The Orange Leader
Well, the Texas high school basketball season will wrap up today with the conclusion of another season at the Boys State Tournament in Austin.
Orange County wrapped up its season a couple weeks ago in the area round of the playoffs but there were plenty of things to remember about the season.
The West Orange-Stark boys had a superb campaign, going 22-11 overall while turning some heads in District 21-3A play with a 10-2 second-place finish.
Coach Jason Wilkins’ squad was full of youth, but it didn’t stop them from reaching their potential with a deep roster.
Arguably, Mustang junior Laquarious Paige is one of the best, if not the best, players in the area. He showed it with plenty of acrobatic moves, electrifying dunks while always getting his teammates involved. Guard Brandon Joubert, post Tyrant Thompson, outstanding forward defender Corey Carcisse and super Sixth Man Chase Rutledge all return next year. The Mustangs also have a deep bench returning and are losing only one starter.
Not to put any pressure on Wilkins for next season, but the Mustangs are my early preseason 21-3A champion.
The Mustangs certainly had some memorable moments, especially their 72-69 victory on the road at 21-3A champion Silsbee.
The environment was hostile. The Mustangs continued to get bad calls throughout the game and the Silsbee players were constantly trash-talking. The Mustangs just went about their business and stunned the Tigers.
WO-S went on to fall to eventual 3A Region runnerup LaMarque 52-47 in the area round.
Coach Wilkins received a nice present a couple days later after the playoffs as he became a proud father.
The Orangefield Lady Bobcats also made the playoffs under the guidance of first-year coach Katie Sanders as the proud program entered the postseason once again.
Orangefield had the most dominant post player in the area in the form of senior Morgan Moss. The Lady Bobcats battled through a much more rugged 21-3A this year to earn the third-place playoff spot.
Also led by fellow seniors Kacey LeBlanc and Megan Burton, the Lady Bobcats downed Huffman in bidistrict play before falling to Houston Yates 60-53 in the area round. In typical, hard-working, Lady Bobcat fashion, Orangefield rallied from a 13-point deficit entering the fourth quarter to go on top of Yates before the Lady Lions rallied back for the win.
There were plenty of other memorable moments.
I can’t forget Bridge City senior Bryce Sampere’s 32-point night against WO-S. Sampere erupted for 22 points in the first half, including six three-pointers as BC trailed 33-30 at the half. The WO-S press finally wore the Cardinals down in the second half to win 80-57.
Orangefield senior Levi Shores may not have been a “scoring machine” but the Bobcat certainly had a slew of games in which he filled up the stat sheet. Whether it was rebounding, piling up steals, or taking charges, no one did it better.
The Little Cypress-Mauriceville girls barely missed the postseason for first-year coach Ricky Ryan as the Lady Bears fell to Lumberton in the last regular season game to miss the playoffs.
However, Lady Bear guard Cassidy Webster was so exciting to watch. Watching here get up and down the court like the “Energizer Bunny” was so entertaining. Her motor never stopped and I can’t wait to see it again next year.
So without further ado, here is the 2013 All-Orange Leader Basketball Team:
All-Leader Boys Team
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Laquarious Paige WO-S
COACH OF THE YEAR: Jason Wilkins, WO-S
Brandon Joubert, WO-S
Taylor Peveto, LC-M
Bryce Sampere, Bridge City
Tyrant Thompson, WO-S
Carl Wiley, Orangefield
Jace Robertson, LC-M
Chase Rutledge, WO-S
Alex Bingham, Bridge City
Levi Shores, Orangefield
Corey Carcisse, WO-S
All-Leader Girls Team
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Morgan Moss, Orangefield
COACH OF THE YEAR: Katie Sanders, Orangefield
Kacey LeBlanc, Orangefield
Kayleigh Roy, LC-M
Alexus Henry, Bridge City
Tara Thompson, LC-M
Bailee Bacon, Bridge City
Megan Burton, Orangefield
Breanna Preston, WO-S
Morgan Worthy, Orangefield
Cassidy Webster, LC-M
Kasey Frederick, Bridge City