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Levi Yancy + No. 1 White Oak Open Season with 51-36 Win at Pine Tree

LONGVIEW — East Texas boys basketball fans knew it last year, but after Tuesday afternoon’s game at the Pirate Center, it bears repeating: Levi Yancy is good at basketball.

Yancy hit his first four shots en route to a 16-point, 13-rebound, three-block effort to lead Class 2A’s No. 1 White Oak Roughnecks to a short-handed 51-36 victory at Pine Tree in White Oak’s 2012 season opener.

Yancy, a 6-foot-7 senior forward, dominated inside at times during White Oak’s 2011-12 state championship run. But the lanky big man displayed a refined array of offensive skills Tuesday against Pine Tree. Yancy had eight points, five rebounds, one block, and one steal in the first quarter and finished 6-for-10 from the field and 4-for-4 from the free-throw line.

Yancy hit shots off the glass, pull-up jumpers from the base line, and scored off the dribble on isolation drives from the top of the key. He also showed a penchant for passing, although he had no assists because of a couple of missed layups.

White Oak coach Ron Boyett said Yancy’s diversified skills have always been there, but the role he filled on last season’s title team sometimes cloaked them.

“The difference was last year he played inside a lot more. We’re letting him handle the ball a lot and you’re getting to see his skill set a little bit more,” Boyett said. “With the personnel we had last year we kinda needed him to play in that other spot, but this year we can free him up to kinda do a little bit more of what he’s capable of doing.

“He’s agile, he can run, he can handle the ball. It helps him to get in space because he is kinda thin. He’s not just an under-the-basket kind of player. He’s worked hard at it and he’s really coming along. He’s a good player.”

White Oak’s other all-region-caliber player, senior point guard Kris Anderson, had10 points and three assists. As usual, he spearheaded White Oak’s defensive effort, which forced 12 first-half turnovers and helped the Roughnecks build a 25-16 halftime lead.

Slade Sutton scored nine points and added three assists. Clay Hunter had seven points on 3-for-4 shooting.

White Oak played without six of its regular players who are members of the Roughneck football team, which plays 7:30 p.m. Friday in Van against Grandview in a 2A Division I Region III area playoff.

“We’ve got our best three. The main thing we needed is just to get them out there and get them playing some,” Boyett said. “We’ve only had eight for practice so we haven’t been able to get up and down the court. Those five guys that didn’t play a lot, they’ve helped us a ton, just coming out to help and giving us enough to practice and enough to play. I was pleased that we just got to get out there and play some basketball.”

Pine Tree (1-2) stayed in the game thanks to a big rebounding effort. The Pirates beat White Oak 38-23 on the glass, including 20 offensive boards to White Oak’s 17 defensive rebounds. Mason Hays and Garrett Rayburn had putbacks in a 6-2 run that pulled Pine Tree within five points, 31-26, with 1:57 remaining in the third quarter.

But White Oak answered with a Yancy baseline pull-up to end the third and the first five points of the fourth on Jordan DeAngelo’s three-pointer and Anderson’s stop-and-pop jumper to stretch the lead to 38-26 with 6:51 left.

Victor Hawkins led Pine Tree with 10 points and five rebounds, while Hays had nine points and six boards. Rayburn had four points and a team-high nine rebounds. Robert Hines had six points and six rebounds.

Pine Tree travels to Bullard on Tuesday (Nov. 27). White Oak hosts Spring Hill that day.

___

No. 1 White Oak 51, Pine Tree 36
Pirate Center, Longview

White Oak (1-0) — 14 11 8 18 — 51
Pine Tree (1-2) — 9 7 10 10 — 36

White Oak — Levi Yancy 16, Kris Anderson 10, Slade Sutton 9, Clay Hunter 7, Tyler Keel 4, Jordan DeAngelo 3, Collin McCullen 2.
Pine Tree — Victor Hawkins 10, Mason Hays 9, Robert Hines 6, Garrett Rayburn 4, Kyle Gossett 3, Brett Lucy 2, Nathan Norman 2.

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