DENTON — Whitesboro’s Ryan Schuessler kept his cool as his team set up the fullcourt press with 12 seconds left until what seemed would be a second overtime.

DENTON — Whitesboro’s Ryan Schuessler kept his cool as his team set up the fullcourt press with 12 seconds left until what seemed would be a second overtime.


Then the junior made possibly the biggest play of the night.


After the Bearcats overcame an early 10-point deficit to force overtime, Schuessler tipped away a crossover for a steal and finished a tough layup with six seconds remaining to give Whitesboro a 62-60 win against Peaster in a Class 2A Region II area-round matchup on Friday at Denton Ryan.


"I knew Collin (Kilcrease) had him on the right, so I knew he was going to have to do something to get to his left hand," Schuessler said. "I was just really hoping he’d crossover, so I put my hand there and it kind of hit it and I got around and happened to finish."


Whitesboro (28-3) avenged its 49-46 area-round loss against Peaster (22-9) from last spring. After dropping a game-high 25 points to return the favor Friday, Schuessler said vengeance was sweet.


"It felt so good," said Scheussler, who added four re-bounds, three assists and four steals.


Whitesboro advanced to the regional quarterfinals to play Brock this week.


Both teams traded 3-pointers to open the extra period before Schuessler converted a steal into a layup, followed by three consecutive points by Peaster’s Ty Ballard. Whitesboro’s Wiley Walsh, who finished with 11 points ad six rebounds, putback his own miss in the final minute and Peaster’s Colten Wright netted a free throw to tie the game at 60-60 with 30 seconds left to play.


Peaster called a timeout after a loose ball went out of bounds off a Whitesboro defender and the Bearcats came out in a fullcourt defense. Whitesboro head coach Toby Sluder said he was busy shouting instructions to his team and didn’t actually see Schuessler’s steal.


"The play before (Schuessler’s basket), I actually didn’t even see," Sluder said. "I was making sure we were getting back on defense because I didn’t want to give up anything long. I saw him score, but not the steal."


Sluder said it was the biggest win in his four-year tenure.


"We have good kids that work hard and that was the toughest game we’ve played since I’ve been here," Sluder said. "Probably the most important too."


Nothing seemed to go the Bearcats’ way after losing the opening tip. Whitesboro made just 2-of-13 shots in the first quarter and Peaster drilled three 3-pointers to take an early 15-6 advantage.


Peaster jumped out to a double-digit lead midway through the second quarter before Whitesboro went on a 12-1 run. Bearcat junior Kaden Anderson threaded a pass to senior Stephen Hamon, who finished with 10 points and nine rebounds, for a bucket in the paint to for a 22-21 lead with 2:30 until halftime. Although the Greyhounds took a 24-22 advantage into the break, Sluder said getting back in the game took grit from the Bearcats.


"You don’t get it all back with one shot," Sluder said. "You just keep working, keep working, keep working. There’s no 10-point shots out there."


Schuessler scored seven consecutive points for a three-point lead late in the third, but Peaster’s Eric Siewart drilled a right-corner 3-pointer as time expired to tie the game at 36-36.


Both teams traded buckets in the final period until Hamon deflected a Peaster pass as time expired to force overtime.


Whitesboro finished 27-of-73 shooting from the field and drilled four combined 3-pointers in the fourth quarter and overtime.


"We were just looking for anything we could get and we happened to knock them down," Shuessler said. "We moved the ball and got some open looks. Hayden had some big 3s to open the floor, which helped out me and helped out everybody."


Wright led Peaster with 17 points, followed by Parker Grudt with 16 and Ballard with 13.