Twelve games, 12 wins for the undefeated Houston seventh grade boys’ basketball team.
The Tigers completed an undefeated season Saturday aternoon when they rallied from an early deficit to beat West Plains 32-29 in the championship game of the Cabool Tournament.
Houston coach Brent Hall said he is not aware of an undefeated junior high team since he played in 1988.
“This group adjusted to me well,” Hall said. “They have been playing together for a long time and it shows. I don’t deserve the credit for their success. They have had many other people and parents put in far more time than I have over the years and they are the ones responsible for their success up to this point.”
Weston Walker scored a team-high 12 points for Houston, which led 21-10 at the half and by 10 points entering the fourth quarter. Drake Bell added eight points, and Austin Bathon and Jessie Martin scored six points apiece.
Houston (12-0) trailed 5-0 in the opening minutes of the game. But an 8-0 run gave them an advantage they wouldn’t relinquish.
“We came out and played one of our best halves of the season,” Hall said. “We were lucky that we played such a strong first half because we had a big enough cushion that time eventually ran out and we held on.”
The Tigers advanced to the championship game when Bathon drilled a 10-foot jumper as time expired Thursday as Houston slipped past Salem 31-29.
Walker scored 12 points and Bathon added 11 for Houston.
“Some night you don’t play well and this was one of those nights,” Hall said. “Good teams find ways to win these type of games and we did that. Sometimes it takes a bit of luck along the way.”
The final two games were the closest calls of the season for the Tigers, who previously defeated West Plains 37-30 and won at Salem 36-31. Houston won its 12 games by an average of 14.0 points, highlighted by a 40-9 drubbing of Mountain Grove in the tournament opener.
The Tigers won eight of their games by double digits and six by more than 15 points.
Houston 8 13 7 4 – 32
West Plains 5 5 8 11 – 29
HOUSTON (12-0) – Weston Walker 4 4-6 12. Austin Bathon 3 0-0 6. Drake Bell 4 0-0 8. Jesse Martin 3 0-0 6