Bobcats, Cardinals, and Mustangs looking towards the post season in basketball
Last updated 2/6/2024 at 10:26am
With three games remaining on their district schedules three local boys basketball teams in Orange County appeared to be headed to the post season. Bridge City and West Orange-Stark in Class 4A as well as Orangefield in 3A should be making the playoffs.
The Orangefield Bobcats still have an opportunity to become the champions in District 22-3A. With a record of 10-1 in district the Bobcats need to win their remaining three games against Anahuac, Kountze, and Kirbyville to finish tied for first place.
The key game will be on Friday, February 9, at Orangefield when the Bobcats play the Kountze Lions for the top spot in the standings. Kountze beat the Bobcats earlier in district 55-46 on the Lions' home court and hold a one game lead over Orangefield in District 22-3A.
The Bobcats won twice last week to stretch their winning streak to five straight games. On Tuesday, January 30, Orangefield bested the Warren Warriors 76-41 on the road, and followed that up on Saturday by outlasting the East Chambers Buccaneers 46-32 in Winnie.
Jaden Scales was shooting lights out for Orangefield at Warren with 29 points. He also had 2 assists. Zane Wrinkle scored 18 points, grabbed 5 rebounds, and made 6 steals. Kane Smith was a third Bobcat scoring in double figures with 12 points while also making 7 rebounds, 6 assists, and 5 steals.
Three Bobcats also scored in double figures against East Chambers with Wrinkle being their leading scorer with 17 points and pulling down 4 rebounds. Scales had 12 points with 4 assists and Griffin Thomas scored 10 points while making 4 rebounds.
Bridge City has clinched a playoff berth and is striving to finish in second place for District 19-4A. The Cardinals beat the Vidor Pirates 67-56 in Bridge City on Friday, February 2, to improve to 7-2 in district which guarantees they can finish no worse than fourth place in the standings.
The Cardinals blitzed the Pirates in the first quarter with some expert shooting from seniors Aiden Gutierrez and Lincoln Breaux. The two combined for 17 points as Bridge City jumped to a 21-9 lead after one period.
Much of the same came in the second quarter as Gutierrez scored eight more to reach 16 points and Breaux got 10 points by half time giving the Cardinals a 36-23 advantage. Bryce Loftin was keeping the Pirates relatively close notching 17 points through the first sixteen minutes.
Vidor popped a trio of three point shots in the third quarter getting two from Eric Baker and one from Jose Guerrero Evans. Loftin scored six more points as the Pirates narrowed their deficit behind the Cardinals to nine points 50-41 with a quarter remaining.
Early in the fourth the difference got as close as six points until Gutierrez gutted the rim with back to back three pointers to put Bridge City up 58-46. Breaux hit two buckets sandwiched around one by Loftin for the Pirates to keep the Cardinals ahead 62-50 with less than two minutes to play.
The dynamic duo for Bridge City closed out the scoring in the final twelve seconds. Breaux sank two clutch free throws, and Gutierrez got his third three of the quarter as the buzzer sounded to give the Cardinals the all important win by eleven points.
Gutierrez finished the night with 32 points and Breaux brought the victory home with 18 points. Aaden Bush of the Cardinals contributed 8 points which included a pair of three pointers and Bryce Linder got 5 points for Bridge City.
Randall Robertson the coach of the Cardinals praised the excellent night by Gutierrez, Breaux, and the other Cardinals. "These seniors have been with me for three years, and they've had some disappointments like missing the playoffs by three or four points last year in the last game of the year against Jasper. They have let that fuel them for this year knowing how close they were, so they work hard every day. The Cardinals wanted it, and they earned it tonight," Robertson insisted.
The win over Vidor was Bridge City's only game last week after a bye on Tuesday. The Cardinals played on Tuesday, February 6, at Lumberton and will host the Jasper Bulldogs on Friday this week.
Bridge City is assured a playoff berth, and Coach Robertson is optimistic the Cardinals could finish in second place in District 19-4A. Robertson reminded, "We control our own destiny. If we come out and take care of business like we did the first half we can get second, but a lot can still happen, so we've got to keep working."
West Orange-Stark had a bye last Friday, and the Mustangs won their only game of the week 52-49 at Jasper against the Bulldogs to move to 6-3 in district play. The Mustangs have a tough remaining three games. They played at home against the first place Silsbee Tigers on Tuesday, February 6, and travel to LCM on Friday before their last district game in the West Orange-Cove Event Center against Bridge City on Tuesday, February 13.
Little Cypress Mauriceville continued to have bad luck in district losing both of its games during the week. The Bears lost on Tuesday in double overtime for the second time during the month of January 63-62 at Vidor and then fell at home 46-33 to the Lumberton Raiders on Friday. LCM at 2-7 in its district games has been eliminated from any chance of making the post season.