Jaylon Dews + Whitehouse Rally in Fourth Quarter to Edge Jacksonville + Capture District 16-4A Title
WHITEHOUSE — The 2013-14 school year may go down as one of the best in the history of Whitehouse athletics. It began in November with a district championship in football, and continued Friday night with fans celebrating a league title in boys basketball.
Jaylon Dews scored 16 points, including two 3-pointers late in the fourth quarter that helped rally Whitehouse to a 58-55 win over defending District 16-4A champion Jacksonville at Wildcat Arena. Whitehouse (24-5, 8-1) is now three games clear of the rest of 16-4A with just one more regular-season game remaining.
“These seniors deserve it,” said first-year Whitehouse coach Brent Kelley, who led Jacksonville to the 16-4A crown last season. “We’ve got seven seniors and they hadn’t won a district championship in basketball since they’ve been in high school. They’ve been good every year. (Former coach Ryan Tomlin) did a great job with them, and I’m just lucky to be here coaching them. I’m so proud of them for fighting through and getting it done tonight.”
Dews made four 3-pointers on the night, none bigger than his two in the fourth that each gave Whitehouse a lead with inside of two minutes to play. His first gave Whitehouse a 52-50 lead with 1:56 remaining, and the second followed a pretty back-door feed from Jacksonville’s Datavion Thacker to Chris Cross that tied the game at 52-52.
“He hit some big 3’s against Lindale in the fourth quarter Tuesday, and he did the same thing (tonight),” Kelley said of Dews. “When he shoots it well and has confidence, it just adds another dynamic. I’m just proud of him.”
Once Dews’ second fourth-quarter trifecta put Whitehouse up 55-52 with 1:07 remaining, Jacksonville answered when star senior guard Raybon Riden converted a 3-point play with 56 seconds to go that tied it at 55-55. It was an exclamation point to a big night for Riden, who led Jacksonville (19-11, 4-5) with 19 points.
“I love that kid,” Kelley said of Riden, whom he coached for three years at Jacksonville. “He’s the heart and soul of their team, and you know in a big moment he’s going to be the guy that steps up and carries them. And he put them on his shoulders and played a great game.”
Whitehouse took the lead for good on its next possession. Senior standout Patrick Mahomes drove into the lane, but instead of pulling up for the mid-range jumper, he dished to Isaiah Clark underneath the basket. Clark bobbled the pass momentarily, but regrouped and scored while being fouled, leading to a 3-point play that gave the Wildcats the three-point lead with 37 seconds remaining.
“Pat’s a great player; he makes everybody else around him better,” Kelley said of Mahomes, who finished with 13 points, 10 rebounds and four assists. “And when he trusts his teammates and gets them involved, it just makes us that much better as a team.”
Thacker missed a potential game-tying 3-point attempt with 21 seconds remaining. Dews grabbed the rebound and was fouled, but missed the front-end of the one-and-one. Jacksonville had one last chance to send the game to overtime, but Riden’s 3-point attempt was off the mark. He got his own offensive rebound, but could not get another 3-point shot off before time expired.
The Whitehouse student section then rushed the floor to celebrate a district championship.
“We didn’t play very well early on and kinda turned it on a little bit in the third quarter, then they made a little run to take the lead back,” Kelley said. “In the fourth quarter I thought we played with a different intensity. Jacksonville had a lot to do with us not playing well early; I thought they shot the ball pretty well early and played hard. I thought we showed a lot of heart and character, battling back in the fourth quarter.”
Whitehouse’s Jake Parker knocked down three 3-pointers and finished with 11 points and five rebounds, while Spencer Shaw added nine points, five boards and two steals. Clark came up big off the bench with seven points and three rebounds. His one assist preceded Dews’ second trey of the fourth quarter.
Riden was the only Jacksonville player in double figures as nine different players scored for the Indians. Claude Franklin had eight points, Mason McCormack added seven points and five rebounds, Cross finished with six points and six boards, Charles Kendrick had five points, four rebounds and three assists. Thacker had a solid game as well with two points, three rebounds, four steals and a pair of assists.
Whitehouse concludes the regular season Tuesday at Nacogdoches, while Jacksonville finishes with John Tyler at home also on Tuesday.
Whitehouse 58, Jacksonville 55
District 16-4A Boys Basketball
At Wildcat Arena, Whitehouse
Jacksonville 19 8 18 10 — 55
Whitehouse 13 10 18 17 — 58
JACKSONVILLE (19-11, 4-5) — Raybon Riden, 19; Claude Franklin, 8; Mason McCormack, 7; Chris Cross, 6; Charles Kendrick, 5; Daytron Thompson, 4; Shawn Ragsdale, 3; Datavion Thacker, 2; Carter McCown, 1.
WHITEHOUSE (24-5, 8-1) — Jaylon Dews, 16; Patrick Mahomes, 13; Jake Parker, 11; Spencer Shaw, 9; Isaiah Clark, 7; Brady Hill, 2.
THREE-POINT GOALS — Jacksonville: Riden (2), Kendrick, Ragsdale. Whitehouse: Dews (4), Parker (3), Mahomes.