Pearland Lady Oilers

PEARLAND — For the first time in 26 years, the Pearland Lady Oilers basketball team captured the District 23-6A championship under second-year coach Lauren Martens. The last time a Pearland girls team won a league title was in 1991.

Martens was excited to learn that the Lady Oilers had captured a district title after so many years.

"The girls have worked hard and have been resilient and relentless," Martens said. "It is my first district title (as a head coach) and this team deserves it more than any team I've been a part of. We'll just keep pushing."

Pearland finished 27-9 overall last year and advanced to the 6A region quarterfinals.

It came as no surprise that Martens would be named District 23-6A "Coach of the Year."

Pearland finished 11-1 in league play to easily claim the crown while also advancing to the playoffs. The Lady O's picked up wins over Clear Falls and Atascocita before falling to 6A Region III finalist and No. 2 state-ranked Clear Springs.

Martens began the 2017-2018 basketball campaign with high hopes and optimism, but has seen three of her starters sustain injuries that have kept them out of the lineup, particularly sophomore De Yona Gaston and Jocelyn Thompson.

At the moment, Pearland is 6-11 in non-district action starting out at 1-9, so the team has made some positive strides despite the injuries going 5-2 over the past couple of weeks thanks to sharpshooting junior Macey Braswell who recently scored 36 points against Goose Creek Memorial in a 51-50 overtime victory.

The real season began on Tuesday (late) when the Lady O's opened up district action against Brazoswood.

Martens is confident that her girls will get back on a winning streak especially when the injured players return to action.

Martens predicts that her team will repeat as league champions followed by Dawson, Alief Hastings, and George Ranch in that order who will also earn playoff spots.

"When healthy, we have a strong inside/outside game," Martens said referring to the play of Braswell (outside) and Gaston and Thompson (inside). We need to improve our scoring in transition.

"We are playing through injuries, however, it is giving the rest of the team an opportunity to have quality game experience. This, in turn, will help prepare us as a whole for the post-season."