WHITEHOUSE — Jacksonville started the game strong and Whitehouse finished up in the same fashion.
The Wildcats rallied in the final 3:13 of the contest to defeat the Indians, 56-49, at C.L. Nix Wildcat Arena on Tuesday night
Jacksonville (9-13, 0-4) led the entire game until Cooper Clemons sank a pair of free throws with 3:13 to go in regulation that gave the Wildcats (1-3 in 16-5A) a 47-46 lead. Whitehouse was able to hold on to that advantage the rest of the way to record their first conference win.
Clemons' free throws were a part of a timely 7-0 run that concluded at the 1:55 mark of the fourth quarter with the home team ahead, 50-46.
Jacksonville led 15-7 at the end of one period of play and 23-17 at halftime.
After each team added 16 points to their totals in the third stanza, Whitehouse went wild in the fourth quarter by outscoring the Indians 23-10.
The Wildcat defense, which Jacksonville head boys basketball coach Mark Alexander had high praise for, did its job in the end by holding the Indians to just two field goals in the last 4:00 of play.
Free throws factored heavily into the outcome, with the Wildcats hitting on 17 of 30 (56.7-percent) of their tries, while the Indians went 12 of 14 (85.7-percent) from the charity line.
Whitehouse scored 10 of its fourth quarter points from the line, with the Indians draining five free throws in the last segment.
Sophomore Vito High pumped in a game-high 24 points to lead Jacksonville in scoring.
Desmond Fuller finished up with nine points, followed by JaModerick Sherfield with five.
Clemons was the high point man for the Wildcats, scoring 17.
Jacksonville will be back home on Friday hosting Pine Tree at 7:30 p.m. Pine Tree collected its first conference win on Tuesday by upsetting Lufkin, 54-51, in Longview.