Pearland girls win tourney; remain undefeated in district

PEARLAND — The 2017-18 version of the Pearland Lady Oilers basketball is now having the season that head coach Lauren Martens had envisioned at the very beginning.

However, injuries to two of her top five starters put them on a 1-9 start which wasn't exactly what she had in mind.

Since that time, the Lady O's have won 15-of-18 including the Brazoswood Holiday Classic and their two most recent district games to keep them undefeated in their quest to defend their District 23-6A title they won last season for the first time in 26 years.

One of the returning injured starters was All-District sophomore sensation 6'3" DeYona Gaston who joined 23-6A MVP junior guard Macey Braswell to provide a one-two punch throughout the tournament.

The 5-foot, 4-inch Braswell averaged 25.2 points per game while Gaston fired in 20.4 points per outing as the the pair shared tourney MVP honors.

Pearland point guard Sophia Volpe, a 5-5 senior, also garnered all-tournament honors.

The Lady Oilers reeled off five straight wins to bring home the championship trophy.

Gaston also produced three double-doubles with strong rebounding while blocking shots, changing shots, stealing passes and often leading breaks.

Pearland opened the tournament with a 72-21 win over Galena Park as Braswell scored 28 points and Gaston added 13.

The second win was 62-41 over Katy Taylor with Braswell firing in 25 and Gaston scoring 20.

Pearland then beat Hitchcock 66-42 as Braswell led the way with 29 and Gaston adding 20.

The Lady O's knocked off the tournament host Brazoswood and district rival 75-34 with Braswell scoring 28 and Gaston 23.

Pearland completed the tournament sweep with a 56-34 win over Mineral Wells for the tournament title.

Gaston led the way with 26 points and Braswell finished with 16 in the final.

Martens said winning the tournament title was a bonus.

"We looked at this tournament as a great opportunity for us to get our legs back after having five days off," the Pearland head coach said. "We were able to play a lot of girls for a lot of minutes.

"We didn't play well all of the time, but you can always play hard. We're happy to come out with the win, and I feel like now that we'll be refocused when we begin district action again."

Lady Oilers 4-0 in District

Pearland is alone at the top of the District 23-6A standings in their quest to repeat as league champions after opening up the first round with wins over Brazoswood, Alief Elsik, Alief Taylor, and Alief Hastings.

Last week, the Lady O's beat Taylor 66-48 who entered the game tied with Pearland at 2-0 in district.

But DeYona Gaston took control of the game with 29 points and 15 rebounds to lead the Lady Oilers to an important win and the top spot in the standings.

Pearland 54 - Hastings 24

The game never materialized into a close contest as Pearland jumped out to an early 9-1 lead and never looked back as the Lady Bears were not match for the faster and more aggressive Pearland squad.

Coach Martens got a well-balanced effort from her girls as Macey Braswell led the offensive attack with 14 points while DeYona Gaston tossed in 13 with 12 rebounds, Jocelyn Thompson and Madison Gissendanner both added 10 points each.