Fighting Bobcats turn back Van Vleck in 59-56 area win

Published 9:45 pm Friday, February 22, 2019

MONT BELVIEU – Opponents should never underestimate the spunk of those Orangefield Fighting Bobcats.

Another big second half rally enabled Orangefield to advance to the Class 3A Region III regional quarterfinals

Just like they did against Diboll in the bidistrict round, the Bobcats went on a tear in the second half to stymie the Van Vleck Leopards 59-56 Friday night at Barbers Hill High School.

The Bobcats now move on to face the Coldspring Trojans, 80-58 winners over Buna Friday, in the regional quarters next week.

Post Valentin Catt led the Bobcats (29-8) with 18 points, to go along with 12 blocked shots and seven rebounds.

Cade Prejean was huge in the clutch, pumping in 14 points and grabbing five rebounds.

Coy Bryant had four three-pointers for the Bobcats, burying four three-point bombs. Kaiden DuBose scored nine points, many of them coming in critical moments while Tyrone Waggoner added five points, four assists and three steals.

Alvin Stredic led the Leopards (16-9) with 16 points but only scored three in the second half. Josh Franklin had 14 points for Van Vleck while Jalen Williams had 11 points and Brandon Burnett added nine.

The Bobcats committed just 14 turnovers while the Leopards coughed it up 20 times along with being swatted by Catt a dozen times.

The Bobcats scratched their way back into it after trailing by nine at intermission.

Orangefield outscored the Leopards 20-8 in the third period and started the quarter with a 11-1 spurt.

A drive by DuBose gave the Bobcats the lead at 41-40 with 5:47 in the third.

Catt dominated inside in the period, scoring eight points in the quarter as the Bobcats snared a 49-46 edge heading to the fourth quarter.

Van Vleck rallied back to take a 56-55 edge with a little more than a minute left but never scored again.

DuBose tied it with a free-throw with a minute left. Prejean then put the Bobcats up for good with a free-throw with 0:30 left and then he sealed it with a steal with less than a second left and he buried two foul shots.

The Leopards extended a 18-17 lead at the end of the first quarter to 38-29 by the end of the half.

Van Vleck led by as much as 32-20 but the Bobcats scrapped back with a 9-0 run, sparked by two Bryant three-pointers and a nice drive by Kaiden DuBose that trimmed it to 32-29.

The Leopards settled in late in the period, finishing the quarter with a 6-0 spurt, getting a pair of baskets from Stredic and Burnett.

Stredic had 13 points in the half while Christian Ellis and Williams had seven points apiece and Burnett had six.

Bryant and Prejean had nine points apiece in the half for the Bobcats with Bryant burying three three-point missiles while Catt powered his way to eight points.

The Leopards got a lot of second opportunities in the first half by outrebounding the Bobcats 21-9.

The Bobcats got off to a nice start after a stout dunk by Catt as they grabbed a early 5-0 lead.

The Leopards finished the quarter strong however, leading 18-17 by the end of the quarter.

Prejean had seven points for the Bobcats in the quarter while Catt had six points and had two dunks.

Stredic had seven points for the Leopards in the period while Burnett and Williams had four points apiece.