse went on a 14-6 run in the second stanza to forge a comfortable 25-14 halftime lead. The Wildcats maintained the lead going into the fourth quarter with a 12-10 advantage in the third period.
The Bears rallied in the fourth quarter and the Whitehouse defense was unable to contain Brewer in the frame. Fort Worth surged for 23 points in the quarter and held Whitehouse to 10 points to knot the game.
Neal led Whitehouse with 28 points, McKade Marquis contributed nine, Kolby Jimmerson recorded seven and Payton Kennedy and Jackson Mahomes scored three points apiece. Neal, Marquis and Jimmerson each hit a bucket from the three-point range.
Cortland Blake dropped in a trio of three-pointers and he paced the Bears with 17 points. Woosley added 13 ponts, including one three-point basket, to the team total and Devin Avent was in double figures with 10 points. The Bears of District 6-5A improved to 16-4 for the season.
FW 8 6 10 23 4 - 51
WH 11 14 12 10 3 - 50
Whitehouse 62, Tyler Lee 41
The Wildcats used an offensive drought on the part of the Tyler Lee offense to work for a 26-11 halftime lead. The Red Raiders were unable to rally in the second half and Whitehouse pulled away for a 62-41 win in the early round of the Wagstaff Classic.
Lee actually had a strong start and went up 9-3 on the scoreboard about midway through the first stanza. For the rest of the first quarter and the entire second frame, Lee was held to a single basket. The Whitehouse offense had no problems finding the mark and the result was the second win over the Red Raiders this season.
Eight players contributed to the Whitehouse production, including Neal with 16 points and Marquis with 14. Jimmerson dropped in a pair of three-points shots and finished with 10 points, Kennedy added nine to the total, Mahomes recorded five, Jake Clemons and Cooper Clemons scored three apiece and Brandon Bullard scored two points.
Marquis also rattled the rim for a pair from three-point range, and both Jake and Cooper Clemons hit one three-point shot.
The Wildcats hit 19 of 27 for 70 percent from the free throw line, and Whitehouse scored on 19 of 51 for 37 percent from the floor. Lee scored on 12 for 42 percent from the free throw line, and 15 of 38 for 39 percent from the floor.
Jamal Jones popped in four from three-point range and paced Lee with a dozen points. Matt Wade scored seven and Curtis Jones and Devin Johnson, who dropped in a pair of three-point buckets, each scored six points.
Whitehouse also defeated North Forney 72-50 in the early round of the tournament. In the third place game of the Diamond Bracket, Burleson defeated Lee 98-65. All Saints edged Chapel Hill for third place in the Gold Bracket.
In other tournament action, Brook Hill defeated Arp 61-40. Campbell Fletcher led the Guard with 15 points and Johnathan Blackwell led all scorers with 17 for Arp.
Van defeated Kilgore 61-43 and Brownsboro topped Kilgore 56-46. Kilgore did defeat Arp 53-41. Deiontrae Wheat scored 23 to pace Kilgore and Demarvion Overshown led the Tigers with 16 points.
In other District 17-5A action, Lindale defeated North Forney 66-51. Teigan Edwards, Kale Walters and Jacob Koeshall each scored 10 points to set the pace for the Eagles and Tre Summers was the leading scorer for North Forney with 15 points.
Lindale fell to Grand Prairie 49-48 in overtime. Edwards pumped in 14 and Dillon Heinaman scored 10 for Lindale.
Jacksonville lost to North Forney 70-56. Deshawn McCuin was an offensive force for Jacksonville with 22 points. Tre Summers led all scorers with 34 points for North Forney. The Indians also lost to Grand Prairie 58-39. Brady Robinson and Cason McCuin paced Jacksonville with 13 and 11 points, respectively.
The complete results of the Wagstaff Holiday Classic were: