WHITESBORO — There are a lot of things you can call a team approaching 30 wins and less than a handful of losses. In even the rarest of circumstances you wouldn’t venture to label them underdogs.

WHITESBORO — There are a lot of things you can call a team approaching 30 wins and less than a handful of losses. In even the rarest of circumstances you wouldn’t venture to label them underdogs.


But that is the position Whitesboro finds itself in its latest playoff match-up against Brock. And the Bearcats are okay with that.


"It helps being the underdog sometimes. It’ll help push us some more," senior guard Clayton Stringer said. "I think that comes with the territory of Brock. They’ve always been so good for so long."


Whitesboro hasn’t been an also-ran these past few seasons but knows the competition is a step up as the Bearcats (28-3) face Brock (27-7) in a Class 2A Region II quarterfinal at Saginaw Chisholm Trail tonight at 7 p.m.


The winner will face either Life Oak Cliff or Life Red Oak at the regional tournament on Friday night at Tarleton State.


"We’re going to show up and play hard. We’ll find out who’s better at the end of the night," Whitesboro head coach Toby Sluder said. "If we can keep Brock off the boards, limit their second-chance points, get back in transition, we should be all right."


It is the first time Whitesboro has made the third round since 2008 and the Bearcats are looking to reach the region tournament for only the second time in school history, joining the 1965 state semifinalist squad.


Whitesboro opened the postseason with a 66-41 victory over Pilot Point before taking on the team that knocked it out of the playoffs last year.


It was a once again a close finish between the Bearcats and Peaster but Whitesboro was able to come away with a 62-60 overtime victory.


"I felt calm going into it more than the other games," senior guard Timothy Teater said. "We had played them before. We could handle it."


With the game tied in the closing seconds, Ryan Schuessler came up with a steal and score to provide the winning basket, the last of his game-high 25 points.


Wiley Walsh added 11 points while Stephenn Hamon and Hayden Nikirk each chipped in 10 points apiece.


Depth has been a big key for the Bearcats after graduation removed some key pieces.


"It helps a lot because even though we are alike, we can still do different things," Teater said. "You can even out the playing time and it won’t hurt us."


The Bearcats rallied from a double-digit deficit in the second quarter and took the lead late in the third. Hamon came up with a deflection on Peaster’s final possession of regulation to force the extra period.


Hamon’s emergence in the paint has helped take a load off the Bearcats’ backcourt.


"A lot of last year, I wanted to be in more. I put a lot of work in. I was behind some pretty good players," Hamon said. "I felt like I needed to step up in their place. We have the guards and the depth."


Peaster and Brock split their district games and that has helped Whitesboro prepare for this meeting.


"I think that’s how the whole team feels," Stringer said. "We fought really hard against Peaster and there’s no reason we can’t do that for another week and maybe more."


Brock is trying to get to the state tournament for the third straight year. Both previous seasons the Eagles advanced all the way to the championship game before losing to White Oak, including a two-point loss last spring.


In 2012 the Eagles’ march to state had victories over Gunter, Melissa and then Whitewright in the region final.


After opening the playoffs with an 81-32 victory against Grandview, Brock faced off with Sunnyvale, a match-up suited for much later in the bracket based off regular-season records.


The Eagles were more than up to the task with a 67-36 victory over the District 12-2A champion Raiders. Brock forced 24 turnovers and had a plus-21 rebounding margin. Sunnyvale was within striking distance at the break, 34-23, before Brock pulled away with a third-quarter surge that pushed its lead close to 30.


"They put a lot of pressure on you defensively," Sluder said. "You can’t turn the ball over if you want to stay in the game."


Harris Jowell, a 6-5 center, Lance Ewell and Micah Thorten are just part of an impressive collection of offensive talent for the Eagles, who start four juniors.