Oilers win playoff opener; fall to Beaumont United

PEARLAND — The 2019-20 basketball season for the Pearland Oilers was a mixture of high's and low's.

The Oilers began the season as the greatest in school history reaching a record of 28-1 and 9-0 in district. It appeared Pearland had a lock on the 23-6A championship.

Then the team hit a brick wall dropping four of the last five league games and finishing third in the district race with a 10-4 mark while George Ranch and Alief Elsik finished tied for the top at 11-3.

Pearland advanced to the post-season and their first opponent was Clear Creek who finished in a three-way tie for second-place in District 24-6A at 7-5 with Clear Brook and Clear Lake.

Clear Creek was undersized compared to the Oilers and their offensive strategy was shooting the 3-pointer. But there is an old saying and that is live by the 3, die by the 3.

Unfortunately for the Wildcats, the pressing defense by the Oilers forced Clear Creek to take a lot of wild shots which helped Pearland to a 48-41 bi-district win.

“We were just holding our breath every time they shot it,” Pearland head coach Steve Buckelew said. “The kids played great defense, and we set the tone early.

“We wanted to get up on their ballhandlers and try to keep them from creating. It paid dividends in this game. I didn’t think Creek ever really got in a rhythm.”

It was a close game in the first half as Pearland took an 8-6 lead at the end of the first quarter.

The game remained tight as the Wildcats took the second period 10-9 leaving the Oilers with a 17-16 halftime lead.

The third quarter proved the difference in the outcome of the game as Pearland took advantage of a 6:30-long scoring drought by the Wildcats to go on a 13-0 scoring run and a 30-16 lead before Clear Creek finally found the basket with 1:30 left in the quarter.

The Wildcats closed out the period 5-3 leaving the Oilers in front 33-21.

Leading 43-28, Clear Creek push the Oilers till the end as the Wildcats finally began to find the 3-point range that shaved Pearland's lead to 43-38 with only 1:26 left in the game after going on a 10-0 run.

Pearland got some clutch baskets down the stretch from Dantre Boudreaux who scored eight points late in the quarter to keep Clear Creek at a distance. Robert Desta added five points in the fourth to also help the Oilers maintain the lead.

The Wildcats ended the game going 0-for-3 in the final minute from 3-point range and finished the game 9-for-32 which is what led to their demise.

Boudreaux led the Oilers with 15 points and 10 rebounds while Desta tossed in 13 points and seven boards and Derrick Ardoin hit six points and grabbed five rebounds.

The win improved the Oilers overall record to 30-5 and sent them to the 6A Region III area round against Beaumont United (33-2).

Beaumont United 49 - Pearland 22

Pearland traveled to Goose Creek Memorial High School to face Beaumont United in the Class 6A Region III area round of the playoffs.

Unfortunately, the Oilers were no match for the Timberwolves and Pearland returned home with a lopsided 49-22 loss.

The opening quarter set the tone for the entire game as Beaumont United scored 18 points while holding Pearland scoreless for the first eight minutes.

Trailing 18-0 entering the second period, Pearland finally found some offense with 11 points while the defense stepped up to hold the Timberwolves to only five points. But the Oilers still trailed 23-11 at intermission.

The second half belonged to Beaumont United as they outscored Pearland 26-11 for a 49-22 playoff win.

The Oilers finish the season with a 30-6 overall record.