The Howe Bulldogs could not overcome a 15-11 start by the Callisburg Wildcats, losing a District 11-2A road game, 40-37, on Jan. 7.
Howe (3-13)(1-3) chipped away steadily at that early lead, but could not make it back as Callisburg notched its first district win.
Easton Ross was on fire from the 3-point arc, burying six long-balls to lead the Howe offense. Brice Harvey added six points, three steals and 10 rebounds, but the Bulldogs were hurt by the absence of their big man in the middle, John Jacob Talley. The senior post was felled by the flu, hopefully to return by Friday when Howe hosts the 0-4 Bells Panthers.
Howe 11 9 7 10 — 37
Callisburg 15 8 6 11 — 40
Howe: Easton Ross 18, Brice Harvey 6, Griffin Underwood 4, Levi Mrozinski 3, Nick Wilson 2, Lloyd Spotts 2, Michael Kehrer 2.
Whitesboro 66, Howe 51
The Whitesboro Bearcats had too much height, too much speed and too many points in the first and third quarters as the district leaders beat the Bulldogs 66-51 at Howe on Jan. 3.
It could have been worse, much worse. Last season the Bearcats put a 50-point whipping on the Bulldogs.
Whitesboro, coming off a championship run in the Leonard Holiday Tournament, got off to an impressive start as it returned to district play.
A 16-6 run in the opening period, keyed by the play of Stephenn Hamon, who had nine points in the period, and a 23-12 blitz in the third quarter when Ryan Schuessler went off for 10 of his game-high 21 points, told the story of this one.
Howe made a valiant comeback effort in the fourth quarter, a testimony to their effort this season.
Sophomore guard Levi Mrozinski had his best scoring night of the year, pouring in 17 points for the game, 12 coming in that final period.
After Howe fell behind by 10 in the opening frame, Michael Kehrer came off the bench to score eight points in the second quarter as the Bulldogs battled evenly with the District 11-2A leaders and defending champions.
Whitesboro went on a scoring spree to open the second half as Hayden Nikirk found the range on a pair of 3-point shots. Nikirk finished with 16 points in the contest. Schuessler dropped in a 3-point shot and added eight points to a 16-0 run. A 3-pointer by Easton Ross stopped the bleeding and Howe outscored the visitors 10-7 over the final three minutes of the period.
Mrozinski found the range on a 15-foot jumper from the right side, then dropped in a floater as he drove the lane. John Jacob Talley connected on two from the free-throw line and Nick Wilson was all-net on a 3-pointer from the corner to close out the third period.
A Talley, 3-pointer opened the fourth quarter scoring and a Brice Harvey free throw and Wilson’s second, 3-ball of the night ended it. Everything else in the period came from the hot-shooting Mrozinski.
After dropping in a couple of baskets from the mid-range area, the sophomore made the old-school, 3-point play as he was fouled on a drive to the iron. Mrozinski finished his night’s work by making 5-of-6 from the free-throw line.
Sub-Varsity Boys Notes: Sam Akins scored 10 points and Brandon Wall and Brent Masters each added six in the Bulldog JV’s 40-29 loss to Whitesboro.
Whitesboro 16 15 23 12 — 66
Howe 6 13 13 19 — 51
H: Levi Mrozinski 17,John Jacob Talley 9, Michael Kehrer 8,Nick Wilson 6,Easton Ross 5, Griffin Underwood 3 Caleb Ake 2, Brice Harvey 1.
District 11-2A Boys Basketball Standings
Tom Bean 3-1