WHITEHOUSE -- Players lingered a little longer on the court Friday night.

Instead of retreating promptly to the locker room, they stayed. Hugged family and friends, posed for pictures. Whitehouse defeated Nacogdoches, 58-43, moments earlier to clinch the District 17-5A championship.

"This is something we can always look back on and say, 'Hey, we won a district championship,'" forward Jackson Mahomes said. "We're going to go to practice tomorrow, get another W (on) Tuesday against Jacksonville and we will be able to say we went 10-0 in district."

It was Senior Night, with players being honored before the game. Whitehouse has 11 seniors and they take up all but two roster spots on the varsity team. Mahomes led the group with 20 points, including nine rebounds. Kolby Jimmerson was the next senior in line with 10.

The Wildcats were in charge from the start, and led 17-7 after the first quarter. Tough defense forced the Dragons into only four second quarter points, and Whitehouse entered halftime with the game in hand, leading 32-11.

Mahomes, McKade Marquis and Javier Neal each had eight points at the end of the half. There didn't seem to be anything Whitehouse could do wrong.

"We played with great energy and effort on the defensive end in the first half," coach Brent Kelley said. "We also hit six 3s. If we're shooting the ball well and playing defense, we're gonna be tough to beat."

The Wildcats will take on Jacksonville at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in their final regular season matchup. They will get a chance to end the season with an unblemished record in district play.

Win or lose, Kelley just wants his seniors to know the mark they left on the program.

"This is a great group of kids," he said. "We set this goal from day one. We set this goal from day one that we wanted to be outright district champs. We shared it with Nacogdoches last year. They've been all in every day from (the start of the season) on. It was kind of fitting to end the night with everybody contributing. Now we can focus on the playoffs."

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