Home court hasn't been to Texas High's advantage this season.
All three District 15-5A Tiger losses, including Friday's 79-72 double-overtime decision to Hallsville, have come at Tiger Center. Texas High (13-8, 6-3) is unbeaten on the road in league play, including a 10-point win over Hallsville in the first round of play.
The Tigers had chances to win with final possessions in regulation and the first overtime, but couldn't take advantage, and the Bobcats (18-7, 7-2) won the second OT, 14-7, to take over sole possession of second place in 15-5A.
"It seems like they hit their free throws down the stretch and we didn't," said THS coach Keith Jones. "We got in foul trouble, and we didn't get the shot we wanted at the end of the first overtime."
Leading 64-63 in the first extra period, Vonderic Stanley wrestled the ball away from a Hallville player, but missed a contested layup. However, Jaylen Rhone grabbed the rebound and dished to Quan Hampton, who was fouled with 57.8 seconds remaining.
Hampton made one of two free throws, and Hallsville's Ryan Cole knotted the game with two foul shots seconds later.
A full-court pass was intercepted by JaNiro Lane, giving the Tigers the final shot. THS called timeout to set up a final play, but it never materialized.
Guard Nolan Johnson scored six of his game-high 25 points in the second overtime, helping the Bobcats build a 6-point lead. Rhone, who led Texas High with 24 points, cut that in half with a 3-pointer, then immediately stole the ball. But his game-tying attempt from beyond the arc fell short, and Hallsville pulled away with free throws and a couple of circus layups over Tiger defenders by Johnson and Johnathan Mitchell.
Texas High's only lead in the first half came on Rhone's layup that broke the scoring ice. But Hallsville scored the next 10 points to lead 29-24 at halftime.
Rhone scored seven points in the third quarter, which ended in a 40-all tie. Three-pointers by Jacoryn Larry and Lavon Brown, the latter with five seconds left, wiped out a 6-point Hallsville lead.
The Tigers led on several occasions in the final quarter, but never by more than three points. Texas High was whistled for 25 fouls, resulting in as many points by Hallsville. Texas High was 11 of 18 from the foul line.
Mitchell, a 6-3 senior, added 16 points and 10 rebounds for Hallsville, while 6-7 junior also had a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds. Leading scorer Blaine Parker was held scoreless in the first half, finishing with 11. The Bobcats outrebounded the Tigers, 37-25.
Brown, who fouled out in the second overtime, and Larry added 12 points each and Hampton 10 for the Tigers. Rhone and Larry led the rebounding with eight each.
"We were shorthanded tonight (Dominic Hooper missed the game with illness), but the kids played their butts off," Jones said. "It just wasn't quite enough."
Texas High won both sub-varsity games. Elias Thurman had 14 points and Jaquelan Brown 12 in the junior varsity's 69-48 victory. In the 65-27 ninth-grade rout, Cole Drumm had 15 points, Jacoby Johnson 13 and Chris Lyles 11.
Hallsville 16 13 11 19 6 14 — 79
Texas High 9 15 16 19 6 7 — 72
HALLSVILLE (79): Johnson 9 7-11 25, Timberlake 1 2-2 5, Cole 3 3-4 9, Parker 3 4-6 11, Mitchell 6 4-6 16, Mowery 0 2-2-2, Lasseter 4 3-4 11, TOTALS 26 25-35 79.
THS (72): Rhone 10 1-2 24, Stanley 2 2-2 7, Brown 3 5-6 12, Hampton 3 2-4 10, Reid 2 0-0 5, Larry 5 1-4 12, Lane 1 0-0 2, TOTALS 26 11-18 72.