Pearland comes up short against Atascocita 48-46

PEARLAND — There are some basic fundamentals when teaching basketball that might be called Passing 101. The one fundamental taught in early basketball development is to take care of the ball and do not throw the ball to an opposing player.

Pearland was on the cusp of having an opportunity to either tie up the game or possibly take the lead in the closing seconds against the Atascocita Eagles when a bad pass happened, not once, but two times that allowed Atascocita to survive a late-effort comeback by the Oilers.

With less than a minute left and the game tied 46-46, Pearland had control of their own destiny when the Oilers were on their way to make a play on offense when a wayward pass was tossed right to an Atascocita player.

Atascocita missed the easy layup, but guard Devin Harrison grabbed the rebound and put it back in the hole giving the Eagles a 48-46 lead with only 15 seconds remaining in the game.

Pearland quickly moved the ball down the court, but the Atascocita defense forced a long 3-pointer by Kenny Brown from the corner which was short. Fortunately for the Oilers, the missed shot bounced out-of-bounds off an Atascocita player giving Pearland once last chance with 1.12 seconds showing on the game clock.

The Oilers called time out to set up a last-second shot to either tie or win the game. Instead, the inbound pass went astray erasing any chance Pearland had in winning the game.

Two missed passes ended the Oilers season with a 30-6 record.

"Mistakes at the end," Pearland head coach Steve Buckelew said. "We threw the ball away twice when we had a chance to win.

"Ordinarily, Kenny wouldn't take that shot. I think he's made one 3-pointer all year, but that's what we had. Even when we were setting up for Kenny's shot, we were dwelling on the play before. And in the huddle for the last throw-in, I don't think we were totally focused. But that's the way it goes."

The Oilers had a strong opening quarter as they took an early 16-10 advantage after the first eight minutes of action.

Kelyn Adams led the offense with seven points including a 3-point bomb.

But the second period belonged to the Eagles as they outscored the Oilers 21-8 giving them a 31-24 lead at intermission.

Adams had half of the Oilers points in the period giving him 11 points in the first half, but the Eagles held him scoreless in the second half.

Pearland made a short 5-0 run to begin the second half as Javonne Lowery fired in a 3-pointer and Brown scored on the inside to make the score 31-29, but Atascocita closed out the quarter 7-5 for a 38-34 advantage leading up to the final quarter.

Atascocita scored on their next two possessions for a 42-34 lead before Pearland mounted their comeback late in the period outscoring the Eagles 12-4 to tie up the game 46-46 before the muffed passes doomed the Oilers from advancing to the 6A Region III tournament.

Fabien White, a 6-foot, 7-inch post, who has committed to the University of Houston, was one of the main obstacles that gave Pearland the most trouble. White led the Eagles with 19 points with five coming down the fourth quarter stretch.

"(White) hurt us more on the outside than I thought he would," Buckelew said. "We were trying to defend him down on the block. He's a great player, probably the best we've played against all season.

"But we kept battling and had our chances. It's a great bunch of guys and a great season…just a disappointing way to end it."