The Orange Leader
Trailing their Orange County rival Bridge City going into the fourth quarter Monday night, the Orangefield Bobcats found a little extra momentum heading into the postseason as they went on a tear in the game’s final eight minutes to turn back the Cardinals 54-40 in District 21-3A play at Bobcat Gym.
The Bobcats (16-11, 5-7) trailed the gritty Cardinals (13-17, 2-10) 31-30 heading into the fourth quarter but rode the hot hands of Caleb Kress and Matthew Kress.
Caleb and Matthew scored seven points apiece in the final period, igniting the Bobcats on a 24-9 run.
Orangefield scored the first nine points of the period.
Caleb Kress led the Bobcats with 12 points. Matthew Kress finished with a nice double-double, scoring 10 points while snaring 11 rebounds.
Guard Dustin Verrett kept the Bobcats in the hunt in the third period as he cut loose on two three-pointers and finished with 10 points.
The Bobcats dominated the boards, outrebounding the Cardinals 42-30.
Bobcat post Mason Sonnier also yanked down 11 rebounds while Carl Wiley and Carmichael Wiley combined for 15 points and six rebounds.
The Bobcats, the fourth-place seed out of District 21-3A, will take on District 22-3A champion Cleveland (26-2) in the Class 3A Region III bidistrict round of the playoffs next week.
Senior post Alex Bingham led the Bridge City attack with 11 points and eight rebounds.
Guard Brett Philpott contributed 10 points and five boards. Byron Bacon and Kyle Bqergeron each scored seven points and brought down four rebounds while Malcolm Busby added five rebounds.
The Cardinals jumped out 14-9 in the first quarter as Bingham finished the period off with a strong post move inside. Bingham had five of his points in the period while Philpott had four.
The Bobcats pulled to within 23-19 at the half as Verrett led a late surge with a pair of nice driving layups.
Orangefield held the Cardinals to single-digit scoring the last three periods and got to within one going to the fourth as Verrett and Matthew Kress combined for three-three-pointers.
The Bobcats finished with 16 turnovers while the Cardinals had 15.
Both teams shot poorly from the free-throwline. The Bobcats converted just 9-of-22 while the Cardinals went just 9-of-23.