WEST ORANGE —
Keeping the hot hand throughout the night, the West Orange-Stark Mustangs were able to pull away with a big second half to down the Little Cypress-Mauriceville Bears 88-76 in non-district action at Mustang Gym Tuesday night.
Both teams played at a frantic pace, but WO-S (6-8) made key baskets down the stretch and forced the Bears (6-8) into 15 of their 24 turnovers after intermission.
Both squads placed four players each in double figures.
Laquarious Paige powered the Mustang attack, finishing with 20 points and six rebounds. Cory Carcisse pumped in 17 points for WO-S, nailing four three-pointers. Chase Rutledge fired in 13 points, including three three-pointers. Mustang post Tyrant Thompson was solid inside, going for 12 points and five boards. Brandon Joubert added nine points.
Taylor Peveto roamed his way to a game-high 22 points for the Bears. He helped break the Mustang press in the first half, scoring 19 of his points in the first 16 minutes to help the Bears to a 44-43 lead at intermission.
Trumaine Elmore fired in 14 points for LC-M. Jace Robertson had 13 points and five rebounds while Christian Wendt had a workmanlike 12 points and a game-high nine rebounds. Teondre Gant added nine points, drilling three three-pointers in the process.
The Mustangs led 23-15 at the end of the first period with Paige going for 11 points, including two three-pointers while Carcisse hadf seven points. Peveto kept the Bears close with seven points in the period while LC-M post Blake Fuss scored all six of his points in the period.
LC-M exploded for 29 points in the second period while the Mustangs had 20 of their own.
Peveto bruised his way to the basket for 12 points in the period while Elmore came off the bench to score eight. Carcisse and Rutledge tallied five points apiece for the Mustangs in the quarter.
The Mustangs went on another 23-15 spurt in the third quarter to grab a 66-59 cushion heading to the fourth.
Carcisse buried two three-pointers in the period while Thompson scored five points inside. Robertson kept the Bears close with eight of his points in the quarter.
The Bears kept it tight throughout the fourth, trailing 82-76 with a little more then two minutes remaining but the Mustangs closed the game out with a 6-0 jaunt to seal it.
LC-M held a 28-23 rebounding advantage. The Bears finished a solid 16-of-20 from the free-throw line while the Mustangs went 12-of-17.
The Bears will play host to Port Arthur Memorial Friday while the Mustangs open up District 21-3A Dec. 18 on the road at Hamshire-Fannett.