WHITE OAK -- The Roughnecks came out firing in Tuesday's non-district game against Carthage. It took the Bulldogs about 10 minutes to find their offensive bearings.

That played a role in the final outcome, a 63-49 victory for White Oak, although Carthage trailed by just three points at the end of the third quarter.

"The thing that we look for this time of year as we prepare for district is we need to play some good, athletic teams," Roughnecks head coach Ron Boyett said. "Teams that are a little bit bigger than us. We don't have the greatest size and we need to play against it. The only way you do is to get out there and do it."

White Oak (15-6) got it done with a sustained effort and red hot shooting.

Boyett's squad hit two 3-pointers in the midst of an 11-2 opening run. The Bulldogs (10-6) were held to no points from the field en route to an 11-5 deficit after eight minutes.

Shots from behind the arc kept coming. The Roughnecks connected on 14 treys through the game.

White Oak sophomore guard Justin Benson led the way with five made 3-point shots for his team-best 15 points in the game. Slaton Teague scored nine points on long-range shots. Dax Davis, Jake Pullen and Landry Sheridan each scored two 3-point baskets apiece.

"It certainly adds an offensive flavor to the squad," Benson said. "Especially whenever you can hit it and they have so much force to go up on the boards."

Carthage finished the game with 13 defensive rebounds, boxed out well enough to get four possessions on missed White Oak shots out of bounds and cleanly blocked three more attempts.

On the defensive side, the Roughnecks limited damage to the two big men in the starting lineup. Trevin Bishop led all scorers with 19 points and Roderic Calloway scored 16 for the Bulldogs.

The remaining Carthage starting lineup chipped in nine points. Its bench contributed five points.

"Once your mind is in the game defensively, you tend to handle the ball better and shoot the ball better," Boyett said. "It just helps your overall game. That's something you can do all the time. We did it better tonight than we have other times. We've had some ups and downs, but I thought we were very determined to play better. It starts from the defensive effort and then carries onto everything else. I was pleased with our effort."

Pullen recorded seven steals and three defensive boards to lead White Oak with 10 takeaways.

Carthage strung together some impressive runs of its own.

Trailing 14-5 after an opening trey from Pullen to start the second quarter, the Bulldogs used a 7-0 run to draw within 14-12 midway through the period and faced a halftime deficit of just 24-21.

The three-point margin held through the end of the third quarter thanks to seven points from Bishop, three from Calloway and two from Tre Gatlin to counter four White Oak 3-point shots in the frame.

But the Roughnecks had five more made shots from beyond the arc left in them and outscored Carthage, 27-16, in the fourth quarter.

"We've got some kids that are capable of making shots," Boyett said. "We've been spotty at times. Part of that is just we have a lot of new players getting used to each other. We're getting there. Again, I think our mindset was right. We've got a lot of kids capable of making shots and the game is always easier when the ball goes in the basket."

Carthage will host Waskom on Friday.

White Oak will play the big school role at 7:30 p.m. Friday on their home court against an always athletic Class 2A Tenaha team.

"We just need to keep building," Boyett said. "That's the thing that you want to do this time of the year. All of this is preparation. We've got a plan in place and we're just trying to see how it goes."

White Oak 63, Carthage 49

At White Oak High School, White Oak

Carthage                      5      16     12    16   --   49
White Oak                    11    13     12    27   --   63

Carthage -- Trevin Bishop 19; Roderic Calloway 16; Jarrod McLin 6; Kirston Ingram 3; Chandler Gillis 3; Tre Gatlin 2.
White Oak -- Justin Benson 15; Dax Davis 13, Jake Pullen 9; Slaton Teague 9; Landry Sheridan 8; Nike Simmons 7; Taylor Meaux 2.
THREE-POINT GOALS -- Carthage: Bishop, Gillis. White Oak: Benson (5), Teague (3), Davis (2), Sheridan (2), Pullen (2).