Kyle Gamble

Kyle Gamble looks to pass the ball for Whitesboro. The Bearcats took down Gainesville at home Tuesday.

Gainesville won the opening tip, but Whitesboro dominated the rest of the night.

The Bearcats boys’ basketball team took down Gainesville 62-42 Tuesday night in the Whitesboro Bearcat Gym.

Whitesboro (1-2) played without most of the players the Bearcats expect to make up the varsity team for most of the year. With the Whitesboro football team still playing, those players remain unavailable on the court.

Gainesville (2-5) never led as the Leopards had no answer for the Bearcats’ offense.

Whitesboro coach Toby Sluder said his young team played savvy basketball.

“Took care of the ball,” Sluder said. “Shoot the ball a little bit, starting to learn how to play some basketball.”

The Bearcats wasted little time taking control of the game. Kason Williams opened the scoring with a three-pointer, the first bucket of a 7-0 Whitesboro run. Nikolas McBath got the Leopards on the board, starting a 6-2 Gainesville run, but Whitesboro followed with a 9-0 run.

The Leopards struggled to have any kind of sustained run until the fourth quarter. Gainesville capitalized on Whitesboro turnovers to open the quarter with a 7-0 run, but the Bearcats settled in and controlled the rest of the game to see out the win.

Sluder said the Bearcats played well defensively, though they have some things to work on.

“We did a good job stopping penetration with a trap,” Sluder said. “But then we weren’t digging down on the back side, giving up a little back door pass or something like that a few times. That, and they had way too many offensive rebounds, second-, third-chance points.”

Whitesboro’s Max Hinsley led all scorers with 19 points. Jacob Knight followed with 15, Williams had 14 and Kyle Gamble had 14.

Derrick Massey and Cason Evans led Gainesville with 9 each, followed by Yonas Franklin with 8.

Sluder said several young players performed well, taking care of the ball and moving it well.

“(Knight is) a freshman, (Hinsley is) a freshman, (Dax Martin is) a freshman,” Sluder said. “He came up and gave some big minutes. (Williams) can handle the ball, can shoot the ball. (Gamble) does his job inside, great team player.”

Sluder said he expects two or three of these players to remain varsity once the football players who also play basketball become available. In the meantime, he said being able to beat a 4A varsity team by 20 shows his program’s depth.

“I think we have a lot of depth,” Sluder said. “That’s what helps you down the line in close games, in playoff games, and so forth.”

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