No. 11 state-ranked Lady Oilers remain unbeaten in district play

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POINT BLANK SHOT - Pearland sophomore Eliece Perry (12) gets an easy bucket against the Dawson Lady Eagles.

Perry scored 16 points to lead the Pearland offense in the 50-40 district win over Dawson. Pearland is now 24-3 overall and 6-0 in league play. (Photo by Lloyd Hendricks)

The Pearland Lady Oilers (23-4) concluded the first round of District 23-6A action with wins over Dawson (50-40) and Alief Taylor (54-34) to remain perfect at 6-0. The No. 11 state-ranked Lady Oilers were only challenged by Shadow Creek who pressed the Lady Oilers to double overtime before Pearland pulled out the win.

When Pearland traveled to face Dawson (14-14, 3-3), the Lady Oilers found themselves facing a much-improved Lady Eagles squad who gave an all-out effort for the entire game.

Pearland led from start to finish and built an 18-point fourth-quarter lead before a late push from the Lady Eagles narrowed the final score to 50-40.

"There's a lot of antsiness that comes with a rivalry game," Pearland head coach Jere Adams said.

"We started a little slow but maintained our composure for the first 3 ½ quarters. I was pleased with the effort, but we have to minimize the turnovers."

Pearland senior guard Janae Tucker fired in a 3-pointer at the end of the first quarter to give Pearland a 14-8 lead. The Lady Oilers began the second quarter with an 8-1 run for a 22-9 advantage. Pearland would finish with a 27-14 lead at intermission.

"It's tough when your two leading scorers don't score in the first half," Dawson head coach Sharee Griffin said. "We came out hard in the second half, but it wasn't enough.

"Pearland is super-fast. (Paige Bonner) is an amazing defender. She's quick, aggressive and anticipates well.

"We were overthinking too much instead of just playing. Once we started attacking the basket, we got Rylee (Grays) in foul trouble, but it was too late then."

With 3:45 left in the fourth quarter, Pearland was able to break through the Dawson pressing defense to build a 48-30 lead.

"We turned the ball over a lot, and many of those were unforced," Adams said. "Dawson played hard, and that's what we expected, especially in this environment with all the people at this game.

"We definitely need to improve on decision-making and taking care of the ball.

"We need to be more accountable and value each possession more."

Pearland took the third quarter 12-11 and closed out the fourth frame 15-11 for the 50-40 win.

Eliece Perry led the Lady Oilers offense with 16 points while Rylee Grays tossed in 13.

Dawson's Kennedy Smith led the Lady Eagles with 11 points.

Pearland 54 - Alief Taylor 34

The Lady Oilers concluded an undefeated first round in district action with a 54-34 win over the Alief Taylor Lady Lions.

Senior Rylee Grays (13 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals) and sophomore Eliece Perry (11 points, 5 boards) led the Lady Oilers on offense. They got strong support from senior Janae Tucker (9 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal) and junior Nyah Hardy (8 points, 4 rebounds).

Pearland built a 13-7 first quarter lead and outscored the Lady Lions 9-7 in the second period for a 22-14 lead at intermission.

The Lady Oilers increased their intensity in the second half as they took the third quarter 19-11 for a 41-25 advantage heading into the fourth quarter.

Pearland closed out the game 13-9 in the final period to grab the 54-34 district win.