Pearland comes up short against Clear Creek 47-39


PEARLAND — The Pearland Oilers have begun the 2022-2023 basketball season and head coach Steve Buckelew finds himself in a position he has never been in with his team to begin the season.

"This is the first time in 28 years that I have had a totally inexperienced group with no varsity experience," Buckelew said. " All of my guys played freshman or JV level last year. This is the youngest team I've ever coached in my 28 years at Pearland."

That could be why Pearland has a 4-10 non-district record to begin this season.

Buckelew remains optimistic at the potential for his team despite the inexperience.

"Despite the inexperience, we potentially should have a good offense and we are very athletic on the defensive side," Buckelew said. "We have some size and should be aggressive defensively."

The Oilers have some challenges rebounding as the game is moving very fast for some of the players and that's what they will have to get better as the season progresses.

It looks like Buckelew will look to Pat Bridges, Ezenna Ibe, Jason Obawemimo, Kaige Miller, and Ryan Spears as his players to provide early leadership for the team.

Buckelew remains optimistic because he knows that hard work and discipline will sooner or later get his team to be very competitive when district begins.

Dawson is the team to beat this year while Shadow Creek, Strake Jesuit, and Pearland are projected to advance to the post-season leaving Taylor, Hastings, and Elsik as the bottom tier teams.

Recently the Oilers faced the Clear Creek Wildcats and dropped a 47-39 non-district contest.

Clear Creek jumped out early for a 20-12 first quarter lead, but the two teams battled in the second quarter with the 'Cats taking the frame 9-8 and a 29-20 halftime lead.

The Oilers came out strong in the second half to take the third quarter 14-6 to cut the lead to 35-34 entering the final quarter.

Clear Creek was able to move past Pearland 12-5 down the stretch for the 47-39 win.

Pearland was led on offense by junior Julian Valentine who scored 12 points while Ibe tossed in eight and Luke Stano score seven points.

The Oilers were 1-for-7 from 3-point range and 10-of-20 from the charity stripe.