Pearland nips Dawson 57-56

PEARLAND — Pearland head coach Steve Buckelew was beginning to think his team was snakebit as they entered their district showdown against the Dawson Eagles.

The Oilers were 1-2 in district after falling to Alief Elsik (55-53) and Alief Taylor (53-52) by a total of three points. Taylor beat Pearland on a buzzer beater at the end of the game.

On the other hand, Dawson was 2-0 entering the game as the Eagles have shared or won outright the last six district championships including a co-championship with Pearland last season.

Pearland took the opening quarter 13-11 as Javonne Lowery led the way with a pair of 3-pointers while Dawson rode the scoring of Kris Dixon, who scored seven points and Lorenzo Waddy who had four points.

The Oilers edged the Eagles in the second period 15-14 for a 28-25 halftime lead as Pearland used a five-player balanced scoring attack while Dawson got a pair of treys from Andrew Eberhardt plus they were 5-of-6 from the charity stripe.

While Pearland never trailed in the game, the Oilers realized that the Eagles were not going away.

The Oilers managed to maintain their slim lead in the third quarter 15-11 and a 43-36 advantage entering the final period.

The key in the third was Pearland's 5-for-5 from the free throw line, but that would almost come back to haunt them down the stretch as Dawson made a run in the final frame to give them a chance to pull out the game.

Dawson took the final period 20-14 and had a chance to pull out the win in the final seconds when Eberhardt couldn't hit a game-tying 3-pointer. The shot came up short and Waddy followed the miss with a basket at the buzzer to make the final 57-56.

With 2:59 left in the game, Dawson cut the margin to 48-47 and Pearland was losing momentum at the free throw line to allow the Eagles to get it close.

The Oilers were 6-of-13 from the line and finished the game 12-of-22.

"Dawson made free throws and we did not," Buckelew said. "We fouled too much and gave them the opportunity to keep the game close.

"We could have had a comfortable win if not for that. Otherwise, I was very happy. We executed our game plan to a T. We played hard man defense and just enough zone to try to keep them on their heels."

Of course, Dawson head coach Mark Barre had a different take on his team's performance.

"We couldn't finish at the rim, we couldn't control penetration, and we couldn't rebound," Barre said. "And our point guard goes 0-for-8 from the field. It's hard to win games when that happens.

"With six minutes to go in the game, we were in the double-bonus, but we were down eight points. We would cut into the lead, but then we couldn't' get a stop. Basketball can be a frustrating game when you can't finish."

Lowery led Pearland with 19 points while Ovidio Perez added 12 points.

The Oilers hit six 3-pointers.

Waddy paced the Eagles with 21 points while Dixon tossed in 20.

The Eagles hit five treys and were 14-of-19 from the line.

Pearland is now 2-2 and Dawson is 2-1 in district.