Lady Oilers close out first round of district with perfect mark

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Pearland junior forward Eliece Perry (12) scores an easy basket against Dawson as the Lady Oilers beat the Lady Eagles 34-29 in a District 23-6A showdown.

Perry scored seven points in the game.

[Photo by Lloyd Hendricks]

The defending District 23-6A champion Pearland Lady Oilers completed the first round of league play with a perfect 6-0 mark while compiling a 26-4 overall record.

The reigning 6A Region III title holders are gathering momentum to make another deep playoff run in 2024.

Last week -- Pearland completed the opening round of district competition with wins over cross-town cousin Dawson and Alief Taylor.

Pearland 34 - Dawson 29

A battle between Dawson and Pearland can always be expected when the cross-town cousins face one another no matter the sport. The athletes are friends off the battlefield or court -- but supportive of one another otherwise.

When the two teams met last week -- they had a combined season record of 43-10 with Pearland at 5-0 and Dawson at 4-1 in district.

The teams didn't disappoint as it was a back-and-forth battle with neither team able to grab the lead by more that five points throughout the contest.

The opening period mark the beginning of frustration for both teams as each team struggled on the offensive side ot the ball.

At the end of the first eight minutes of action -- the Lady Eagles edged the Lady Oilers 8-6. Both teams had three field goal apiece, but Dawson hit 2-of-4 free throws.

It was more of the same in the second period as Kendall Ford scored the only points in the frame (4 points) for the Lady Eagles while Pearland hit one basket and was 5-of-6 from the charity stripe to take a 13-12 lead at intermission.

Lady Eagles coach Sharee Griffin shared the difference in the game.

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Dawson sophomore guard Tycee Thibeaux (14) hits a short jumper against Pearland in a battle between the two district cousins.

The Lady Oilers edged the Lady Eagles 34-29 in the league contest.

Thibeaux scored six points in the game.

[Photo by Lloyd Hendricks]

“We were 2-for-20 from 3-point range,” Griffin said. “Our shooters have never had a game like that. Pearland didn’t shoot the ball well, either. Both teams played great defense, and that’s why the game was close. If we just hit two more 3s, we win the game.”

Dawson also went scoreless for ten and a half minutes from the 4:11 point of the second quarter until the 1:40 mark of the third period.

Pearland managed to go on a 6-0 run to begin the second half to surge ahead 19-12 before Dawson outscored the home team 7-2 to close the gap to 21-19 entering the final frame.

Pearland coach Jere Adams said, "We got our hands on a lot of loose balls, but we just couldn’t bring them in. In the timeouts, I told our players to slow down and take care of the ball."

The Eagles managed to close the margin to 28-26 early in the fourth but Pearland responded with a 3-pointer from senior La’Niah Thornton for a 31-26 lead with 1:40 left in the game.

The Lady Oilers also got a clutch 3-pointer from senior guard Nyah Hardy early in the period.

Pearland managed to sink 12-of-18 free throws, while Dawson connected on 9-of-14 attempts.

The leading scorer for Pearland was Nyah Hardy who scored 10 points including a basket, 3-pointer, and 5-of-6 from the free throw line.

Dawson was led by sophomore guard Kendall Ford who tossed in 11 points including three baskets and 5-of-8 free throws.

Pearland 61 - Alief Taylor 47

Pearland completed the first round of district play with a 7-0 mark after disposing of the Alief Taylor Lady Lions 61-47.

The Lady Oilers set the pace in the opening period outscoring the visitors 18-14. They continued the pace in the second quarter 12-9 to build a 30-23 halftime advantage.

However, the Lady Lions weren't going down that easy as they closed the gap 16-14 in the third quarter to trim the lead to 44-39.

The final frame belonged to the Lady Oilers as they surged past the Lady Lions 17-8 to post the 61-47 final score.

Pearland was led on offense by junior Eliece Perry who scored 23 points while grabbing 10 rebounds, five steals, and two blocked shots.

Perry got help from senior La'Niah Thornton (13 points, six rebounds, three assists), and freshman A'zyua Blair (10 points, three assists, three steals).