Lucas Kelley and Keegan Spurlin led a balanced attack with 12 points apiece as the Houston Tigers beat Gainesville 56-53 Saturday night in the third-place game of the Mansfield Invitational.
Not bad for an HHS team (2-4) that entered the tournament winless and ranked seventh among eight teams.
“This should be a big confidence booster for this group,” first-year Tigers coach Robert James said. “We have a lot of room for improvement. Overall, I think we are headed in the right direction.”
Kobe Sutton, who was named to the all-tournament team, had 10 points. Nathan Poynter scored nine, Dylan Coulter added seven and Skylur Malam had six.
“I thought we played as good of team basketball as we have all year,” James said. “We had balanced scoring and showed improvement in our ability to run an offense until someone gets a good look.”
James praised the defensive effort of Spurlin. He also said his team is developing toughness after playing for the third time in five days.
“We are not very deep,” James said. “Each guy logs a lot of minutes, and I think they still had some energy left after the game.”
Houston 13 18 10 15 – 56
Gainesville 15 12 8 18 – 53
HOUSTON (56) – Nathan Poynter 9. Dylan Coulter 7. Lucas Kelley 12. Kobe Sutton 10. Skylur Malam 6. Keegan Spurlin 12. FG 20. FT 13-18. F 13. (3-pointers: Sutton 2, Poynter. Fouled out: none).