Oilers win district opener over Alief Taylor

PEARLAND — The Pearland entered their District 23-6A opener against the Alief Taylor Lions with a 9-6 non-district mark. Head coach Steve Buckelew wanted to see his hard-court warriors get started on the right path in league action and he got what he wanted as the Oilers edged the Lions 40-38.

The first half was fast paced for both teams and there were only three fouls called in the opening two quarters with the first coming at the 2:37 mark of the second period.

Taylor had a more aggressive offense in the first quarter as they built a 13-7 lead. However, Pearland began to find some rhythm on offense in the second period to outscore the visitors 10-6 leaving the Oilers trailing 19-17 at intermission.

Javonne Lowery scored six points in the first half while Ethan Flores and Alphonso Tyler both hit 3-pointers each.

Both teams scored 12 points in the third quarter making the score 31-29 entering the final stanza.

Flores scored seven points in the third and continued his offensive showing five more in the final eight minutes including another 3-pointer while Lowery had a strong second half with eight points.

Pearland built a 39-34 lead with less than two minutes left in the game. Taylor rallied to cut the margin to 39-37 before Lowery hit one-of-two free throws giving the Oilers a 40-37 lead with less than 20 seconds left in the game.

The Lions hit one-of-two free throws to close the margin to 40-38. With 9.6 seconds left in the game, Taylor had an opportunity to either tie or win the game, but they let the time on the clock run out before taking a shot allowing the Oilers to come away with the critical win.

Flores led the Oilers in scoring with 15 while Lowery followed with 14.

Taylor was deadly from long-range with seven 3-pointers for the game, but they only scored seven points in the final frame while Pearland came away with 11 points including two 3-pointers by Flores and Javarius Washington.

Pearland is now 10-6 overall and 1-0 in district.