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By Dan Perrine
For The Record 

Mustangs and Bobcats undefeated in early district basketball


Last updated 1/6/2024 at 2:47pm

Aiden Gutierrez led Bridge City with 26 points in the Cardinals' district win over LCM the first Tuesday of the New Year

District basketball is underway for the local teams in Orange County. Three teams Bridge City, Little Cypress Mauriceville, and West Orange-Stark compete in Class 4A while Orangefield plays in the regional Class 3A district.

The Bridge City Cardinals won big in their only district game during the first week of the New Year. The Cardinals beat their rival the Little Cypress Mauriceville Bears 69-49 at Bridge City on January 2.

The game did not start like it was going to be a good night for Bridge City. The Bears actually led 10-9 after the first quarter. The momentum changed in favor of the Cardinals in the next eight minutes as they outscored LCM 25-9 to open a fifteen point advantage 34-19 at the half.

The ball continued to roll with the Cardinals in the third quarter. Bridge City took a 56-35 lead into the final period. The difference reached as much as 28 points before the Bears were able to trim it back to twenty points at the final buzzer.

Senior guard Aiden Gutierrez had a wonderful game with 26 points while making multiple defensive steals for the Cardinals. Gutierrez was followed by Aaden Bush who scored 18 points including a pair of three pointers in the second half. Lincoln Breaux and Stephen Stone both contributed 9 points for Bridge City.

The win improved the Cardinals' District 19-4A record to 1-1 with the earlier loss coming at the hands of state ranked Silsbee. Little Cypress Mauriceville was 0-1 in district after the loss to Bridge City.

Cardinal Coach Randall Robertson was excited about the win for Bridge City. "That's a big one. Every single one for us is huge, but we circle LCM at home because it is a rivalry game. Our kids wanted that one. We had to start off on the right foot and they got it done tonight," Robertson exclaimed.

The Bears rebounded from their loss to Bridge City with a win over another county rival the Vidor Pirates. Little Cypress Mauriceville survived a furious Vidor comeback bid late in the game to secure its first district victory 48-45 at home on Friday, January 5 to even its district record at 1-1.

Alantheon Winn was the leading scorer for the Bears with 23 points. Coach Brad Jeffcoat praised Jonah Fuller for his fantastic defensive play all night and for scoring 9 points for LCM.

The West Orange-Stark Mustangs are undefeated through their first three district games. Two wins last week has the Mustangs tied for first place with the Silsbee Tigers both with perfect 3-0 records.

An important road victory was achieved by the Mustangs on Tuesday, January 2, at Lumberton. West Orange-Stark prevailed 57-52 over the Raiders.

Ja'Vaughnte Richard led WOS in scoring with 14 points. Joshua Holifield was also in double figures with 11 points. Geramicah Davis got 9 points.

Friday at home the Mustangs stampeded over the visiting Jasper Bulldogs by more than sixty points. West Orange-Stark hit the century mark on the scoreboard during a 100-39 triumph.

Jasper scored the first basket of the game, but then the Mustangs went on a ten point run to start the rout. Six different Mustangs sank baskets in the first quarter as they actually scored more in the first eight minutes with forty points than the Bulldogs did in the entire game.

The lead at halftime was 64-21 so it appeared West Orange-Stark was willing to play a little more stall ball in the third quarter often getting across midcourt before just waiting to see if the Bulldogs would pressure the Mustang with the ball. The result was only thirteen points for WOS to make the score 77-32 going to the final quarter.

Seizing the prospect of reaching the magic one hundred point plateau the Mustangs' defense which had been tenacious all game seemed to intensify forcing multiple Jasper turnovers. Chadrick Lee of the Mustangs threw in the magic shot for a three pointer that put West Orange-Stark right on 100 points.

Long range shooting by the Mustangs was outstanding all night as they had six different players nail an incredible total of fifteen shots from beyond the arc. Ten of the twelve Mustangs scored points in the blowout.

Leading the scoring parade was Braylen Solomon with 20 points all coming in the first three quarters. Andrew Cooper was right behind Solomon with 18 points. Also scoring in double figures were Geramicah Davis with 14 and Ja'Vaughnte Richard who tallied 11 points.

Coach Chris Castille is excited about how the Mustangs are playing as a team. "We're focused and we're sticking to the game plan and it's turning out that the proof is in the pudding. We've been working on our shooting, we've worked on passing to hit the open man, and it's paying off. Defense is our bread and butter plus our identity is to play defense," Castille confirmed.

Bridge City played at Vidor on Tuesday, January 9, before returning home this Friday against Lumberton. Little Cypress Mauriceville played at Lumberton on Tuesday and are at home versus Jasper on Friday of this week. West Orange-Stark had its bye on Tuesday and will travel to Silsbee on Friday with first place on the line between the top two teams in District 19-4A.

The Orangefield Bobcats play in District 22-3A and started district action with three wins. The Bobcats won their second district victory in a 79-28 blowout at home against the Hardin Hornets on January 2.

The rout got started early with Orangefield scoring the first nine points of the game. Jaden Scales of the Bobcats hit a trio of threes and had eleven points in the first quarter helping Orangefield to a 24-10 lead after one period.

The game was pretty much over by the half with the Bobcats leading 49-18. Kane Smith played the whole game despite coming off a groin injury from the previous week and made numerous steals while scoring seven first half points.

The Bobcat bench got to see more time on the court in the final sixteen minutes. Garrett Rawls came in to make several rebounds and nailed a three pointer in the final minute of the game. Starting post Kadyn Rucker had a special moment in the final quarter with a beautiful dunk.

Scales almost single handily matched the total from Hardin with his 26 points. Smith and Rawls both finished with 13 points while Griffin Thomas also was in double figures with 11 points.

Orangefield gave a great team effort to beat the Warren Warriors 70-23 on Friday. The Bobcats improved to 21-3 on their season and 3-0 in district.

Jaden Scales scored 26 points against Hardin and Kane Smith tossed in 21 points versus Warren as Orangefield moved to 3-0 in district with the two victories

Kane Smith was the leader for the Bobcats with 21 points, 5 assists, and 5 steals. Griffin Thomas scored 18 points and grabbed 4 rebounds.

With the holiday break over all the games now will have added significance because the contests will be district games. Bobcat Coach Bryan Whitmire elaborated, "Every game from here on out is the biggest game of the year for us. That's how we're trying to approach it, and I thought we did a good job of coming in today focused after a long break, but it allowed us to be fresh, I thought we came into this game pretty sharp, and the kids executed well, so I was proud of them."

Orangefield completed the third of three district home games on Tuesday of this week against the East Chambers Buccaneers. The Bobcats play the Anahuac Panthers on the road this Friday before traveling on Tuesday, January 16, to Kountze.


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