Whitehouse bumped John Tyler further back in the playoff pack, racing back from a 16-point hole to beat the Lady Lions 52-45.
Kenslie Dews delivered a game-high 16 points, and Ashton Ates added a double double with 13 points and 17 rebounds as Whitehouse won in comeback fashion in District 16-4A girls’ basketball action Tuesday at the Lions Den.
Morgan Tauscher tacked on 14 points for Whitehouse, including seven key free throws over the final 1:18 to put the Ladycats (12-8, 2-2) alone in third place.
The Lady Lions (16-11, 1-3) find themselves in a three-way tie for the final playoff berth with Jacksonville (14-13, 1-3) and Corsicana (15-12, 1-3) after losing a commanding first-half cushion.
“We got up and felt comfortable,” JT coach Mike Smith said. “After that we never got the intensity back. You can’t do that against anybody.”
JT led 28-12 in the first half after an bucket inside from Amia Wickware, who led the Lady Lions with 12 points and 11 rebounds.
Whitehouse sliced seven points off JT’s lead in the first half, getting a step-in jumper from Taushcer (14 points, six rebounds, three assists), a trey from Dews, and a pair of free throws from Victoria Taylor, to trail 28-19 at the midway point.
The Ladycats claimed their first lead with 28 seconds left in the third period after Dews canned two free throws for a 37-36 Whitehouse lead.
JT reclaimed control at 39-37 on an off-balanced jumper by Quaneshia Johnson with 6:34 remaining. JT went the next five minutes without a field goal.
Whitehouse went ahead for good with Dews’ short jumper at the 5:17 mark. JT played the last 3:38 minus senior guard Tiaka Lee, the team’s leading scorer. Lee picked up her fifth foul after accumulating eight points.
The JT offense failed to find a rhythm in the fourth period. JT missed seven free throws in the fourth.
The Ladycats outrebounded the Lady Lions 48-30 on the night. JT shot 27 percent from the field and 45 percent from the free throw line.
“They played well and got a lot of rebounds,” Smith said of Whitehouse. “When that’s happening, we’re watching too much and need to be crashing the boards. We didn’t do a lot of things well at all and I give them the credit. They outplayed us.”
Whitehouse 52, John Tyler 45
Whitehouse 8 1118 15—52
John Tyler 12 16 8 9— 45
WHITEHOUSE — Kenslie Dews, 16; Morgan Tauscher, 14; Brooke Stewart, 2; Kelly Keller, 3; Victoria Taylor, 4; Ashton Ates, 13. FG 17-41 FT 13-18.
JOHN TYLER — Ashtyn Beal, 8; Tiaka Lee, 8; Tameal Jones, 10; Quaneshia Johnson, 5; Amia Wickware, 12; Donishia Rouege, 2. FG 17-64 FT 9-20.
Three-point goals — W: 3-7 (Dews, Tauscher, Keller); JT: 2-17 (Beal, Jones). Rebounds — W: 48 (Ates (17); JT: 30 (Wickware 11). Assists — W: 5 (Tauscher 3), JT: 6 (Lee, Johnson 2). Blocks: W: 2 (Stewart 2); JT 5 (Beal 5). Steals —: W: 2 (Ates 2); JT: 16 (Wickware 4). Turnovers — W: 29; JT: 15. Total Fouls — W: 14; JT: 19.
RECORDS — Whitehouse 12-8 (2-2); John Tyler 16-11 (1-3).
NEXT UP — John Tyler at Corsicana, Friday.