A playoff spot had already been secured for the Midlothian Heritage Jaguar boys' basketball team before the Tuesday tip-off in Stephenville.
But, the win against the YellowJackets did move the Jaguars one win from clinching the District 8-4A championship.
Backed by Noah Parker's game-high 16 points and 14 more from Tristan Paschall, Heritage raced out ahead of Stephenville 20-8 in the first quarter of the 74-58 win.
Collin Valenta scored 10 points, while six other Jaguars helped fill the scorebook.
Kevin Luke finished the win with nine points. Reggie Adams scored eight points and Kerrion Fields added seven. Kaleb Neal (5), Quinton Joseph (4) and Braydon Bennett (1) rounded out the Heritage attack.
As a team, Heritage finished 23-of-33 at the free-throw line (70 percent).
The Jaguars, currently ranked No. 11 in the TABC 4A poll, are now 26-6 on the season and 9-0 overall. They have also won eight consecutive ballgames.
Heritage returns to action Friday, Feb. 2 at home against (10-20, 3-5) Glen Rose before finishing the regular season with back-to-back road games Feb. 6 and Feb. 13 against (9-23, 1-8) Venus and (11-17, 1-8) Alvarado.
All three games tip off at 7:30 p.m.
LAST TIME OUT
The Jaguars recorded one of their more impressive wins of the season last Friday, Jan. 26 when they handily defeated No. 13 Life Waxahachie in Midlothian, 75-57.
“We knew it was it was going to be a physical game. It is a dogfight every time we play those guys," Heritage head boys' basketball coach Andy Slye said. "We really came out and matched energy and aggressiveness defensively. But they are really good, and we had to match their aggressiveness and intensity.”
Slye added, “Looking at the score, I would never have thought that the win would have been that big. I would have expected a two, three-point game. I’m really proud of the way the guys came out and fought; I’m very proud of our team tonight.”
Vincent Lee led Heritage with a 17-point, 10-rebound double-double, while Fields added 17 points and Valenta had 10.
Fields just missed a triple-double, adding seven rebounds and eight assists to his stat line.
Adams (9), Paschall (8), Parker (6), Joseph (5), and Neal (3) also contributed in the scoring column during the 18-point win.
Justin Nimmer led Life Waxahachie with 17 points.
Mustang head boys' basketball coach Eddie Berumen said, “They came out swinging and we responded to everything. You cannot do that against a good team. We dug a hole with them having a 15 point lead. They constantly held 14, 17; back to 15 point leads. You cannot beat a good team like that. You dig a hole like that and expect to get out of it. You cannot come out not fighting against a really good team. They got every loose ball. They deserved to win.”
The Mustangs are currently 27-7 on the year and 7-2 in District 8-4A. Much like Heritage, Life Waxahachie is locked into the postseason with three games to play.
The Mustangs finish the season with road games against Godley (Feb. 2) and Stephenville (Feb. 9), and then at home Feb. 13 against Glen Rose.