Bears hold back Mustangs to earn 22-4A’s 2nd seed

Published 11:01 pm Tuesday, February 13, 2018

WEST ORANGE — It ended up being a battle but the Little Cypress-Mauriceville Bears were able to snag the second-place playoff berth Tuesday night with a big 59-49 win over the West Orange-Stark Mustangs at Mustang Gym.

The Bears (22-12, 8-2), dominated through the first three quarters and then had to fend off a late Mustangs (13-15, 6-4) rally to secure the win.

The Mustangs will represent 22-4A as the third-place playoff seed.

The Bears looked like they were in control, holding a commanding 46-28 cushion heading into the fourth quarter. The Mustangs scrapped their way back with some fierce defense, getting as close as 54-49 with 1:20 remaining until the Bears ran off with the last five points of the game.

Senior guard Cole Frost burned the Mustangs for a game-high 24 points as he buried four three-pointers on the night. He scored 10 points in the second quarter to help the Bears grab a 28-16 halftime edge and then tallied 14 more in the second half, burying two three-pointers in the third period.

Fellow Bear junior guard Braden Bridges filtered in 16 points, 11 coming in the first half. Christian Weatherly had nine points and six rebounds for LC-M while Katon Brown had seven points and a game-high nine boards.

Forward Jervondric Simmons was the huge piece in the Mustangs making a strong comeback as he pumped in a team-high 21 points. He scored 10 of the Mustangs’ 12 points in the third quarter and added seven more in the fourth.

Point guard Jarron Morris had eight points and six rebounds for WO-S. Terron Brown had six points and seven rebounds while B’Jan Arvie added six points while Simmons had five boards.

The Bears led 12-6 at the end of the first quarter, finishing the period with a 6-0 run as Bridges had six points in the period while Morris had four for the Mustangs.

Frost and Bridges teamed up for 15 points in the second quarter, combining for three three-pointers as the Bears won the quarter 16-10 to lead by 12 at intermission.

The Mustangs finished with a slight 27-25 rebounding edge.

The Bears finished with 19 turnovers while WO-S had just 12.

LC-M went 15-of-25 from the free-throw line while the Mustangs converted just 7-of-16.

Both teams will be setting up their Class 4A Region III bidistrict playoff games next week as District 21-4A looks to settle their playoff seeding.