Pearland drops heartbreaker to Alief Taylor in 2OT

PEARLAND — Pearland faced district foe Alief Taylor for the third time this season and the game was just a close as the first two during the regular season in league action.

Taylor edged the Oilers 53-52 in the first game of district on a buzzer beater as the game ended. Pearland avenged the first loss with 32-29 win in a game that had little offense.

This time the two teams were facing one another in the playoffs with the winner moving on the other team hanging up their shoes for the season.

It appeared that the game was going to have plenty of offense and the Oilers looked as if they would run away with the game jumping out to a 20-4 lead with Pearland taking the first eight minutes 13-4 and then going on a 7-0 run to begin the second period.

Pearland was a smooth running offensive machine in the opening quarter with running passes and slam dunks and soft jumpers which contributed to quick lead.

The Oilers were led by senior Javonne Lowery who scored 12 of the 20 points during that time.

However, the Lions weren't going down that easy as they stepped up their effort to outscore the Oilers 12-6 in the final half of the second period to close the gap to 26-16 at intermission.

But things changed in the second half as Pearland was able to score only 11 points in the third (3) and fourth (8) quarters which allowed the Lions to, not only get back into the game, but take the lead down the stretch.

"We couldn't get a rebound when we needed to," Pearland head coach Steve Buckelew said. "They were just so dominant on the boards.

"I told our guys that Taylor won't beat you on the first shot, but they'll beat you on the second shot. I was hoping I wouldn't be a prophet, but that's what happened."

With Pearland only able to score three points in the third quarter, Taylor scored nine points to close the gap to 29-25 entering the final period.

With 5:11 left in the game, Taylor finally took their first lead of the contest.

Both teams battled back and forth until the final buzzer that ended the game at 37-37 sending the game into an overtime period.

The two squads scored five points each in the first four-minute overtime leaving the score still tied at 42-42.

Lowery hit a 3-pointer with 1:15 left in the first overtime giving Pearland a 42-40 lead, but Taylor answered with a basket before time ran out sending the game to a second overtime.

In the second OT, Taylor's Dana Barnes scored at the 3:02 mark, and the only other scoring were two free throws by Pearland's Ovidio Perez with 22 seconds left prior to Mike Adelabu's game-winning follow shot making the final score 46-44 in favor of the Lions.

Lowery finished as the top scorer for the Oilers with 17 points.

Pearland closes out the season with a 22-13 mark.

Buckelew was disappointed in the loss, but enjoyed his team's playoff run, which happened despite losing four starters to graduation.

"Hats off to Taylor," he said. "It was two great defensive teams out there. Their length was just too good. They constantly crash the boards, and they swat at everything.

"You hold one of them off, and another rises above the rim. But I'm proud of our guys. We started out 2-4 and then became one of the better teams in the Houston area. My guys gave a great effort every time out."