Photo by Michael Morgan

The Wharton Runnin’ Tigers were back in action for the first time this year. Fred Jones (1) goes up for a layup and a score against the Sealy Tigers, Tuesday, Jan. 12.

The Wharton Runnin' Tigers opened up district play with a home win against the Sealy Tigers, 53-32, on Tuesday, Jan. 12. 

The Runnin' Tigers hadn't played a game in more than a month, and they only had a couple of practices under their belt before playing these other Tigers. However, there wasn't any rust as Wharton’s offense got to the rim, and the defense held Sealy to 10 points or fewer in all four quarters.

"I'm very pleased with how we performed in our game (against) Sealy," Wharton coach Calvin King said. " We're a little rusty shooting, but that was to be expected coming off such a long stretch of us not being allowed to play. However, our defense and press were just as dominant as they’ve been at any point this season. That’s really something we try and hang our hat on by being great defensively, and I was really happy to see we didn’t skip a beat in that area of our game."

Wharton senior point guard Fred Jones started the game hot scoring 11 of his game-high 15 points in the first quarter. It helped the Runnin’ Tigers jump out to a 17-10 lead. 

The Runnin' Tigers’ defense held Sealy to four made shots and 12 total points over the next two quarters. Wharton's offense continued to add offense as sophomore Raymond Hudson added six points. At the same time, the Wharton defense kept Sealy at bay. 

In the final quarter, Wharton got six points from senior Eric Johnson. The Runnin' Tigers added 17 points overall as they pulled away from the Tigers to grab the win. 

"This is a season unlike anyone has ever seen," King said. "These kids have been focused and resilient through school being virtual, games being canceled, and practice time lost due to COVID-19. We still have a lot of work to do, but our goals are just as high as they were when we started this season."

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