SILSBEE, Texas —
The West Orange-Stark Mustangs braved the elements Friday night and walked away with a victory over the District 21-3A Silsbee Tigers on the Tigers’ homecourt.
WO-S fought through some shaky calls at times and some trash-talking Tigers to come away with their most impressive win of the season as the Mustangs downed the Tigers 72-69.
The win certainly gives Coach Jason Wilkins’ Mustangs some momentum heading into the postseason as WO-S (21-10, 10-2) earned the second-place playoff berth out of 21-3A.
The game was nip-and-tuck throughout but the Mustangs were able to fend off the fierce Tigers (24-8, 11-1) at the end to spoil Silsbee’s Senior Night.
“Tonight’s win was a testament to our kids and the effort that they’ve been putting forth,” said Wilkins. “We’re still a young team, one that’s been working hard to get to this point the last couple years. To come in here and beat such an excellent team like Silsbee, this is a big stepping stone.”
Silsbee will still get a bye in the first round of the playoffs. The Mustangs will take on whoever is the third-place team out of 22-3A. Third-place Hardin-Jefferson (31-4, 9-3) will face the 22-3A second-place team.
“This one is real special for the kids because we thought we let one get away when we lost to H-J at their place a couple weeks ago,” said Wilkins. “We had to battle against some stuff tonight but our kids had that attitude that they were not going to be denied.”
Junior guard Brandon Joubert led the Mustangs with 18 points and added six rebounds. He was awesome from the free-throw line, going 8-of-10.
Sophomore Chase Rutledge went toe-to-toe against the Tigers as he scored all 12 of his points in the second half and also snared six rebounds.