Bears outlast pesky Lumberjacks

Published 10:17 pm Monday, February 19, 2018

KOUNTZE – Getting all they could handle from Diboll, the Little Cypress-Mauriceville Bears were able to escape with a 43-42 Class 4A Region III bidistrict victory Monday night at Kountze High School.

The Bears trailed the Lumberjacks 40-36 with a little less than four minutes remaining but responded with a 7-0 spurt to go up 43-40 and then were able to hang on for the win.

The Bears (23-12) will move on to face either Hardin-Jefferson or Houston Wheatley in the area round.

LC-M received a huge effort from power forward Christian Weatherly, who did plenty of damage inside against the swift Lumberjacks. Weatherly scored a game-high 16 points, including six big ones to ignite the Bears in the decisive fourth quarter.

“We certainly didn’t play one of our prettiest games of the season tonight,” said LC-M head coach Brad Jeffcoat. “Diboll really got us out of our game. We underestimated how physical and fast they were but we made enough plays down the stretch to hold them off. We picked a tough night to play bad but the big thing is that we’re moving on.”

A Weatherly bucket gave the Bears a 36-31 edge early in the fourth but Diboll (17-8) retaliated with a 9-0 run.

Dominique Guy, who had 14 points for the Lumberjacks, buried a three-pointer to tie the game up at 36-36 with 4:48 left.

JaVaughn Luster converted a short basket and Guy scored on a steal to give

the Lumberjacks a 40-36 cushion with 3:42 remaining but it disappeared fast.

LC-M’s Braden Bridges trimmed it to 40-38 with a nice jumper. Katon Brown made a free-throw and Weatherly had a sharp move and scored along the baseline to give the Bears a 41-40 edge.

Weatherly made it a 43-40 game by zipping inside for a big layup after a huge assist from Katon Brown with 0:17 left.

‘Christian had a big night for sure,” said Jeffcoat. “He made so many critical baskets, especially one off the nice feed from Katon, which gave us a little cushion and we were able to hang on.”

Diboll had a chance to tie it when Luster, who had 12 points, was fouled on a three-point shot attempt with 0:07 left. However, he missed the front end and made the next two.

Diboll fouled Bridges, who missed the front end of a one-in-one with 4.8 seconds remaining and got the rebound.

The Lumberjacks inbounded the ball and got it over halfcourt and called a timeout with 1.9 left. The Bears, though, played it smart, and fouled the Lumberjacks on the inbound pass with a foul still to give. Diboll had to settle for a desperation shot on a lob pass with 0.1 second left that fell well short as the Bears were able to hang on.

Guard Cole Frost had eight points for the Bears and nailed two crucial three-point shots in the third quarter. Katon Brown had a game-high 11 rebounds to go along

with seven points. Bridges finished with six points while Ty’Reke Brown and D.J. Williams had five rebounds apiece.

The Lumberjacks finished with a 35-29 rebounding edge. The Bears had 17 turnovers while the Lumberjacks had 14. LC-M was just 4-of-9 from the free-throw line while Diboll was 5-for-9.

Jermarcus White had a double-double for Diboll, finishing with 12 points and 10 boards. Guy and Luster had six rebounds apiece while Herb Gums had seven boards.

The Bears led 22-16 at halftime, but the Lumberjacks, sparked by a eight-point third quarter by White, scored nine straight points to grab a 25-22 lead with 4:44 left in the third.

Frost hit a big three-pointer to tie it up.

With the game tied at 30-30, Katon Brown and Donanerius Brown scored big buckets inside to give the Bears a 34-30 lead going to the fourth.

LC-M led 12-8 at the end of the first quarter and stretched the lead to six at intermission as Weatherly scored eight points in the half while Katon Brown had four big points in the second period.