HHS sophomore guard Jordan Arthur makes a move to the basket during the first quarter of the Tigers' district tournament game against Thayer Monday in Houston's New Gym. Credit: DOUG DAVISON | HOUSTON HERALD

With only a few chances left to win a game in the 2022-2023 season, the Houston High School boys basketball team got the job done with a 66-62 victory in a nonconference matchup last Thursday at Dora.

“I’m really proud of my guys,” said HHS head coach Jim Moore. “They deserved the win and found a way to get it done. Watching them celebrate after the game is a memory I will never forget.”

The contest was highlighted by several momentum shifts, as one team would make a scoring run and the other would answer with its own run.

The Tigers had three players score in double figures in the game. Sophomore guard Jordan Arthur led the way with a career-high 25 points, while junior forward Stone Jackson nailed six 3-pointers (including five in the first half) and finished with a career-high 18 points and sophomore forward Brady Brookshire added 16 (including 12 in the second half). 

Junior Brayden York led Dora in scoring with 18 points, while junior Easton Carter knocked down a 3-pointer in each quarter and finished with 12.

After struggling at the free throw line in most outings this season, Houston sank 22-of-28 attempts from the stripe, with Arthur going 10-for-11.

HHS sophomore forward Brady Brookshire puts up for a shot during the Tigers’ district tournament game against Thayer.

“We rotated well in our defense and rebounded well,” Moore said. “We needed every bit of this performance, because Dora played really well, too.

“It was a fun high school basketball game from two teams that could have easily packed it in for the season but instead chose to do the exact opposite and compete their tails off.”

The following night, the Tigers traveled to Willow Springs for their final South Central Association conference game of the season and were defeated 64-31.

Houston was outscored 17-2 in the first quarter and never recovered.

Arthur scored 12 points to lead the Tigers’ offense, while senior forward Harold Lassiter had 8 and Jackson added 7.

Freshman Kolby James led the host Bears in scoring with 18 points while senior Matt Miller sank four treys and finished with 12.

HHS freshman guard DJ Riley puts up a high-arching shot over 6-6 Thayer sophomore Devin Harrington during the third quarter of the Tigers’ district tournament loss Monday in Houston’s New Gym.

The Tigers wrapped up the season on Monday of this week with a contest against Thayer in a first round matchup in the Missouri State High School Activities Association Class 3 District 10 tournament in Houston’s New Gym. Seeded seventh in the 7-team field, the host Tigers lost to the No. 2 Bobcats, 86-40.

Freshman guard DJ Riley sank three 3-pointers and scored 11 points for Houston, while Jackson hit a pair of treys and added 9.

Thayer was led in scoring by 6-3 junior forward Aiden Burns, who drilled three 3-pointers in the third quarter, slashed and drove for eight 2-point field goals and went 3-for-3 at the foul line. The Bobcats (No. 2 in the latest Class 3 state rankings) had three other players score in double-figures, led by 6-6 sophomore Devin Harrington with 19 points.

The Tigers finished the season with an overall record of 1-22 and went 0-7 in SCA play.

“It was a challenging season,” Moore said. “We knew coming in we were going to be young and inexperienced, and we experienced some growing pains for sure. With that being said, I couldn’t be more proud of my guys. Through a season filled with adversity, they continued to show up and work hard day in and day out.”

The Tigers had only two seniors and one junior on the roster this season. Everyone else was an underclassman, meaning several got unanticipated – and very valuable – varsity minutes under their belt.

“Despite only winning one game, these guys remained extremely fun to coach and work with because they never quit,” Moore said. “Our practices these past two weeks were just as intense, if not more intense, than they were at the beginning of the season. That’s a testament to our character, leadership and perseverance to get better every day. We did that. It may not have shown on the scoreboard, but true fans that followed us all year have seen the growth and improvement, especially the past few weeks of season.” 

The two seniors were Lassiter and forward Sammy Nance.

“We will miss them,” Moore said. “Sammy is a team favorite. He is a great teammate, he worked hard and he had a great attitude. 

“Not enough can be said about the growth and development of Harold as a basketball player. He worked on his game and improved every year through our system. He became a force this year that other teams had to game plan against. 

While being double-teamed by Thayer freshmen Riley White (10) and Heath Combs, HHS senior Harold Lassiter dribbles near the 3-point arc during the fourth quarter of the Tigers’ district tournament loss Monday in Houston’s New Gym.

“As for all of our other players, we look forward to the challenge to continue to improve in the offseason and take a huge step forward. Unlike this year, we will have a large amount of experience returning and we believe that will translate right away the next time we take the court. It’s going to be a big offseason for us and we are going to dedicate ourselves in the weight room and in the gym to be a very competitive team next season.”

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Doug Davison

Doug Davison is a writer, photographer and newsroom assistant for the Houston Herald. Contact him by phone at 417-967-2000 or by email at ddavison@houstonherald.com.

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