Cardinals cruise past Mustangs, 59-44

Published 10:16 pm Tuesday, February 9, 2016

By Ronnie Hughes

Leader Correspondent

WEST ORANGE — The Bridge City Cardinals took sole possession of third place in District 24-4A Tuesday night as they took care of business on the road.

Behind Graydon Glover’s 18 points they downed the West Orange-Stark Mustangs, 59-44.

The win pushes the Cardinals to 5-5 in 24-4A play while the Mustangs slipped to 4-6 and are tied with LC-M for the fourth-place spot.

The Cardinals started off hot from the jump and never looked back. Glover sparked an opening, 10-1 run with the first five points for the Cards.

The Mustangs struggled to break the Cardinal pressure early and often through out the contest. TJ Wallace, who has been battling a sore back, chipped in the first bucket of the game for the Mustangs to make the score, 12-3.

Wallace ended the night with 13 points leading all WO-S scorers. Bridge City led 14-6 after one quarter of play.

Things didn’t turn around for the Mustangs to start he second quarter. A Ryan Mirabella three-point shot sparked another huge run by the Cardinals.

An 11-0 Big Red run would put the Mustangs in a whole 27-10 at the half. West Orange was only able to muster four points while turning the ball over six times in the second quarter. Mirabella ended another stellar night with 17 points of his own.

Wallace sparked an attempted rally by the Mustangs to start the third quarter. He’d steal an inbound pass and knock in the easy jumper and come right back with another lay-in. The Mustang defense was swarming to start and forced the Cardinals to call an early timeout to adjust.

Chason Burch would break the Bridge City drought with a chip shot field goal and Mirabella capitalized off a Mustang turnover by hitting a long range three-point shot. Despite outscoring the Cardinals 17-14 in the third quarter the Mustangs’ trailed, 41-27.

The Cardinals adjusted their game plan accordingly and again put the pressure on West Orange to open the fourth. Mirabela and Glover went back and forth to put the game out of reach for the Mustangs. The Mustang starting five was held to just 16 points as Wallace and the bench chipped in 18.

KJ Miller was held to just five points as he was often double teamed.

The Cardinals will travel to Orangefield on Friday and wrap up their district play against Hamshire Fannett on Tuesday. The Stangs have a tougher schedule playing LC-M and Silsbee to finish out their 2016 campaign.