The Van Alstyne Panthers never believed early-season predictions that they were a third place team, and disproved that theory Tuesday night with a 64-49 win at Lone Oak.


The win, Van Alstyne’s 21st of the season, and 11th District 10-3A victory, gives the Panthers a share of the league title.


Van Alstyne rode the continued hot offensive performance of senior Michael Hensley Jr., and a stingy defense to the win. Hensley scored in every quarter and finished with 25 points for the night. Junior Noah Boling added 18, also scoring in every frame, and he had three 3-pointers in the contest.


The Panther defense held the Buffaloes to single digit scoring in the first two quarters, building up a 30-18 halftime lead, then coasted home with the win.


Sophomore Tyler Sperry was in double-digits, scoring 10 points, nine of those coming from beyond the arc.


Senior Mike McCullough drained a fourth-quarter 3-ball, part of a 19-point run by the Panthers to close out the game.


If Commerce wins over Howe, the two teams have the choice of a coin flip or a play in game for seeding purposes.


Coach Russell Best said Friday that the play in game would be his preference.


Keep up with the Van Alstyne Leader on Twitter @valeadersports for those details.