WHITEHOUSE -- With the way Tuesday night's game began, it appeared Whitehouse would have little trouble rebounding from an overtime loss in its District 16-4A opener.

John Tyler had other ideas, overcoming a 17-point first quarter deficit before the Wildcats were able to put away their rival for a 68-60 victory in front of a raucous crowd at Wildcat Arena.

With the win, Whitehouse (17-5, 1-1) was able to avoid an 0-2 start to the 16-4A campaign after suffering a 60-58 defeat at Corsicana last Friday.

John Tyler's Keaunte Humber (left) heads for the basket while being defended by Whitehouse's Spencer Shaw during their game Tuesday night in Whitehouse. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

"This is kinda the atmosphere you want to play in and you want to coach in front of," said Whitehouse coach Brent Kelley. "It's a big rivalry and it was a big win. We couldn't afford to go 0-2. If we win out, we control our own destiny. I told them that if we go 0-2, we won't; we'd have to have some other (teams) beat some (teams). Our backs were against the wall and our kids played like that."

Patrick Mahomes led Whitehouse with 24 points to go with 11 rebounds, three steals, two assists and one blocked shot. Jake Parker added 14 points, 12 boards, four steals and two assists, while Spencer Shaw finished with 13 points.

John Tyler was led in defeat by Keaunte Humber, who had 14 points and seven rebounds. Isaac Warren added 12 points and Rodney Bendy registered a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds to go along with three steals.

Whitehouse completely dominated the action early, taking an 18-1 lead into the second quarter. But John Tyler (9-8, 1-1) had cut the deficit to four points by halftime, took its first lead late in the third quarter and held a 52-48 advantage with five minutes remaining in the fourth.

Whitehouse's Jaylon Dews and John Tyler's Ken'Darrian Johnson battle down the court during their game Tuesday night in Whitehouse. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Brady Hill assisted on a Shaw basket before Mahomes spotted Hill underneath the basket to tie the game a 52-52 with 4:35 remaining. Parker then picked up a steal and drove the lane for the go-ahead layup with 3:52 to go.

Jordan Caldwell's bucket at the other end tied the game at 54-54, but Whitehouse took control from there.

Jaylon Dews passed to Shaw, who drilled a 3-pointer for a 57-54 lead with 3:09 remaining. More than a minute later, Shaw passd to Mahomes, who drilled a 3-pointer from the top of the key while being fouled to work the Whitehouse crowd into a frenzy.

"(Mahomes) hadn't shot the ball well from outside the whole game and we were kinda due one," Kelley said. "When it left (his hand), you just kinda had the feeling it was going in. For some reason, that's what I thought when it left."

Mahomes hit the free throw to extend the Wildcats' lead to 61-54 with 1:54 to play.

John Tyler trimmed the lead to 63-58 with 33 seconds remaining, but Whitehouse sealed the game by hitting 5-of-6 free-throws in the closing seconds.

John Tyler's Isaac Warren passes the ball to a teammate during the Lions' game at Whitehouse on Tuesday night. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

All eight of Shaw's second-half points came in the fourth quarter, in which Whitehouse outscored John Tyler 24-16.

"(Shaw) was battling some sickness last week," Kelley said. "Yesterday was really the first day he's looked like his normal self. And those buckets were big for us; he did a good job."

Whitehouse scored the game's first 17 points, thanks in part to 3-pointers from Shaw and Parker and an attacking offense that yielded 14 first-quarter free-throw attempts, including eight from Mahomes.

"It was about as perfect a quarter as you can play in the first quarter," Kelley said. "We stuck to our game plan, forced them to shoot jump shots and were rebounding the ball and executing on offense. We knew (John Tyler) would make a run like all good teams do."

John Tyler began the second quarter on a 19-5 run to trim Whitehouse's lead to 23-20 with just less than three minutes remaining in the half. A basket from J'Khari Lewis cut the John Tyler deficit to 28-26 before Mahomes sank two free throws late in the period to send Whitehouse into halftime with a 30-26 lead.

Whitehouse's Jake Parker (right) is defended by John Tyler's Tavian Teal during their game Tuesday night in Whitehouse. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

"We just talked about how it was two totally different quarters (at halftime)," Kelley said. "We stuck to our game plan and played disciplined basketball the first quarter, and in the second quarter we threw it away in the press, didn't rebound and we took bad shots. When you do that, John Tyler gets up and down the floor and they scored 25 points in the second quarter."

Whitehouse stretched its lead to 40-34 midway through the third, but John Tyler went on an 8-0 run and took its first lead of the night -- 42-40 -- on Tavian Teal's runner underneath the basket with 1:14 remaining in the quarter.

Caldwell's jumper gave the Lions a 44-42 lead with less than a minute remaining in the third, but Mahomes' 35-foot alley-oop pass to Isaiah Clark tied the game at 44-44 as time expired in the period.

John Tyler built a 52-48 lead with 5:20 remaining in the fourth when Caldwell stepped in front of a Whitehouse pass and found a streaking Humber underneath the basket. But Whitehouse closed the game on a 20-8 run to come away with the win.

Whitehouse's season resumes Friday at Lindale, while John Tyler faces Corsicana at home also on Friday.

Whitehouse's Jake Parker passes to a teammate during the Wildcats' 68-60 win over John Tyler on Tuesday night in Whitehouse. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Whitehouse 68, John Tyler 60

District 16-4A Boys Basketball

At Wildcat Arena, Whitehouse

John Tyler              1   25   18   16   --   60
Whitehouse          18   12   14   24   --   68
JOHN TYLER (9-8, 1-1) -- Keaunte Humber, 14; Isaac Warren, 12; Rodney Bendy, 11; Jordan Caldwell, 8; Tavian Teal, 5; Darren Farmer, 3; Kevron Jackson, 3; Ken'Darrian Johnson, 2; J'Khari Lewis, 2.
WHITEHOUSE (17-5, 1-1) -- Patrick Mahomes, 24; Jake Parker, 14; Spencer Shaw, 13; Jaylon Dews, 9; Isaiah Clark, 3; Devon Miles, 3; Brady HIll, 2.
THREE-POINT GOALS -- John Tyler: Teal. Whitehouse: Shaw (2), Mahomes, Miles, Parker.