WHITEHOUSE -- John Tyler coach Cedeno Clark handed down an assignment to his senior guard Patrick Williams before Tuesday night's game against district rival Whitehouse.

And he followed through on his coach's directive.

Williams poured in a game-high 23 points to lead the Lions to a 67-53 road win over Whitehouse at Wildcat Arena, keeping John Tyler (14-4, 2-0) unbeaten in District 16-5A.

"I challenged him," Clark said of Williams, who also added eight rebounds on the night. "Last year during this time, I told him he didn't play well in this game, and I challenged him to come out and have a good game, and that's what he did."

Williams knocked down three of John Tyler's eight 3-point shots, while Christopher Lyles hit four 3's and finished with 14 points.

"A couple guys came out and got hot for us tonight," Clark said. "We're winning games, but we're still not playing our best basketball. Hopefully we can continue to just grind it out as we move forward."

Despite runs of 8-0 and 9-0 in the opening quarter, Whitehouse (15-6, 1-1) carried a 29-27 lead into halftime thanks to a hot-shooting second period.

But the Lions scored the first 12 points of the second half, which included a Williams 3 that gave JT a 39-29 lead three minutes into the third quarter. Whitehouse never got closer than seven points the rest of the way.

"Our game plan was to push the ball, keep it uptempo, share the ball and be unselfish," said John Tyler junior point guard Bryson Smith, who filled the stat sheet Tuesday night.

Smith, who stands just six-feet tall, finished with 10 points, eight rebounds, seven steals, six assists, and three blocks.

"He can be exactly what he wants to be, or any type of player he wants to be on the floor at any given time," Clark said of Smith. "I can't even express what he does on the floor."

Despite playing at a slight size disadvantage, John Tyler outrebounded Whitehouse, 33-24, for the game. It was key to the Lions outscoring Whitehouse, 40-24, after halftime.

"Even with us not being that big on the inside, we can continue to stress it day-in and day-out about the rebounding edge. If you win the rebounding battle you've got a chance to win the game. That was part of the reason why we were able to push the lead out on them."

Whitehouse was led in defeat by Javier Neal, who had 17 points, five rebounds, three steals, and two assists. Ryan Walls added 12 points -- all on 3-pointers, while McKade Marquis knocked down a trio of 3's to finish with nine points.

Each team continues its district season Friday night. John Tyler plays host to Corsicana, while Whitehouse travels to Lufkin.


John Tyler 67, Whitehouse 53

District 16-5A Boys Basketball
At Wildcat Arena, Whitehouse

John Tyler              18      9    21    19    --    67
Whitehouse            10    19    10    14    --    53
JOHN TYLER (14-4, 2-0) -- Patrick Williams, 23; Christopher Lyles, 14; Bryson Smith, 10; Gerald Berry, 9; Jacob Owens-Bush, 9; Carlin Gray, 2.
WHITEHOUSE (15-6, 1-1) -- Javier Neal, 17; Ryan Walls, 12; McKade Marquis, 9; Colby Duhon, 5; Justus Carnahan, 4; Trent Williams, 4; Isiah Clark, 2.
THREE-POINT GOALS -- John Tyler: Lyles (4), Williams (3), Berry. Whitehouse: Walls (4), Marquis (3), Duhon.