Lady Oilers secure district title with win over Lady Eagles

For the third straight season, the Pearland Lady Oilers have won the District 23-6A girls basketball title and have punched their ticket to the upcoming playoffs after beating Dawson 49-32.

Pearland will enter the post-season as the defending 6A Region III champions and Pearland head coach Jere Adams is anticipating another deep run this year.

The win for Pearland (30-4, 11-0) was its 19th consecutive victory and locked up an outright District 23-6A championship. Dawson (25-8, 8-3) must now regroup and prepare for a tough Shadow Creek team which will determine the No. 2 and No. 3 playoff seeds.

Despite the loss for the Lady Eagles, Dawson head coach Sharee Griffin has done an incredible job in raising the level of the girls basketball at Dawson.

The game between the cross-town cousins was much closer than the final score.

Both teams struggled in the opening quarter offensively before Pearland edged Dawson 9-3.

The Lady Oilers surged further ahead in the second quarter 11-7 for the 20-10 lead at intermission.

Pearland's Nyah Hardy, who has scored over 1,000 career points, added two more at the first-half buzzer when she grabbed a missed free throw with 1.2 seconds left and dumped it in the goal.

The Lady Oilers came out in the third quarter to build a comfortable 27-14 lead, but the never-say-die Lady Eagles caught fire on offense and outscored the Lady O's 12-0 to close the gap to 27-26 with 2:02 remaining in the third period.

Dawson sophomore guard Mia Barre connected on consecutive 3-pointers and Lady Eagle sophomore point guard Kendall Ford scored 10 points in the quarter to spearhead the remarkable scoring run.

Pearland junior forward Eliece Perry took over for the remainder of the third quarter and score six points to keep the Lady Oilers in the lead 33-28 entering the final frame.

Dawson ran out of steam in the final quarter as Pearland outscored their cousin 16-4 in the final eight minutes of action.

The Lady Oilers outscored Dawson 13-1 in the final 6:41 of the game to pull away. A'zyua Blair scored six points in that offensive spurt and senior guard Nyah Hardy added five to post the 49-32 final score.

“Defensively, our kids are really starting grow in that area and are working really hard,” Pearland head coach Jere Adams said. “(Eliece) Perry and Shiloh (Grays) both did a great job on the boards and attacking the rim.

“It’s a testament to our defense to hold them to one field goal in the last six minutes. That’s something to hang our hats on.”

Pearland freshman guard A’zyua Blair was the catalyst on offense and defense. She poured in a game-high 19 points, two assists, five steals and helped Pearland lead from start to finish. She also got scoring help from Perry (11 points, 9 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 block), and Hardy (8 points, 2 assists, 5 steals).

Dawson head coach Sharee Griffin was pleased with her team’s effort, but obviously disappointed in the outcome.

“I loved the fight — that’s Dawson basketball,” Griffin said. “But we were scared to make mistakes. We’re still learning the difference between wanting something and going to get it. It’s one thing to want it, but your actions have to back it up. Pearland is a great team and so balanced. We were well-prepared. Kendall had a phenomenal third quarter and just worked her tail off.”

The Lady Oilers close out the regular season at Alief Taylor on Wednesday, February 7 at 7:00 p.m.

The Lady Eagles will host Shadow Creek on Wednesday, February 7 at 7:00 p.m. to decide the No. 2 and No. 3 seed entering the playoffs.