Lady Chargers notch 41-35 win over Lady Oilers

PEARLAND — When the Pearland Lady Oilers showed up at the Deer Park High School gymnasium, most Pearland fans would agree that they checked their A-Game at the front entrance.

From the tip-off of the Class 6A Region III quarterfinals, the Lady Oilers had more turnovers than points against the Clear Spring Lady Chargers.

Pearland head coach Lauren Martens was visibly frustrated as her team was either having trouble getting the ball across midcourt, throwing bad passes, missing shots, or turning over the ball to the Lady Chargers.

Clear Springs didn't have their finest moment either, but they were able to take advantage of the Pearland miscues to build an 11-2 lead at the end of the first eight minutes of action.

As both teams struggled on offense, the Lady Charger did build a 7-0 lead.

With 1:31 left in the first period, Pearland's De Yona' Gaston finally put two points on the scoreboard on a pair of free throws to cut the lead to 7-2, but Clear Springs closed out the opening frame with a 4-0 run.

When all looked lost, the Lady Chargers' offense went on a five and a half minute drought allowing the Lady Oilers to get back in the game.

Leading 15-6, Pearland went on an 8-0 run to cut the lead to 15-14 as Gaston and Favour Ebonka hit a pair of layups each.

But the Lady Chargers regrouped before the first half ended with a 4-0 run to post a 19-14 lead at intermission.

“Our energy was so high for the Atascocita game, and we started a little slower tonight,” Pearland head coach Lauren Martens said. “And because we didn’t get into the game right away, our energy level sunk.

“We pride ourselves on playing with energy, and we finally found that in the second quarter. We just didn’t hit shots we normally do. We have one big-time scorer and other kids that chip in here and there, and tonight just wasn't our night."

The third quarter didn't turn out like Martens had hoped as the Lady Oilers just couldn't warm up on offense.

Leading 19-16 in the second half, Pearland would watch as the Lady Chargers would outscore them 10-1 to lead 29-17 at the end of the third quarter.

It would be a lead that the Lady Oilers just couldn't overcome.

Despite the erratic play for most of the game, the never-say-die Lady Oilers continued to battle.

As the final minutes of the game were closing in on Pearland, the Lady Oilers were able to close the gap to 39-35 with :34 seconds left in the game, but there just wasn't enough time to rally past the Lady Chargers.

Pearland senior and Mississippi State signee De Yona' Gaston led the offense with 17 points and seven rebounds. Ebonka, Kyah Barlow (10 points), and Aryelle Stevens (four points, five rebounds) were the only other players who scored for the Lady Oilers.