Balanced Attack Leads Tyler Lee Past Whitehouse, 51-39
TYLER -- In what has become a fierce East Texas hardwood rivalry, Tyler Lee knocked off Whitehouse 51-39 on Tuesday before a raucous crowd at Red Raider Gymnasium.
The win was a little redemption for Lee, which lost to Whitehouse earlier in the year, 77-44. But Tuesday night, Lee had Whitehouse's number.
"Basketball is a game of spurts," said Lee head coach Alan Johnston. "The little things that don't show up in a box score are the difference-makers in ball game."
Lee (9-5) was led by guard Jack Calhoun, who finished with a team-high 12 points, four rebounds, and three assists. Kevin Ramsey added 11 points on 3-for-4 three-point shooting. Demodrick Barker and Rico Major combined for 20 points in the win.
Lee completely controlled the glass, outrebounding Whitehouse 40-21. Lee's Caleb Johnston had a game-high 13 boards, while Major added nine.
Jaylon Dews led the Wildcats (10-3) with 12 points. Jake Parker and Spencer Shaw combined for 13 points. Whitehouse was missing leading scorer and rebounder Patrick Mahomes, who was sidelined with an ankle injury.
Down four early in the second, Lee turned on its hustle. Back-to-back steals by Rico Major jumpstarted a 13-4 second quarter, while a Calhoun layup helped Lee end the first half on an 11-0 spurt for a 27-20 halftime advantage.
In the second half, it was more of the same for the Red Raiders.
Calhoun drained three consecutive triples, extending Lee's lead to 17 points, 42-25, just seconds before the end of the third.
"With Kevin (Ramsey) knocking them down early, then with Jack (Calhoun) hitting them late, and in between them were some great defensive stops," Johnston said. "Rico (Major) had a steal that came at the perfect time. Caleb's (Johnston) tenacity on the glass, those things like that where your opponent gets one shot and that's it. Charles Barkley made a living as the chairman of the boards, the Round Mound of Rebound."
Whitehouse got within 12 thanks to an early fourth-quarter run behind consecutive three-pointers by Dews, but a Johnston offensive board and putback thwarted any comeback for Whitehouse as Lee held a double-digit margin for the remainder of the night.
"That's what's exciting for us," Johnston said. "On a night when your leading scorer's not getting his offensive looks, everybody else picked up the slack, while still doing the little things. In the hustle department, I feel our kids deserved it because I thought they sold their soul for the game."
Non-district Boys Basketball
Tyler Lee 51, Whitehouse 39
Red Raider Gymnasium, Tyler
Whitehouse -- 16 4 8 11 -- 39
Tyler Lee -- 14 13 15 9 -- 51