When does your team blow a 17-point lead and you’re pleased?

When your rebuilding program finally flashes its potential.

Houston coach Rod Gorman said he has been waiting for a performance like the Tigers put together Friday against Plato. HHS scored the first 11 points of the game and led 27-10 midway through the second quarter.

The advantage eventually disappeared as Plato rallied and pulled away for a 62-45 win Friday night inside Hiett Gymnasium. But Gorman was pleased.

“For the first time since I’ve been here, we played basketball at a high level,” he said. “We played a great 13 minutes. We showed what we can do.”

Now comes the ability to sustain it.

After falling behind by 17 points, Plato (7-1) went on a 48-9 run the put away the Tigers.

“What I preached to them in the locker room is that we don’t ever have three good practices in a row,” Gorman said. “When we get consistent in practice, we’ll be consistent in games.”

Senior Ty McCloud led HHS (2-4) with 16 points. Clayton Moore hit four 3-pointers and scored 14 points –– all in the first half.

Moore and Kyler Ramsey hit triples as the Tigers, who haven’t beaten Plato since 2007, scored the game’s first 11 points. The Eagles were held scoreless for more than five minutes after tipoff.

Ahead 15-7 after the first quarter, Houston extended the lead in the second. Michael Zamarron connected from downtown, Moore hit a jumper and McCloud converted a baseline drive to make it 27-10 just under four minutes before the half.

But Plato closed the game with a quick 10-0 rally and used a 17-3 edge in the third to take the lead.

Still, Gorman was focused on the positives for his program.

“I’m very encouraged about how we played. At the same time, we’ve got to get better,” he said. “We can be a team –– I’m not saying how good we can be –– but we can be a team people might not want to play.”

JUNIOR VARSITY: Nick Zamarron scored 11 points and Jaekan Moss had 10 as the JV Tigers rallied past Plato 42-39 Friday.

Sterling Jackson added nine points for Houston (3-4), which trailed 18-9 after the first quarter.

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