Pearland gets playoff wins over Clear Springs and North Shore

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EASY BASKET - Pearland senior RyLee Grays scores two of her 14 points against North Shore as the Lady Oiler won their second-round playoff game 56-31 to advance to the third round to face District 24-6A champion Clear Brook.

The Class 6A Region III girls playoffs got underway, and the Pearland Lady Oilers are primed to make another deep run like they did a year ago.

Pearland advanced to the 6A Region III finals last year only to come up short against Summer Creek.

Head coach Jere' Adams has had her girls focused on winning the Region III title this year in order to advance to the state basketball tournament.

The Lady O's cleared their first hurdle with a dominate 59-24 win over the Clear Springs Lady Chargers as the outcome was never in doubt.

Pearland outscore Clear Springs 19-10 in the opening quarter and continued to build on that momentum with a 19-11 second period for a 38-21 halftime lead.

The Lady Oiler defense stepped up big time in the second half as they took the third quarter 13-0 and closed out the game in the fourth frame 8-3 for the 59-24 lopsided win.

Pearland allowed a single 3-pointer in the second half and that came in the final period.

Nyah Hardy led the Lady Oilers on offense with 22 points while RyLee Grays tossed in 17 points, 10 rebounds, four assists, and two steals. Paige Bonner scored eight points while getting three boards, three assists, and eight steals.

Pearland 56 - North Shore 31

Pearland made an opening statement as to who was going to win this second-round playoff contest with a 7-0 lead in the opening minutes of the first quarter against the North Shore Lady Mustangs (28-9).

"It was definitely a good start," Pearland head coach Jere Adams said. "La'Niah (Thornton) shot the ball really well early on, and any time she does that the game becomes easier for everyone else because the opponent is laser-focused on her."

Thornton opened up the game with a 3-pointer just 20 seconds into the contest.

Senior Post RyLee Grays then scored inside, and junior guard Nyah Hardy scored on a layup for a 7-0 cushion by the 4:43 mark.

After North Shore finally found the range with a basket, Pearland went on an 8-0 run thanks to 3-pointers from Thornton and Hardy while Hardy closed out the run with a layup for a 15-2 lead.

The first quarter came to an end with Pearland leading 15-4.

Pearland continued to lead in the game with a much closer second quarter as the Lady O's closed out the frame 10-9 for a 25-13 lead at intermission.

The game remained fairly close as Pearland took the third quarter 11-10 for a 36-23 lead entering the final period.

That's when the Pearland offense scored their most points of any quarter as the Lady Oilers ran away 20-8 to post the final score 56-31.

Hardy led Pearland with 17 points, Grays scored 14, and Thornton scored all 11 of her points in the decisive first half.

"It was a very physical game, and we knew that it would be coming in here," Adams said. "North Shore is a scrappy team, they're coached well and they play hard."

North Shore tried a full-court press on defense, but Pearland fought through that effort.

"We expected that coming out of halftime," Adams said. "At times we played with poise, at times we did silly things with the ball.

"At the end of the day, they're kids, and it's not always going to be perfect. I'm proud of the battle they fought through."

Pearland (32-3) will now fact District 24-6A champion Clear Brook (26-8) late Tuesday.