Mustangs hold off Cardinals in 48-43 affair

Published 10:25 pm Tuesday, January 17, 2017

WEST ORANGE — In a defensive slugfest, the West Orange-Stark Mustangs ran their District 22-4A record to 2-0 Tuesday night by downing the Bridge City Cardinals 48-43 at Mustang Gym.

Both offenses struggled throughout as both teams clamped down on the defense end.

The Mustangs (7-9, 2-0), however, had the final answer as they forced the Cardinals (10-8, 0-2) into a whopping 28 turnovers.

WO-S was able to pull away down the stretch and held a 47-38 lead with a little over a minute left as guard KJ Miller scored eight of his game-high 17 points in the fourth quarter for the Mustangs.

The Cardinals continued to scrap back for most of the night and kept it tight until late in the fourth quarter by burying 10-of-10 from the free-throw line.

Bridge City could never get in sync on offense as guards Brandon Vela and Max Baker picked up three fouls apiece in the first half. Vela, the Cardinals’ leading scorer for the season, fouled out with 7:48 remaining and finished with seven points and four rebounds.

Guard Bretlin White contributed 13 points and five rebounds for the Mustangs. Malick Phillips contributed nine points and seven rebounds. Cory Skinner snared a game-high nine boards for the Mustangs, who outrebounded the Cardinals 37-25.

Post Dane Piper had a solid evening for the Cardinals as he poured in 11 points and grabbed eight rebounds. Baker wound up with 10 points while Justyn Romero finished with five rebounds.

The Cardinals led 8-5 at the end of a sluggish first quarter as Vela and Baker combined for seven points.

The Mustangs went on a 13-7 surge in the second quarter to lead 18-15 at intermission.

White had eight points in the half and scored five in the second. Miller buried a three-pointer at the buzzer to give the Mustangs the edge going into the half.

Wo_S stretched its lead to 31-26 after three periods of play with Miller and Phillips teaming up for eight points. Post Hunter Wiegreffe scored all four of his points in the quarter for Bridge City.

Piper kept the Cardinals close in the fourth by posting inside for eight points in the quarter. Phillips had eight of his points in the second half for the Mustangs.

The Mustangs finished with 15 turnovers. WO-S went 18-of-28 from the free-throw line while the Cardinals were 13-of-19 from the charity stripe after a slow start.

The Mustangs will visit Orangefield Friday while the Cardinals return home to tangle with Hamshire-Fannett.