Jacksonville and Whitehouse kept the 1,600 or so fans that filed into the JISD Gymnasium Friday night on the edge of their seats for most of the evening and absolutely gave fans their monies worth.
The Wildcats outscored the Tribe 14-10 in overtime to beat Jacksonville 71-67.
It was the Indians first lost in their new arena, which was previously known as the Lon Morris College-Smith Events Center.
With the win, Whitehouse (19-6, 4-1 in 16-4A) solidified its grasp on first place in the conference race, while dropping the Tribe (18-8, 3-2) to third place at the halfway point of the district schedule.
Jacksonville led by eight points, 50-42, with six and a half minutes to go in regulation and appeared to be on the way to victory.
But the Wildcats, who are coached by former Jacksonville mentor, Brent Kelley, refused to throw in the towel and went on an 8-0 run to pull to within two at the 4:44 mark of the fourth quarter.
“We start five seniors and they are veteran guys and they did what they had to do to get us the win.” Kelley said.
The game was tied at 57 at the end of regulation.
The Wildcats' Patrick Mahomes sank two free throws with 3:28 to go in overtime to put Whitehouse in front, 58-57, and the visitors never trailed the rest of the way.
The key turn of events in the bonus round came with Whitehouse leading, 61-59, with just under two minutes left.
Jacksonville lofted two shots back-to-back, a trey off the hand of Raybon Riden and a shot from point-blank range by Charles Kendrick, with both shots missing their intended mark.
Mahomes came down with the rebound and went on to score Whitehouse's next bucket with 1:20 left in the extended session that gave the Wildcats a six-point edge.
Riden led Jacksonville in scoring with 20 points, which included four shots from beyond the arc.
Next was Datavion Thacker with 11 and Kendrick who dropped in nine.
Mahomes led all players with 25 points and 13 rebounds.
Parker added 13 points and amassed 13 boards also.
Jacksonville is back at home Tuesday, hosting Lindale at 7:30 p.m.