Cardinals outlast Mustangs in 24-4A action
By Ronnie Hughes
BRIDGE CITY — A critical District 24-4A match-up would bring to a halt a West Orange-Stark Mustangs win streak Friday night as the Bridge City Cardinals were able to out-pace the Stangs’, 50-43 at Cardinal Gym.
Despite the loss the once struggling Mustangs have seen a resurgence with the return of several star players but it waqs the Cardinals that had the answer Friday as they have two 24-4A wins over Orange County rivals WO-S and LC_M during the first half of district play.
Both the Cardinals and Mustangs are both now 2-2 in 24-4A play.
Bridge City jumped out early with a 7-0 run that put the Mustangs in a hole that they were never really able to dig themselves out of. Chason Burch, who finished with 11 points, hit a three to open the scoring for Bridge City with Dane Piper handling the business around the boards. Piper finished the night with 13 points to lead all scorers. Thanks to the efforts by K.J. Miller the Mustangs were able to keep the game close and trailed by just one at the end of the first, 11-10.
Miller opened the second quarter for the Mustangs with a long range jump shot to tie the game at 12. The cheers quickly turned to jeers from the large Mustang crowd on hand as the Cardinals sparked anther 6-0 run to recapture the lead and the momentum. The Cards’ were able to profit off of Mustang foul trouble and turnovers to lead going into half-time, 32-26.
The third quarter would be the Stangs’ best effort of the night outscoring the Cardinals 14-12 as they managed to cut the lead to 39-36. Miller was able to hit two clutch free-throws while stealing the next inbound pass from Bridge City to give WO-S much needed swing in momentum. Miller notched 11 points to lead the Mustangs in scoring.
The Mustangs momentum carried over briefly into the fourth quarter as they were able to capture their first lead of the night. Following a T.J. Wallace hard drive in lay-up, Miller hits another jumper for the lead, 40-39. However, the Cardinals never went away and kept pushing the Stangs’ to the limit. Aric Cormier fouled Burch on a three-point shot and Burch would hit all three of his free-throws to regain control of the game. Hunter Wiegreff hit a shot off the inbound pass to increase the Bridge City lead even further and essentially seal the game for the Cardinals. Wiegreff tallied nine points on the night while Wallace hit seven points for the Mustangs.
Bridge City will now take its momentum on the road to Hamshire-Fannett Tuesday. The Mustangs will regroup and travel across town to face the Little Cypress-Mauriceville Bears.