TYLER -- The Texas High Lady Tigers entered Tuesday night's playoff opener riding a late-season wave of momentum that culminated in capturing a regular-season share of the District 15-5A title.

Their surging success was threatened by a pesky Whitehouse team for most of the night, but ultimately it was the clutch all-around performance of senior guard Chanell Hayes that carried Texas High to a 65-52 win in a Class 5A bi-district playoff at UT Tyler's Herrington Patriot Center.

The win vaulted Texas High (23-5) into the area round of the playoffs where it will meet Mansfield Lake Ridge, a 48-22 winner over Dallas Samuell, later this week. Whitehouse ended its season at 17-10.

Hayes, a 5-10 SFA signee, scored 29 points to go along with 13 rebounds, three assists, and eight steals. Her partner in crime, senior guard Jalissa Trotter, finished with 20 points, nine boards and three assists, but she missed most of the third quarter after picking up a fourth foul in the early stages of the second half.

"Instead of playing fast, it made us want to slow down because you don't want to generate as many possessions without one of your best players," Texas High coach Robert Cochran said of the effect Trotter's absence had during the third quarter. 'I thought we did a good job of weathering the storm."

Trotter picked up her fourth foul with 6:55 remaining in the third and with Texas High leading, 34-27. The Lady Tigers were able to swell the lead to 45-33 with her on the bench, but an 8-0 Whitehouse run at the end of the third and beginning of the fourth cut the deficit to four points, 45-41, before Trotter re-entered with 6:38 remaining.

"The defense was still very good, and I think that's what kept us (ahead in the third quarter)," Cochran said. "I think the defense in the third quarter let us get by without scoring as much. And obviously Chanell stepped up and did her thing, which is what I expected."

Trotter immediately made an impact upon her return, scoring a bucket and assisting on two others during a 7-0 run that pushed Texas High's lead back to 11 at 52-41 with 5:33 to play.

"I think it got up to (12) and it got down to (four) when we were able to get (Trotter) back in, and that's about what it was when she went out," Cochran said. You've got to give our kids a lot of credit because she plays the entire game every game; she doesn't come out, even with foul trouble she doesn't come out, but she got four so early."

Hayes scored 16 points, grabbed six rebounds and came away with five steals all in the second half. She was responsible for Texas High's final nine points of the game.

Whitehouse was led in defeat by freshman forward Karlea Duhon, who finished with 20 points and nine rebounds. However, Texas High collapsed its defense on her in the second half, in which she only managed three points.

"We literally just went to (man defense) on her, and any time she touched the ball we doubled it and zoned everybody else," Cochran said. "We said we're not going to let one player beat us, and that's a credit to our girls. They did a tremendous job of doing that. We probably should've went to it a little earlier seeing how much she scored in the first half. We really didn't want to do that, but give Whitehouse credit; they forced us to and our girls did a good job of executing."

Senior post Madyson Wilkins added 14 points, 13 rebounds and two blocked shots in Whitehouse's season-ending defeat.

Despite huge rebounding nights for Hayes and Trotter, Texas High was dominated on the glass by Whitehouse, which held a 42-28 edge on the boards.

"The biggest thing was (Trotter's) rebounding early," Cochran said. "We had to find some other kids to step up and rebound; we were stopping them on defense but we couldn't rebound. We were able to get it done, but obviously we're a much better team with Jalissa on the floor."

The opening quarter, which ended with Texas High leading 18-16, was as close as could be as each team led for stretches and neither stretched the advantage to more than four points. Duhon scored 14 of her team's 16 points in the first eight minutes, while Trotter and Hayes accounted for all 18 Texas High points.

Each team cooled off from the floor in the second quarter. Texas High stretched its lead to seven, 32-25, at halftime following back-to-back baskets from Hayes.


Texas High 65, Whitehouse 52

Class 5A Girls Bi-District Playoff
At UT Tyler's Herrington Patriot Center

Texas High           18    14    13    20    --    65
Whitehouse          16      9    12    15    --    52
TEXAS HIGH (23-5) -- Chanell Hayes, 29; Jalissa Trotter, 20; Grace Brooks, 6; Laken Edwards, 5; Blaire Bledsoe, 3; Takeba Dowden, 2.
WHITEHOUSE (17-10) -- Karlea Duhon, 20; Madyson Wilkins, 14; Morgan Tauscher, 6; Ashton Ates, 5; Kelly Keller, 5; Alexandra Gonter, 2.
THREE-POINT GOALS -- Texas High: Hayes (2), Bledsoe, Edwards. Whitehouse: Tauscher (2), Keller.