The Houston Middle School boys basketball teams have began their seasons with several games over a two-week stretch.

The seventh and eighth-grade Tiger squads hosted three opponents last week, facing Cabool on Monday, Liberty on Tuesday and Salem on Thursday. Both squads also played twice the previous week in the West Plains Tournament.

Against Cabool, Houston’s eighth-graders fell 35-30. The Tigers outscored the Bulldogs 14-4 in the fourth quarter, but by then it was too late.

John Kimrey poured in 19 points for Houston, while Garrett Bieller had 5.

The Tiger seventh-graders routed Cabool 36-9. Jordan Arthur led Houston in scoring with 15 points, while Caden Root had 9. The victory put the Tigers’ record at 3-0 after two wins in the West Plains Tournament.

The next day, Houston’s seventh-graders absorbed their first loss of the season, falling 53-11 to a tall, athletic Liberty team. Root led Tiger scorers with 8 points. Liberty led 34-7 at halftime.

Houston’s eighth-grade squad also lost to Liberty, 63-33. Brady Brookshire led the Tigers with 16 points in the loss, while Bieller, Kayden Crawford and Stone Jackson each had 4.

Liberty led 26-7 after the first quarter and never looked back.

Both Houston teams picked up wins over Salem, with the seventh-graders prevailing 33-22 and the eighth-graders posting their first win of the season, 48-39.

In raising their season record to 4-1, the seventh-graders were led in scoring by Root with 16 points, while Arthur had 6 and Brody Adkison added 4.

As Houston’s eighth-graders finally got into the win column, Kimrey again led the way in scoring with 22 points, while Aiden Kelly had 9, Brookshire had 8 and Bieller added 6.

HMS head coach Jake Brookshire said the eighth-grade squad is improving with each game.

“We struggled early, but played much better against Cabool, Liberty and Salem,” Brookshire said. “The kids are learning to play as a team, which is great to see. I believe we’ll keep getting better as the season goes on.”

Brookshire said the seventh-graders are performing well in spite of being short-handed.

“We’re few in numbers, but have seven kids who are working very hard,” he said. “They’re learning the game and having fun.”

In the West Plains Tournament, Houston’s eighth-graders fell 37-8 against Fairview in their first game in the event. The Tigers led 5-4 after the first quarter, but then added 3 points in the second quarter before being held scoreless in the second half.

Brookshire and Kimrey each scored 4 points for Houston in the loss.

Against host West Plains, the Tigers trailed 10-2 after the first quarter and ended up losing 40-12. Kimrey scored 5 points for Houston, while Crawford had 3.

The Tiger seventh-graders began their hot start to the season by beating Fairview 29-22 in the tournament. Root scored 15 points in the victory, while Arthur added 10.

Houston then defeated host West Plains 29-25. The Tigers trailed 8-1 after the first quarter, but outscored the Zizzers 14-4 in the fourth period to secure the win. Dylan Dzurick led Houston’s balanced scoring in the contest with 9 points, while Arthur and Root had 6 apiece and John Jordan and Nick Dennis each added 4.

The two HMS teams hit the road for games on Monday of this week at Mountain Grove and on Tuesday of next week at Ava.

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