Pearland slips past George Ranch to advance to the playoffs

PEARLAND — In a must-win situation, the Pearland Oilers survived two missed free throws by George Ranch with only 7.6 seconds remaining in the District 23-6A showdown.

A win by the Oilers would secure a playoff spot while a win by the Longhorns would eliminate Pearland from the post-season and give them a share of the district title with the Dawson Eagles.

George Ranch proved the old adage that offense wins games and free throws win championships.

Pearland was leading 51-50 with only 7.6 seconds left in the district showdown and George Ranch was on the free throw line with a chance to pull out the win.

Instead, both free throws bounced off the iron, Pearland got the rebound after the second miss as the time ran off the clock giving the Oilers their ticket to the playoffs.

George Ranch had plenty of opportunities to put the game away, but they were 0-of-6 at the charity stripe in the final eight minutes.

Pearland also struggled at the line in the final frame hitting only 2-of-9. The Oilers were 15-of-25 for the game.

The two teams battled in each period as the Oilers trailed the Longhorns 10-7 after the first eight minutes.

With 4:16 left in the second quarter, Pearland finally put some space on the scoreboard with a 5-0 run and a 16-11 lead, but George Ranch closed the game to 20-19 before getting a 3-pointer at the buzzer for a 22-20 lead at intermission.

Pearland's Javarius Washington led the Oilers on offense with nine point while hitting 5-of-5 from the charity stripe.

The Longhorns came out hot in the third quarter as they built a 35-27 lead with 2:57 left in the third, but the Oilers came charging back to outscore the visitors 8-3 cutting the margin to 38-35 heading into the final period.

With :58 seconds left in the game and trailing 50-48, Robert Charles worked his way for a short jumper to tie up the game 50-50.

George Ranch missed on their next possession and fouled Derrick Ardoin who missed the first free throw, but sank the second giving Pearland a 51-50 lead.

The missed free throws by Longhorns gave the Oilers a 51-50 win and gave the Dawson Eagles their ninth straight district title since the school opened in 2007.

Javonne Lowery led the Oilers offense with 18 points while Washington added 11.

The Oilers faced Dickinson on Tuesday (late) in the 6A Region III bi-district playoff game.