TYLER -- John Tyler's performance against Whitehouse on Tuesday night was a parallel to the Lions' season up to this point. Slow to start, but strong down the stretch.

John Tyler rallied from an early deficit with a dominating second half to capture a 78-65 victory in front of a jam-packed, frenzied crowd at the Lions Den. The win improved John Tyler (8-12) to 2-0 in District 16-4A.

"We are 2-0 in the district right now, and just to win one game at a time right now is our focus," Lions coach Cedeno Clark said. "We had some downfalls early in the season, and right now we're just taking it one game at a time. The district championship is what our goal is."

And the Lions' win over rival Whitehouse (17-6, 1-1) may end up having a major impact on the 16-4A championship race.

John Tyler's Fred Ross brings the ball downcourt during the Lions' 78-65 win over Whitehouse on Tuesday in Tyler. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Tyus Bowser led a balanced JT scoring effort with 18 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks. Fred Ross added 14 points and five boards, while Jordan Caldwell and Keaunte Humber each finished with 11 points.

"We have some good individuals out there, but in order for us to do what we want to do it's got to be a team effort," Clark said.

Patrick Mahomes led Whitehouse with 23 points, nine rebounds and three assists. Jaylon Dews chipped in with 12 points.

Whitehouse took a 33-32 lead into halftime, but the Lions wasted little time in the third quarter in taking the lead on a Greg Ward layup. After Dews answered on the other end, Bowser drained a 3-pointer off an assist from Darion Flowers to give JT the lead for good, 37-35, less than two minutes into the third period.

John Tyler's lead swelled to 50-41 after the Lions closed the quarter on a 6-0 run with buckets from Humber, JaVonte Tramble and Ross.

"In the second half we came out and played sound defense," Clark said. "I think we held them down to (eight points) in the third quarter, which is kinda where we want to get to. In the second half the defense got us on track."

Spencer Shaw brought Whitehouse to within seven, 65-58, midway through the fourth with a pair of free throws, but JT closed the game on 13-7 run highlighted by Bowser's breakaway dunk that gave the Lions a 69-58 lead with 2:25 remaining.

"I think we played their game," Whitehouse coach Ryan Tomlin said. "We took too many quick shots, which gave them more possessions."

Whitehouse returns to action Friday at home against Lindale, while the Lions play at Corsicana.

LadyCats Overcome Big Deficit to Defeat John Tyler

The Whitehouse LadyCats evened their District 16-4A record with a 52-45 comeback victory over John Tyler earlier Tuesday evening.

Whitehouse (12-8, 2-2) trailed by 16 points at one point in the first half, but outscored the Lady Lions (16-11, 1-3) 33-17 in the second half.

Kenslie Dews led Whitehouse with 16 points and five rebounds. Morgan Tauscher added 14 points and five boards, while Ashton Ates provided a double-double with 11 points and 16 rebounds.

John Tyler was led by Tameal Jones and Amia Wickware, who had 12 points apiece.

Back-to-back baskets by Wickware gave JT a 28-12 lead late in the second quarter, but Whitehouse trimmed the deficit to nine by ending the half on a 7-0 run.

The LadyCats took their first lead of the night, 35-34, on a 3-pointer from Kelly Keller with 1:07 remaining in the third quarter.

JT held a 40-39 lead early in the fourth, but Whitehouse scored six straight, highlighted by Dews' 3-point play.

John Tyler's Keaunte Humber makes a move for the hoop around Whitehouse's Jaylon Dews during their game Tuesday night in Tyler. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

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District 16-4A Boys
At Lions Den, Tyler
John Tyler 78, Whitehouse 65

Whitehouse               17   16    8   24   --   65
John Tyler                 12   20   18   28   --   78
WHITEHOUSE--Patrick Mahomes, 23; Jaylon Dews, 12; Spencer Shaw, 9; Ryan Cheatham, 8; Jake Parker, 7; Justin Dunning, 3; Chris Kunzman, 3.
JOHN TYLER--Tyus Bowser, 18; Fred Ross, 14; Jordan Caldwell, 11; Keaunte Humber, 11; Isaac Warren, 9; Darion Flowers, 8; Greg Ward, 5; JaVonte Tramble, 2.
RECORDS--Whitehouse 17-6 (1-1); John Tyler 8-12 (2-0).

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District 16-4A Girls
At Lions Den, Tyler
Whitehouse 52, John Tyler 45

Whitehouse                  8   11   18   15   --   52
John Tyler                   12   16    8    9   --   45
WHITEHOUSE--Kenslie Dews, 16; Morgan Tauscher, 14; Ashton Ates, 11; Victoria Taylor, 6; Kelly Keller, 3; Brooke Stewart, 2.
JOHN TYLER--Tameal Jones, 12; Amia Wickware, 12; Tiaka Lee, 8; Ashtyn Beal, 6; Quaneshia Johnson, 5; DeDe Rouge, 2.
RECORDS--Whitehouse 12-8 (2-2); John Tyler 16-11 (1-3).