The Kingwood Mustangs tied a bow on the first round of District 22-6A play on Friday with a convincing 54-34 victory over Sam Rayburn at home.
Tommy Newman poured in 18 points and Walker Blaine added 13 more as the Mustangs kept pace with the top teams in the district, finishing the first round with a 6-2 district mark and a 16-8 record overall.
Overcoming a slow start, the Mustangs rallied from a 17-11 first-quarter deficit to take a 20-19 lead at halftime by holding the visiting Texans to just two points in the period. That momentum carried over into the second half, where Kingwood rolled to a 34-15 advantage and won the game going away.
Nick Neuman opened the second half with a field goal and the floodgates opened for Kingwood. Chris Mullins later hit a three-pointer and Kade Janikula added a pair of free throws to give the Mustangs their first double-digit lead, 35-25.
Billy Gould added seven points in the victory.
Kingwood dropped a heartbreaker, 45-42, to No. 8 state-ranked Atascocita on the road earlier in the week.
Nick Luckett scored 12 points on four three-pointers and Kingwood led 37-31 on the strength of two Newman field goals, but the Eagles finished the game with a 14-5 run to win it.
Kingwood begins the final round of district play in third place in the District 22-6A standings behind state-ranked Summer Creek (8-0) and Atascocita (7-1).
The Mustangs are back in action on Tuesday at South Houston before hosting Pasadena Memorial on Friday. Both league games tip off at 7 p.m.