Pearland breaks drought against Dawson

PEARLAND — The drought is officially over!

The thrill of victory had eluded Pearland in all five previous meetings against rival Dawson. The host Oilers were not only looking for some measure of revenge but also a share of first place in District 23-6A.

Mission Accomplished!

Just like the Dawson football team got their first win against the Oilers in the fall, Pearland finally got a victory on the hard court over the Eagles in a hard-fought contest.

Pearland overcame a sluggish start and defeated Dawson 53-46 behind 10 points apiece from Javen Hedgeman and Colen James.

“Our kids were determined tonight and they did a great job,” said Pearland head coach Steve Buckelew. “We were 0-5 against these guys so we finally got the monkey off our backs. It feels great to get a win.

“I have to say that without Karl Nicholas they’re not nearly the same team,” Buckelew said. “I think it would have been a good game regardless. I knew we have a good team. But sometimes you get too personal with the other club and can’t separate the game from the relationships. We were able to do that tonight.”

Pearland improved to 26-5 on the season and 9-1 in district play. Dawson is 21-7 and 8-1. Dawson defeated Pearland 57-52 in the first round of league action.

Hedgeman, a 6-foot-3 senior point/combination guard, crawled out of his sick bed to deliver a clutch performance.

“He didn’t practice the last two days and I didn’t know what we would get out of him,” Buckelew said. “He played well and was the glue to our defensive effort.”

The score was tied 10-10 after the opening quarter following a basket in the lane by Pearland’s Kenneth Brown.

Pearland moved in front in the second period 13-8 for a 23-18 halftime lead as James sank a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Oilers a five-point advantage.

The Oilers came out hot in the third quarter to outscore the Eagles 17-10 for a 40-28 lead entering the final eight minutes.

Hedgeman led the offense with five points including a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

But the Eagles weren't going to go down without a fight as Jules Moor scored a pair of baskets while going 3-of-4 from the free throw line for seven points.

Pearland battled to stay in front though the free throw wasn't their friend in the final moments.

The Oilers hit only 5-of-11 from the line down the stretch, but still managed to hold on for the 53-46 win.

“It was a big game for us and we wanted this district win,” Hedgeman said. “It was a very competitive game and we knew they were a good enough team to come back.

“They out rebounded us the last time we played them so we had to address that,” Hedgeman said. “Our team defense was better and we also shot a lot better.”

Dawson got a strong offensive effort from Braxton Lovings who scoring a game-high 18 points that kept the Eagles in the game.

Pearland also got six 3-pointers in the game.