Justin Buchholz greets teammate Jesse Setters (21) with a chest bump prior to Tuesday's district opener against Willow Springs.

\The Houston Tigers got their revenge against Willow Springs in the sweetest fashion possible – the district tournament.

Just 11 days after an embarrassing 25-point loss to the Bears, Houston turned the tables Tuesday night with a hard-fought 49-46 victory Tuesday in the opening round of the Class 3 District 10 tournament.

The third-seeded Tigers face No. 2 Ava at 7:30 p.m. Thursday in the semifinals. Houston defeated Ava 50-44 on the road Feb. 17.

Houston led by three on Ty Scheets’ layin with 1:21 to go, then did enough to hold on. Travis Barker missed the front end of a 1-and-1 with 33 seconds left, and Steven Mallow scored on the next possession to cut the deficit to one. Kyle Poynter missed a free throw with 14.2 left to leave the door open for the sixth-seeded Bears, but they missed a point-blank layin with six seconds left.

Poynter grabbed the rebound and was fouled, but he again missed a free throw. Willow Springs advanced the ball to halfcourt before a foul forced the Bears to inbound the ball with 2 seconds to go. Poynter picked off the pass and knocked down two free throws to seal the victory.

Poynter led the Tigers with 15 points. Jesse Setters and Ty Scheets scored 10 points apiece.

Trailing 30-22 early in the third quarter, Houston rallied with a quick 11-0 spurt for its first lead since the end of the first quarter. Willow Springs retook the lead with a late 3-pointer, but Setters gave the advantage back to Houston with a buzzer-beating halfcourt heave that made it 36-35 at the end of the third quarter.

There were seven lead changes until Sheets’ basket with 4:08 to go that gave the Tigers the lead for good.

Box score

Willow Springs13 14 8 11 – 46

Houston 14 8 14 13 – 49

WILLOW SPRINGS -James 4 1-1 11. Harper 1 0-2 2. Hicks 1 0-0 2. Mallow 6 1-1 15. Braser 1 0-2 2. Cunningham 1 0-0 2. Hummell 3 3-5 7. Carter 1 1-2 3. Totals 18 5-11 46.

HOUSTON – Weybright 1 0-0 3. Buchholz 0 3-4 3. KyPoynter 5 4-7 15. Setters 4 0-0 10. Van Horn 1 0-0 2. Barker 3 0-1 6. TScheets 5 0-0 10. Totals 19 7-12 49.

3-pointers: Willow Springs 4 (James 2, Mallow 2); Houston 4 (Setters 2, Weybright, KyPoynter).

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