Red Oak made it a ballgame Wednesday night in Midlothian, but could not find a way to top the Panthers down the stretch.
Midlothian led 31-26 at the half and 47-38 after three quarters before being outscored by the visiting Hawks 19-16 in the fourth quarter.
The 63-57 win, which was the third-straight district win for the Panthers, moved No. 11 Midlothian to 18-7 on the season and 4-2 in District 10-5A. Red Oak fell to 15-9 on the year and 2-4 in district play with the loss.
Midlothian head boys' basketball coach Steven Middleton tipped his cap to the Hawks after the game.
“Red Oak gave us a run for our money all night long. They played one whale of a basketball game tonight. We were fortunate to get away with this win," Middleton said. "I thought it was a struggle all night. We got up 10 (points) in the second half and had a chance to put the game away. They are better, I think, than what my kids thought they were going to be. And they competed at a really high level. It took everything we had got to pull this out.”
Caleb Jordan led the Panthers with 19 points, while Kaden Archie scored 18, Swahn Gibson had 12, and Evan Marshall chipped in eight. Jon McDonald and Nyk Madison scored two points, each.
Red Oak was led in scoring by Marcus Sasser, who scored 11 of his team-high 17 points in the fourth quarter.
Keymond Taylor finished with 13 points, and Howard Turner had 10.
Emerson Wallace added eight more points, while Andrew Yuhanna had four, Rogers had three, and
“It was a tough battle. They have a pretty good team, one of the top teams in the state, but I’m proud of our boys," Red Oak head boys' basketball coach Jason Sasser said. "They fought, and now we need to get ready for next time. Our guys didn’t come out ready to play for some reason. We came out to slow, but we started playing defense, getting stops and started making shots. That’s how we got back into the game.”
Both teams pick back up in district play Friday, Jan. 19.
The Panthers return to action on the road against No. 14 Lancaster. The Tigers are coming off of an 11-point road loss to No. 1 Waxahachie.
Red Oak will look to bounce back into the win column against Mansfield Legacy.
Both games tipoff at 8 p.m.