What figures to be one of the area's most compelling district races begins Friday when District 16-4A play gets under way.

No. 12 Jacksonville (23-0) puts its unbeaten record on the line at home against Lindale (7-9), a 3A regional semifinalist from a year ago. Whitehouse (16-5) plays host to a red-hot Corsicana (19-4) squad and the rejuvenated John Tyler Lions (6-12) hit the road to face Nacogdoches (11-7).

The Indians, which made the regional tournament two years ago, is led by a talented trio of three-year starters in seniors Kadarius Buckingham, Dadrian Franklin and Londedric Taylor. Jacksonville is coming off a 63-56 win over Hallsville on Tuesday.

Whitehouse is led by junior guard Patrick Mahomes, who poured in 27 points in the Wildcats' hard-fought 82-78 win over Marshall earlier in the week.

John Tyler, which struggled at the beginning of the season, has rounded into form after being reinforced by several key football players. Senior 6-3 post Tyus Bowser, who recently picked up an Oral Roberts offer, has averaged well over 20 points since returning. The Lions are coming off a 94-83 loss to Class 3A's No. 2 ranked team Dallas Madison last Friday.

Marshall (16-7), meanwhile, begins its 14-4A slate at home against Hallsville (8-13).

In Class 3A, the Chapel Hill Bulldogs (14-7, 4-0) will look to extend their winning streak to eight games when they host Kilgore (2-1 in district play). Chapel Hill enters on the heels of a 57-38 win over Bullard on Tuesday.

There's a trio of solid matchups in 2A, including second-ranked White Oak's (20-1, 4-0) road test at Jefferson, which is also 4-0 in 17-2A. The Eagles are coming off a crucial 59-54 win over fifth-ranked Tatum on Tuesday.

Also in 2A, Edgewood (15-7, 4-0) plays host to Winnsboro (4-0 in district) in a battle for sole possession of first place in District 14-2A. First place in 18-2A is on the line as well when Frankston (12-7, 3-0) entertains Troup (3-0 in district).

In Class A Division II, No. 13 Douglass (17-5, 2-2) will try to follow its 59-55 overtime upset of fifth-ranked Laneville with a win at home against No. 8 Oakwood (9-5, 2-1) in 25-A action.