Cardinals clip Pirates
Last updated 1/16/2023 at 10:56am
The second week of December the Bridge Cardinals played the Vidor Pirates at the Orangefield Tournament and were pummeled 72-46 by the hot shooting Pirates. This past Tuesday, January 10, the Cardinals got some revenge by clipping Vidor 43-40 at Bridge City in an important district game.
Bridge City improved its district record to 2-1 with a second straight win following the victory at Little Cypress Mauriceville the week before. "Two in a row in district that's huge. I said that LCM game can give us some momentum especially leading to these next four games in district. Every game is going to go down to the wire like this, we're not going to blow anybody out but we've got to find ways to continue to get it done in the end especially at home," Cardinal Coach Randall Robertson expressed.
The contest started like it might be a repeat of the tournament game the month before. Vidor jumped to a 7-1 lead until three-point baskets by Rayburn Hebert and Walker Britten got the Cardinals close 13-9 before the first quarter ended.
Post Bryce Linder tied the game 13-13 for Bridge City with the first two buckets of the second quarter. Britten gave the Cardinals their first lead of the game with a field goal less than two minutes into the period.
Vidor tied the score. Bridge City's Fernando Rodriguez hit a three pointer followed by two points from Britten to put the Cardinals up 20-15 their largest lead of the night.
The Pirates found their hot shooting guard Jose Guerro-Evans who hit two threes offset by another three pointer and a beautiful underhanded layup by Rodriguez. The final points of the quarter were made by Vidor's Camden Young, and the two teams went to their locker rooms tied 25-25 at the half.
The third quarter saw the Pirates take a four-point lead on a three by Zander Lindsey. Hebert got the Cardinals back on top 31-30 with a basket and then seconds later the completion of a three-point play with four minutes left in the third.
The advantage was short lived as Vidor's Bryce Loftin who had 28 points against Bridge City in the earlier tournament game dropped a three point bomb from near midcourt. The Cardinals tied the score, and the teams exchanged baskets sending the game even 35-35 to the fourth quarter.
The Pirates' got a three-point play from Young to begin the final period. A free throw by Aiden Gutierrez and Rodriguez's third three of the game gave Bridge City the lead again 39-38 with 6:17 to go.
Two minutes later the advantage was increased on a short shot by Linder for the Cardinals. Points were hard to come by in the closing minutes for both teams.
Lindsey for the Pirates cut the lead to one with 2:43 left in regulation. Jerris Brown made a huge bucket with 42 seconds left to give Bridge City a three point lead.
As the clock ticked down Vidor had the ball with the hopes of getting it into the hands of one of their outstanding outside shooters. A three pointer was put up by Lindsey which was missed.
The rebound was grabbed by the Cardinals who passed the ball up court to Hebert with about five seconds left. Inexplicably Hebert with no Pirates near him threw up a shot from near midcourt that missed and was rebounded by Vidor which immediately called a timeout leaving 1.6 seconds for a possible miracle ending.
Fortunately, the miracle did not happen. The Pirates inbounded the ball and a desperation shot from near the side line failed to hit anything but the court when it came down securing the 43-40 victory for Bridge City.
Cardinal guard Rodriguez has been a positive force in their last two wins. Coming off his 17 points against Little Cypress Mauriceville Rodriguez led Bridge City with 13 points against Vidor.
Three Cardinals Linder, Britten, and Hebert each scored 8 points. Linder was strong on the boards grabbing 8 rebounds.
Balance was the key for Bridge City to achieve the win. Robertson responded, "It was great bench play. Rayburn Hebert and Jerris Brown again played hard off the bench and hit some timely shots. Fernando Rodriguez is playing out of his mind right now. We're getting to the rim and that opens up our threes and obviously sets up other things which makes us dangerous offensively."
Even more important than the balanced offense is the more intense defense the Cardinals are playing now. "Our defense was pretty good tonight. We really stressed this week to play defense against these guys and we worked a whole lot to key in stopping Loftin and Lindsey. I think our guys bought in, they listened to the game plan, and they executed it," Robertson concluded.
Bridge City played at Lumberton on Friday, January 13. The Cardinals (2-2) dropped the game 68-52 to the Raiders.
The Bridge City Cardinals played at home on Tuesday, January 17, against the Jasper Bulldogs. Their next game will be Friday, January 20, at West Orange Stark which concludes the first half of district play for the Cardinals.