Lady Oilers knock off Beaumont United 40-39 in OT

PEARLAND — No one figured that the Pearland Lady Oilers should have been playing in the area round of the Class 6A Region III basketball playoffs because they were supposed to lose to Clear Lake in the bi-district round.

Playing without two main starters, head coach Lauren Martens told her girls they needed to play with heart and soul which they took literally to pull off an upset win over the Lady Falcons 49-43 to advance to the area round.

The Lady O's learned that their next opponent was Beaumont United who was undefeated at 35-0 and Pearland would certainly meet their demise against a team that had not experienced defeat this season.

Martens and her hard-court warriors entered the game without two starters and a leading reserve and the odds were even greater that this would be their last dance for the season.

Heart and soul has an uncalculated formula for which there is no explanation. Just ask the girls from Beaumont who came into the battle thinking they could run the Pearland girls off the court.

Not this time.

To the surprise of the Beaumont crowd, the Lady Oilers were not intimidated by the bigger United team. In fact, United found the pressing defense of Pearland was intimidating to them as the Lady Timberwolves committed four turnovers while trying figure out how to stop Pearland senior guard Macey Braswell.

Braswell took over the first quarter on offense scoring all 12 of Pearland's points for a 12-8 lead at the end of the stanza. The hard-working 5-4 guard fired in a pair of long-range bombs, a pair of short jumpers and was 2-for-2 at the free throw.

Meanwhile her teammates were working hard on the defensive end of the court with her to set the tone of the game.

Things slowed down on offense for Pearland in the second quarter as United outscored the Lady O's 9-6 leaving Pearland with an 18-17 lead at intermission.

United had a strong early third quarter. With score tied 21-21 at the 5:04 mark, the Lady Timberwolves went on a 4-0 run for a 25-21 lead at the 3:03 mark, but Pearland's Kyah Barlow hit a 3-pointer to close the gap to 25-24 with 1:46 left in the third.

The Lady Oilers forced a turnover by United and they got a last second shot by Braswell to close out the period for a 26-25 lead heading into the final frame.

The final period was back and forth with United finally putting some space between the two teams 33-28 with 3:11 left in the game.

But the never say die girls from Pearland came charging back as Braswell drove the lane for a foul. The sharpshooter calmly sank both free throws to cut the margin to 33-30 with 2:55 left.

After another defensive stop by Pearland, Braswell came charging down the court to pull up for long-range bomb that hit the mark to tie the score at 33-33 with 2:16 remaining.

Pearland got a rebound from a misguided shot by United and it was Braswell who drove the lane for a soft jumper giving Pearland a 35-33 lead with 46.2 second left in the game.

United finally found the game-tying shot with just seconds showing on the clock to send the game into an extra period.

United scored the first basket in the overtime period, but a turnover on the next possession led to an easy Pearland layup. After a made free throw by United made the score 39-37, Braswell drove down the court and scored on a floater to tie up the game 39-39 while being fouled. The cool-headed Braswell calmly sank the free throw for a 40-39 lead with 7.6 seconds left in the game.

The Pearland defense would step up and force an errant shot to get the win.

Braswell had a game-high 24 points while hitting three 3-pointers and was 4-for-4 from the line.

Pearland moves on to the regional quarterfinals to face the Atascocita Lady Eagles on Tuesday (late).