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By Dan Perrine
For The Record 

Boys begin district basketball games


Last updated 12/19/2023 at 8:53am

Jamikael Davis and Andrew Cooper combined for 30 points in West Orange-Stark's 67-55 win over Vidor to open district action for the Mustangs

District action started for three of four local boys basketball teams the second week of December. Bridge City, West Orange-Stark, and Orangefield all have played one game in their respective districts while Little Cypress Mauriceville will play their first district game on January 2.

Bridge City, Little Cypress Mauriceville, and West Orange-Stark are members of District 19-4A. Other district opponents include Jasper, Lumberton, Silsbee, and Vidor.

The opening night in the district was on Friday, December 15, with three games played. The Lumberton Raiders won a low scoring contest 39-34 over the Jasper Bulldogs. The projected district favorite the Silsbee Tigers defeated the Bridge City Cardinals 87-54. The West Orange-Stark Mustangs beat the visiting Vidor Pirates 67-55 to go 1-0 in district.

The Mustangs continued their strong play from the last two weeks during which they finished in third place at both the Nederland Tournament and at the Bill Tennison Memorial Tournament in Orangefield. West Orange-Stark only trailed once in the game on Friday night when Vidor's Brayden Root scored the opening basket.

Field goals by Jamikael Davis, Andrew Cooper, and a three pointer by Ja'Vaughnte Richard gave West Orange-Stark a 7-3 lead. Cooper would hit a three and Jamar O'Neal beat the buzzer with the Mustangs' third three of the first quarter to put WOS on top 17-7 after eight minutes of play.

Another three by Cooper made the score 31-11 with a couple of minutes before the end of the half. The Pirates rallied scoring the last twelve points of the second quarter including a three at the buzzer by Eric Baker to trim the Mustangs' advantage to eight points 31-23 by half time.

Richard started the second half with his second three-pointer of the game to put West Orange-Stark up by eleven points. Cooper made two drives on which he was fouled by the Pirates converting four free throws in the process followed by A'myrian Scott sinking two free throws as the Mustangs expanded their advantage to fourteen points 41-27 midway through the third period.

The lead got to fifteen points 43-28 after Richard put a rebound back in the hole for the Mustangs. Like it did in the closing moments of the second quarter Vidor scored the last six points in the third to make the score 47-39 with one quarter to play.

WOS got a strong final eight minutes from Joshua Holifield who scored the first bucket in the fourth period to make the Mustangs' lead ten points. The Pirates tallied nine of the next ten points to trim the lead to just two points 50-48.

Jamikael Davis connected with a key shot that started a six point run for West Orange-Stark with follow up field goals from O'Neal and Cooper. After Vidor's Bryce Loftin hit a trey Davis answered with a two pointer to keep the lead at seven 58-51.

Holifield made a great individual play with a steal and then a basket before adding his third field goal of the quarter to finish with 9 points making the score 62-53 that sealed the deal for the Mustangs. Two technical fouls were called on West Orange-Stark as time expired which allowed Baker to make two free throws for the Pirates to reduce the margin of victory from fourteen to twelve points.

Three of the Mustangs scored in double figures led by Andrew Cooper with 16 points, then Jamikael Davis who registered 14 points, and Jamar O'Neal dropping in 10 points. Bryce Loftin topped the Pirates in scoring with 16 points while Eric Baker and Brayden Root both finished the night with 11 points.

West Orange-Stark forced 27 turnovers by the Pirates which was very important according to Mustang Coach Chris Castille. "That's what we pride ourselves on, we try to get twenty-five to thirty turnovers a game on some teams. Key to our victory is team defense. Our whole thing is defense, our whole way of life is going to be on the defensive end. Our defense is going to get us our points by playing as a team," Castille insisted.

Balanced scoring with nine Mustangs registering points was another factor to the victory. Castille evaluated, "We've got different people who are going to step up, and it's never the same guy, it's just the best man step up mentality."

Following Christmas West Orange-Stark plays in the Lee Tournament in Baytown. The next district game for the Mustangs will be Tuesday, January 2, at Lumberton.

Bridge City of course got the unlucky draw of having to open the district schedule with the always strong Silsbee Tigers. Senior guard Aiden Gutierrez led the Cardinals with 17 points in the loss played at Silsbee.

The game should be shaken off by the Cardinals in preparation of their next district game which is not until Tuesday, January 2, at home against the Little Cypress Mauriceville Bears. That will be the district opener for the Bears who had a bye on December 15.

Little Cypress Mauriceville lost a non-district game 57-46 to Lufkin Hudson on Thursday, December 14. The loss dropped the Bears to 6-11 on the season.

Jaden Scales scored 22 points and Kadyn Rucker grabbed 14 rebounds to help Orangefield defeat Buna in the opening game of district

The Little Cypress Mauriceville and International Paper tournament will be played Thursday and Friday, December 28-29, at the Dr. Pauline Colburn Hargrove Gymnasium. LCM and Bridge City are participating in the tournament.

The Orangefield Bobcats of District 21-3A traveled to Buna for its district opener on Tuesday, December 12. The Bobcats started the district on the right foot with a 54-47 win over the Cougars.

Sophomore Jaden Scales led the Bobcats with 22 points adding 2 assists and 2 rebounds. Kane Smith contributed 10 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals. Zane Wrinkle provided 8 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, and 5 steals. Griffin Thomas chipped in with 8 points and 4 rebounds. Kadyn Rucker had a huge night with 14 rebounds, 3 blocked shots, and scored 6 points.

Orangefield played a non-district game on Friday, December 15, defeating Port Neches-Groves 54-45. The Bobcats play their next district game on Tuesday, January 2, against Hardin.


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