(Orange, Texas)

February 4, 2013

Hoop playoffs drawing near; OF girls in, Lady Bears need win

Van Wade
The Orange Leader

ORANGE — While the girls basketball playoff picture is almost settled, the boys will grind it out with three games remaining on most of their schedules as a new week kicks off tonight.

The Orangefield Lady Bobcats, getting help from their neighbors in the forms of the Bridge City Lady Cardinals on Friday, clinched a playoff berth with a 60-55 District 21-3A win at home against the West Orange-Stark Lady Mustangs.

The Lady Bobcats (15-12, 7-5) will represent 21-3A as the third-place team in the playoffs. The state-ranked Hardin-Jefferson Lady Hawks have already clinched the district title with the Buna Lady Cougars finishing second.

Bridge City (5-6 in district) downed the Hamshire-Fannett Lady Longhorns (5-6 in district) 54-46 Friday to help seal the spot for the Lady Bobcats.

Orangefield trailed WO-S 29-25 at the half and 40-38 at the end of the third period before closing out the contest with a 22-15 run in the fourth.

Morgan Moss had a dominating performance for Orangefield, pouring in a stunning 31 points to go along with eight rebounds.

Carely Choate posted nine points, six steals and five rebounds. Kacey LeBlanc filtered in eight points and contributed seven steals and seven assists. Paige Perales had six points and four rebounds while Megan Burton had five points, five assists and four rebounds.

The Lady Bobcats will have a bye tonight and will await the second-place winner from District 22-3A in the Class 3A Region III bidistrict playoffs next week.

Meanwhile, the Lady Cardinals will wrap up their campaign on the road at Hardin-Jefferson tonight and WO-S (2-11) will finish its season at home against Buna.

The top seed in District 20-4A has already been settled by a dominant Beaumont Ozen Lady Panthers (13-0 in district) squad but the other spots have not been decided.

The Beaumont Central Lady Jaguars (10-3) and the Vidor Lady Pirates (10-3) are tied for the second-place berth and will likely meet to settle the second seed. Vidor will host the Port Neches-Groves Lady Indians (1-12) tonight while Central goes to Livingston (3-10).

The fourth-place spot is up for grabs as well between the Little Cypress-Mauriceville Lady Bears (13-19, 5-8), the Lumberton Lady Raiders (5-8) and the Nederland Lady Bulldogs (5-8). The berth will likely be decided tonight at LC-M when the Lady Bears hosts Lumberton. Nederland can stay in the picture if it defeats Ozen at home. Ozen defeated LC-M 97-18 on Friday, so the Lady Bulldogs will have a tall chore.

In District 21-3A, the Silsbee Tigers (22-7, 9-0) remain alone in first-place, two games ahead of both the Hardin-Jefferson Hawks (29-3, 7-2) and the West Orange-Stark Mustangs (18-10, 7-2).

The Mustangs and Hawks kept pace with each other last Friday when WO-S throttled the Orangefield Bobcats (14-12, 3-7) 72-42 while H-J drilled the last-place Buna Cougars (13-15, 1-9) 83-32. The Tigers, meanwhile, stepped out of district last Friday as they roughed up Beaumont Legacy 103-42.

The Mustangs will venture to Buna tonight while the Hawks visit the Bridge City Cardinals (11-16, 2-7).

Both the Mustangs and Hawks have Silsbee left on their schedules. H-J will play the Tigers at Ford Park Friday while the Mustangs go to Silsbee Feb. 12. Silsbee will play host to the Hamshire-Fannett Longhorns (11-17, 4-6) tonight.

Other Friday games will pit Bridge City at WO-S while Orangefield welcomes in Buna.

There is plenty to still be settled in the District 20-4A race.

The Beaumont Central Jaguars (23-5, 10-1) and Beaumont Ozen Panthers (18-9, 10-1) remain in a first-place tie after the Jaguars blasted the last-place Vidor Pirates (5-21, 0-11) 73-53 and the Panthers dropped the Little Cypress-Mauriceville Bears (11-19, 2-9) 64-39 on Friday.

The Nederland Bulldogs (23-8, 9-2) are in hot pursuit after downing the Port Neches-Groves Indians (10-17, 5-6) 43-31.

PN-G remains in contention for the fourth-place spot out of the district as the Indians are just a game back of the Lumberton Raiders (12-20, 6-5). Lumberton toppled Livingston (9-17, 2-9) 41-37 Friday.

A big game looms tonight when Nederland travels to Ozen. Other 20-4A games tonight include LC-M at Lumberton, Livingston at Central, and Vidor at PN-G.

20-4A games Friday will pit Central at LC-M, PN-G at Ozen, Vidor at Livingston, and Lumberton at Nederland.