Four Roughnecks Reach Double Figures in No. 1 White Oak’s 67-55 Win Over State-Ranked Cayuga
TENAHA — When White Oak’s man in the middle was saddled with foul trouble in Friday’s Tenaha Holiday Hoops semifinal, the rest of the Roughnecks picked up the slack.
Class 2A’s No. 1 team hit nine three-pointers and had five players score at least nine points to beat Cayuga 67-55 at the Special Events Center. The win puts White Oak, the defending tournament champion, in Saturday’s 8:30 p.m. title game against Kountze, which is ranked sixth in 2A and lost to White Oak in last year’s tournament championship.
The win was White Oak’s 49th in a row dating to last season, when the Roughnecks won the 2A state championship. Cayuga, ranked seventh in Class A Division I, plays Tenaha in Saturday’s 6:30 p.m. third-place game.
With 6-foot-7 veteran frontcourt force Levi Yancy fighting foul trouble, the rest of the Roughneck lineup compensated. Guard Skylar Sutton scored a team-high 16 points, while point guard Kris Anderson had 11 points, five assists, and three steals. Anderson hit a buzzer-beating turnaround jumper to give White Oak a 31-22 halftime lead.
Forward Hayden Nichols helped ease the pain of not having Yancy on the court as much. Nichols finished with 12 points and six rebounds. Guard Slade Sutton made 3 of 5 three-point attempts to finish with 11 points. Josh Benson came off the bench for nine points and eight rebounds.
“I thought Josh Benson particularly stepped up off the bench and gave us some good minutes,” said White Oak coach Ron Boyett. “Levi was just handcuffed, but he’s gotta learn to play with fouls, also.
“I told them I thought the biggest thing for us was the environment and the atmosphere. Every team has to prove they can play in that. The teams that come before you can play that way to a certain degree, but you’ve got to have your own identity and you’ve got to show you can do it. That’s good about coming here. You get a playoff atmosphere, we got to play a really good team, and see if we can perform under those conditions.”
In his limited minutes, Yancy still made his presence felt. He had an impressive no-look dish for an easy second-quarter Nichols layup, then violently swatted away a shot on the other end. He didn’t score, but he had eight rebounds and two blocks.
Cayuga 6-foot-7 swing man Preston Anderson started ice cold, missing his first 15 shots, but hit six of his final nine to finish with a team-high 16 points, 11 rebounds, and three assists. Post Deon Shofner had 14 points, 13 rebounds, and two blocks, while guard Chandler Rigdon had 11 points. Point guard Wesley Rigdon had 10 points.
White Oak bookended the first quarter with runs of 10-2 and 7-0 to take a 20-14 lead to the second period. White Oak pushed its lead to nine by halftime, and Skylar Sutton hit two three-pointers — including an NBA-range buzzer-beater — in the final moments of the third for a 49-38 lead going to the fourth.
Preston Anderson kept Cayuga within striking distance in the fourth. His three-point play cut White Oak’s lead to 63-55 with 2:42, but the Wildcats did not get closer.
White Oak matches up Saturday with a Kountze team that has won its first three tournament games by 97 points, 22 points, and 19 points thanks in large part to a frenetic pace and high-intensity full-court press. Boyett said that will help White Oak prepare for district foes.
“The best part for us is we have two teams in our district, Tatum and Jefferson, that are also gonna play the same style that Kountze does,” Boyett said. “That’s the priority for us, to get to play against that style and help us when we go into that in about a week or a week and a half. It’s training tool more than anything else before we get to district.”
Tenaha Holiday Hoops
2A No. 1 White Oak 67, 1A D-I No. 7 Cayuga 55
Special Events Center, Tenaha
Cayuga — 14 8 16 17 — 55
White Oak — 20 11 18 18 — 67
Cayuga — Preston Anderson 16, Deon Shofner 14, Chandler Rigdon 11, Wesley Rigdon 10, D’Onte Jackson 2, Donald Holly III 2.
White Oak — Skylar Sutton 16, Hayden Nichols 12, Kris Anderson 11, Slade Sutton 11, Josh Benson 9, Cass Carr 6, Gabe Michael 2.
Other boys results from the Tenaha Holiday Hoops tournament …
Friday’s Other Semifinal
- Kountze 84, Tenaha 65
- Kountze vs. White Oak, 8:30 p.m., Tenaha’s Special Events Center
- Laneville 66, Saltillo 59
- Central Heights 55, San Augustine 53
Saturday’s Fifth-Place Game
- Laneville vs. Central Heights, 5:30 p.m., Tenaha’s Special Events Center
Saturday’s Fifth-Place Consolation Game
- Saltillo vs. San Augustine, 4:30 p.m., Tenaha’s Tiger Gymnasium
- Slocum def. Alto (played in Gary, score unavailable)
- Woden 72, Lipan 48
- Chireno 62, Avery 55
- Joaquin 68, Leggett 67
- Woden 54, Slocum 47
- Chireno 50, Joaquin 47
Saturday’s Consolation Finals
- Chireno vs. Martinsville, 9 a.m., Tenaha’s Tiger Gymnasium
- Chireno/Martinsville winner vs. Woden, 4 p.m., Tenaha’s Special Events Center
Saturday’s Consolation Games
- Alto vs. Lipan, 3 p.m., Tenaha’s Tiger Gymnasium
- Avery vs. Leggett, 6 p.m., Tenaha’s Tiger Gymnasium