Tigers' season ends in district semis

The Houston Tigers’ district drought will last at least one more season.

Despite hanging tough with leading scorer Kyle Poynter hobbled by an ankle injury, the Tigers’ season came to an end Thursday night with a 45-40 loss to Ava in the semifinals of the Class 3 District 10 tournament.

Ava will face top-seeded Liberty, which downed Mountain Grove 70-60 in Thursday’s other semifinal, in Saturday’s title game.

Houston hasn’t won a district title since 1984.

The Tigers hung tough without the services of starting guard Ryan O’Neil, was was injured near the end of the season, and with Poynter struggling through maybe his toughest game of the year. Poynter rolled his ankle early in the game and managed as points (four) as fouls.

Beginning with a four-point play just six seconds into the game, Houston trailed the entire way until junior Jesse Setters buried a triple and Poynter scored in the post – his first and only field goal – to put the Tigers ahead 34-32 with 6:41 remaining.

Ava regained the advantage with a string of five consecutive points before Tyler DeWitt drained a triple from the left corner to make it 37-all. But Ava scored the next six points and Houston didn’t score again until Curry Van Horn’s 3-pointer with 9.6 seconds left.

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