Mustangs fend off Jasper for nice bidistrict victory

Published 9:06 pm Tuesday, February 20, 2018

By Caleb Adams

Leader Correspondent


LUMBERTON — The West Orange-Stark Mustangs outlast the Jasper Bulldogs 74-71 in a down to the wire Class 4A Region III bidistrict playoff game at Lumberton High School on Tuesday night.

The Mustangs (14-15), the third-place team out of District 22-4A, built up a big lead and then held off a late Jasper (16-15) surge to nab the big win.

For the Mustangs Jevondrick Simmons led the team with a whopping 30 points on the night and Devontra Ranton was right behind him with 20 of his own. The long shot for Simmons was key for the team as it opened up Ranton to get easy jumpers on the inside. They complemented each other well throughout the encounter. WO-S’ leading scorer on the season Terron Brown fought off an ankle injury and finished with eight points.

The Mustangs will now move on to face the Houston Yates Lions (23-2), who hammered Cleveland 111-78 in the bidistrict round Monday night.

For the Bulldogs Leontay Sells had 25 on the night to lead the team, while Tierren Collins and Robert Southwell both had 12 points a-piece.

The Mustangs come out fast in the first quarter going up 9-4 in the first couple of minutes and were able to hold the lead throughout the quarter. Simmons led the Mustangs with seven points in the quarter. The Bulldogs Terrian Collins led with six of his own as the Mustangs were 17-14 heading into the second quarter.

Throughout the first half, the Mustangs were able to control the tempo of the game, pushing when they wanted to score and slowing down the Bulldogs on the defensive side. The Mustangs were able to hold on to the lead they made in the first quarter at 38-32 heading into the half.

Simmons for the Mustangs, cut through the Jasper defense for 18 points through the first half, and Collins led the Bulldogs with 12 in the first 16 minutes.

The Bulldogs gto down as much as 12 during the third quarter, but made it manageable by the end, only down by nine at 57-48 heading into the fourth. The Mustang offense was not slowing down, and their defense, much like their football one, was tough to get by and relentless.

With the game on the line, all the Mustangs needed to do was hold the lead and keep the Bulldogs at bay. The Bulldogs would not make it easy, knowing that this game was do or die for their season, and they don’t want to go home for the season just yet.

The Bulldogs fought their way back from 10 down to bring it within just one score at 72-70 with just 35 seconds left in the game as every possession could decide the game.

The Mustangs were able to hang on, but just barely, winning 74-71 in a very competitive game all the way through. The Mustangs advance to the next round of the playoffs in a thrilling fashion.