MISSOURI CITY – For the second consecutive season, the Wharton Runnin’ Tigers earned an opportunity to compete in the Class 4A playoffs through a one-game victory at the end of District 25-4A play.

A one-game “play-in” last year saw the Runnin’ Tigers defeat district foe Sealy by a narrow margin, 54-52 at Terry High School in Rosenberg. The victory gave WHS a fourth-place finish.

This year under second-year coach Calvin King, the Runnin’ Tigers accomplished the same feat, this time against another district opponent, the Brookshire Royal Falcons.

The teams beat each other once and when the tied at the end of the district schedule, they forced a “play-in.” The loser’s season was done.

The play-in game took place Friday, Feb. 21 at Fort Bend ISD’s Hopson Field House, but was not as close as last year’s as WHS won by a 68-50 margin.

The Runnin’ Tigers controlled the game from the start, once again using a tenacious defensive press to force Royal turnovers. By the end o the first quarter, WHS had a 15-7 lead thanks to Fred Jones’ two three-pointers. He had 8 points in the opening quarter, and would finish with 19 points – a team high. Teammates Joerell Davis haf 16 points and Eric Johnson 13 pints, respectively.

The Runnin’ Tigers earned six three-pointers and at the free-throw line were 14-of-22.

Royal’s Micah Glover had five treys, but he appeared to be the only threat to WHS. He scored 26 points.

The victory advances Wharton to the Class 4A bi-district round against Navasota.

The game will be played Tuesday, Feb. 25 at Bridgeland Stadium in Cypress. Tip-of is 7  p.m.

Navasota will be the home team and Wharton the visiting team.

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