Pearland roundballers run past Alvin and Alief Elsik

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LEADING SCORER - Pearland's Patrick Bridges (4) drives to the basket against the Alvin Yellowjackets.

Bridges scored a game-high 13 points to lead the Oilers to a 78-29 lopsided district win over the Jackets.

The Oilers will travel to Dawson on Wednesday, January 11 at 7:00 p.m. to face the state-ranked Eagles in a crucial district clash. [Photo by Lloyd Hendricks]

PEARLAND — When the 2022-2023 basketball season started, Pearland head coach Steve Buckelew found himself in a position he hasn't been in in 23 years as the Oilers head coach. He found himself entering the season without a returning starter or returning letterman for the varsity basketball team.

Buckelew has won over 800 games in his illustrious career and despite the uphill journey for this season, the veteran coach will find a way to see his hardcourt warriors play to their potential and advance to the post-season.

The Oilers are 2-1 in the early district standings as they have wins over Alief Elsik (52--33) and Alvin while dropping an early league game to Shadow Creek (43-26). Pearland has won their last five games.

Pearland is a pre-season pick to make the playoffs with state-ranked Dawson, Shadow Creek, and Strake Jesuit.

Pearland 78 - Alvin 29

Pearland (9-13, 2-1) unleashed plenty of firepower early and rolled to 78-29 win over the Alvin Yellowjackets (1-20, 0-3).

Varsity assistant David Koonsen, who was taking the coaching reins in the absence of Buckelew (attending his daughter's wedding), was pleased by what he saw by Pearland's performance.

"We've been talking about three things all year long that we have to do well, which are take care of the ball, rebound and knock shots down," Koonsen said. "I thought we did a good job of that today, and we played with a lot of energy. We know Alvin isn't that big, so we said that when we shoot, let's go get on the boards. The guys played hard and had a lot of fun."

The Oilers jumped out to a 19-3 first quarter lead and never looked back as the hapless Yellowjackets were no match against the hustling Pearland players who were relentless on both ends of the court.

Six Oilers scored in the opening frame led by sophomore Ryan Spears (5 points), senior Kaige Miller (5 points), junior Patrick Bridges (4 points), and junior Julian Valentine (3-pointer). Highslide JS
Click to enlarge.

LEADING SCORER - Pearland's Patrick Bridges (4) drives to the basket against the Alvin Yellowjackets.

Bridges scored a game-high 13 points to lead the Oilers to a 78-29 lopsided district win over the Jackets.

The Oilers will travel to Dawson on Wednesday, January 11 at 7:00 p.m. to face the state-ranked Eagles in a crucial district clash. [Photo by Lloyd Hendricks]


Pearland continued the pressure defense to limit Alvin to eight points in the second quarter while reeling off 20 more points for a 39-11 lead at intermission.

The Oilers took the third period 17-13 while Alvin had their best offensive performance with 3 treys.

The final period was a blowout as Pearland pumped in 22 points while holding Alvin to five free throws to pick up the 78-29 district win.

Bridges led the offense with 13 points while five different Oilers tossed in eight points each.

Alvin received strong play from Jacob Herrara and Elijah McKinzie, who finished with 11 and 9 points, respectively.

The Oilers play at No. 8 state-ranked Dawson next Wednesday, January 11 at 7:00 p.m. In a rare doubleheader, the Dawson girls will host No. 13 state-ranked Pearland in the first game at 5:30 p.m.