Cardinals hope to capture a trip to the post season
Last updated 11/27/2023 at 2:34pm
Bridge City just missed qualifying for the boys basketball playoffs last season. The Cardinals have several key players back that gives them the hope for a shot at the post season this year.
The record was 19-16 for the Bridge City boys last season. A tough close loss at Jasper in the last district game cost the Cardinals their shot at making the state playoffs.
Cardinal Coach Randall Robertson assessed last season. "We fell short of our overall goal of getting into the playoffs, but we did win 19 games. We just missed getting to the post season, but any time you can win nineteen to twenty games I think that's pretty good," Robertson evaluated.
Six seniors return for the Cardinals with varsity experience coming into this season. The two co-captains are seniors Aiden Gutierrez and Lincoln Breaux.
Gutierrez is a guard who hustles all over the court, shoots well from outside, and handles the ball for the Cardinals. Breaux is the big guy in the middle playing the post, scoring down low, rebounding, playing strong defense, and was second team all-district last year.
Other seniors back on the Bridge City varsity are Rayburn Hebert, Jerris Brown, Stephen Stone, and Aaron Torres. Hebert and Stone play in the backcourt while Brown and Torres add depth at forward and the post.
Stone got special mention from Coach Robertson. "Stephen's been on the varsity a couple of years for us. He's just another guy who hustles off the bench really plays hard and gets after it grabbing rebounds while playing good defense," Robertson praised.
A returning junior from the varsity last season is Bryce Linder at post. Robertson described, "Bryce is another defensive guy, a rebounder, takes charges, and does the dirty work for us inside."
Not necessarily new to the varsity for Bridge City is sophomore Aaden Bush who started as a freshman, but got hurt before the start of district action last season. Bush will take over the point guard role for the Cardinals this campaign.
"Aaden is kind of feeling his own as a sophomore captain. He's a do it all guy as our go to scorer and bringing the ball up the court as the point guard," Robertson responded.
A second sophomore who is starting in the early going is 6-6 post Hunter Silvera. Robertson indicated, "Obviously, at 6-6 we plan on Hunter blocking shots and rebounding in filling that post role."
The Cardinals are awaiting the complete return of another potential starter sophomore guard Abraham Mungia to playing condition. Mungia injured his neck against Silsbee during the last weeks of the football season and is still on the path to recovery. Abraham has left the hospital, is back in school, and is shooting the ball around the gym, but is not expected back full-time until the start of district action in mid-December according to the coach.
Robertson elaborated, "Abraham is a really good ball handler, he can shoot it, he's probably one of our next best shooters, but he's also really good at facilitating the ball getting it where it needs to be. Abraham is a good defender and all-around good basketball player. We're really missing him right now."
Off the bench will be juniors Jagger Carlin and Peyton Doucet. Carlin and Doucet will help out as guards.
Bridge City dropped its opening two games against very difficult opponents. Orangefield made eleven three pointers against the Cardinals to take the opener 64-54. The first home game of the season for the Cardinals was against Huffman and was also a loss.
"We did start with a strong slate of games to really test us. We did not plan to be as short-handed as we currently are, but you can't predict those things. We're just looking to get better each game," Robertson commented.
The Cardinals got their first win of the season 63-26 at home on November 17 against Beaumont Legacy. Hunter Silvera was the leading scorer for Bridge City with 16 points. Aiden Gutierrez was a close second high point producer dropping in 15 for the Cardinals.
Tournament action picks up for Bridge City after the Thanksgiving holiday break. The Cardinals will participate in the Evadale Tournament the first weekend in December and the Orangefield Tournament the second weekend of December. The first district game for Bridge City will be December 15 at Silsbee.
The goal for the Bridge City Cardinals this year just like last year is to make the playoffs. "Our district is really good, but we do return a lot of Cardinals. I think if we can stay healthy and get some key guys back we'll have a shot to make a run. With eight guys returning that won nineteen games last year we should be competitive in every game. Again our district is very good, but our ultimate goal is to make the playoffs whether it's first or fourth we just want to be one of those top four teams at the end of the district schedule and hopefully we can get there," Robertson concluded.