‘Cardiac’ Bobcats rise up to skin Diboll

Published 9:14 pm Tuesday, February 19, 2019

WARREN – It will be a comeback Orangefield basketball fans will be talking about for many years to come.

Down 49-37 entering the fourth quarter to Diboll in their Class 3A Region III bidistrict playoff battle, the Bobcats never quit battling as they went on to dominate the fourth quarter, going on a 21-2 spurt to stun the Lumberjacks 58-51 at Warren High School Tuesday night.

The Bobcats (28-8) dug themselves a hole after a slew of turnovers and missed free-throws but rose up when it counted the most in the final eight minutes.

The Bobcats will move on to face Van Vleck in the area round later this week. Van Vleck defeated Trinity 75-72.

Orangefield turned the table on the Lumberjacks (14-13) in the fourth, forcing Diboll into nine turnovers in the period and held them to just one field goal.

Bobcat post Valentin Catt was a thorn in the side for the Lumberjacks on the defensive end all night. Catt finished with a triple-double, scoring 12 points to go along with 18 rebounds and 18 blocks, YES, 18 blocked shots. He had six blocks in the last five minutes of the game.

A Kaiden DuBose drive got the Bobcats to within single digits at 49-41 with 5:04 remaining and the Orangefield onslaught began.

Cade Prejean, who scored nine of his 11 points in the final period, trimmed it to 49-43 with 4:40 left.

Lumberjack Jeremiah Settler pushed it back to 51-43 with a bucket inside with 3:02 left but that would be the last Diboll points of the night.

DuBose trimmed it to 51-45 with a great move with 2:31 left. Shooting guard Coy Bryant, who led the Bobcats with 15 points, buried two free-throws to trim it to four and then Prejean got the Bobcats within one with a three-point bomb with 1:45 left.

Point guard Tyrone Waggoner, who had nine points and six boards, put the Bobcats up to stay with a layup with 1:04 left to make it 52-51.

Catt then swatted a pair of Lumberjack shots on the next two possessions and the Bobcats iced it with nice foul-shooting.

The Bobcats were just 9-of-17 from the charity stripe but knocked down 8-of-9 in the fourth quarter.

The first three quarters, the Bobcats suffered at the hands of the Lumberjack press. The Bobcats committed a whopping 35 turnovers.

Diboll guard Javon Luster had the hot hand in the first 24 minutes. He scored a game-high 21 points, 15 in the first half with twisting drives in the paint as Diboll led 33-26 at intermission.

Orangefield started the contest with a 9-0 lead but Diboll crept to within 14-13 at the end of the quarter.

Diboll forced the Bobcats into 13 second quarter turnovers to go on a 20-12 run. However, the Bobcats remained confident, down by just seven after 21 turnovers and going 1-for-7 from the line in the half.

The Lumberjacks outscored the Bobcats 16-11 in the third to lead by 12 at 49-37 before the wheels fell off.

Bryant scored nine of his 15 points in the second half for the Bobcats and finished with three three-pointers. DuBose finished with eight points and seven boards as the Bobcats outrebounded Diboll 43-35.

Settler finished with nine points for the Lumberjacks while Chris Teal had eight and Ahmad Chavis added seven. Demarious Cook led Diboll with eight rebounds while Luster had seven and Chavis six.

The Lumberjacks had 16 turnovers and went 5-of-8 from the free-throw line.