Mustangs wallop Bears to earn playoff berth

Published 10:03 pm Tuesday, February 5, 2019

WEST ORANGE – Controlling the game from the opening tap to the final horn, the West Orange-Stark Mustangs downed the Little Cypress-Mauriceville Bears 56-32 to clinch a playoff berth out of District 22-4A Tuesday night at Mustang Gym.

The win at least gives the Mustangs the fourth-place playoff berth out of 22-4A. The Mustangs host Lumberton (20-14, 7-3), the third-place team, on Friday. The Raiders escaped with a tight 64-55 double overtime win over Bridge City Tuesday.

The Mustangs (16-15, 5-5) jumped out to a 10-4 lead by the end of the first quarter and then went on a 24-14 tear in the second to take a commanding 34-18 over the Bears (12-20, 3-7) at intermission.

The Mustangs upped the margin to 47-25 by the start of the fourth quarter as they dominated the game. It was a much different story in the two teams’ second meeting. In the first half of 22-4A play, the Mustangs escaped LC-M with a 70-68 overtime win.

Terron Brown led the Mustangs with a double-double as he pumped in 16 points to go along with 11 rebounds.

Nakai Arnold chimed in with 10 points for WO-S. Labarious Spraggings had nine points while guard B’Jan Arvie contributed five points, five rebounds and five steals.

The Bears were led once again by super senior Braden Bridges. Bridges, who scored 45 in the first meeting, paced LC-M again with 22 points and a team-high seven rebounds. He was the only Bear to score in the second and third quarters when he scored 21 of his points in that span.

Jesse Doucette had four points for the Bears while D.J. Williams had five rebounds.

The Mustangs finished with a 29-21 rebounding edge. The Bears coughed up the ball 20 times while WO-S had just 11 turnovers.

The Bears finished 8-of-16 from the free-throw line while the Mustangs were just 5-of-10.

The Bears will host two-time defending 4A state champion Silsbee Friday.