If you shoot 76 percent from the field in a half of basketball, it usually paints a pretty clear picture most nights.
And here Tuesday night at the Dogdome, Brian English’s Bulldogs accomplished this feat by canning 16-of-21 field goals in the opening half and raced past Mid-County rival Port Neches-Groves, 59-34.
The Bulldogs win, coupled with Beaumont Ozen’s upset loss to Little Cypress-Mauriceville, sends English’s club into a first place 4-0 tie at the top of District 20-4A with No. 1-ranked Central.
In Nederland’s biggest game of the year this Friday, the ’Dogs travel Ozen, which entered the LC-M contest as the state’s No. 2-ranked 4A team.
Nederland, improves to 15-5 and 4-0, while the underdog Indians fall to 2-17 and 0-4 in league play.
“I don’t think I’ve ever had a team shot 76 percent from the floor in a half in my entire coaching career,” said English.
“We jumped out to a big lead by using pressure defense and we were able to play a lot of kids. I’m proud of how we played, but with Ozen coming up Friday, we’ve got to get to the free throw line more and keep hitting threes.”
On the night, the Bulldogs managed shot only six free throws (hitting two), but in the second and third periods buried seven bombs from behind the three-point line.
The Bulldogs led 39-18 at half and 55-25 after three quarters. In the opening period, New Oreleans-bound 6-5 senior Colton Weisbrod scored 13 of his team’s first 15 points, mostly on close-in baskets.
Weisbrod, who played only the first three periods, finished with 20 on the night. He eight hit shots from close in and banged home a long trey.
Missing only three shots on the night, Weisbrod hit his first seven shots before missing one, but he came back fired up stealing an Indian pass at midcount and racing in for an emphatic slam dunk.
Nederland actually attempted only one shot from 15 feet out in the first period, and scored 15 of their 17 points under the basket.
Hitting 7-of-10 from the field in the opening quarter was obviously a sign of things to come later in the first half.
After leading the undersized Indians 17-7 in first, the ‘Dogs decided to change gears and start firing from outside and they were quite successful hitting four shots from long range.
Senior guard Tyler Toon, who missed nine games earlier in the season, was outstanding in the middle two periods canning four from deep three-point land and added a layup to finish with 14.
After hitting 7-of-10 field goals in the opening quarter, Nederland was even more impressive in the second by draining 9-of 11 from the floor to dash to halftime leading by 30 points, 55-25.
Weisbrod and Toon were the only Bulldogs in double figures, while the Indians leading scorer was Jacobs Robbins with eight. For the game Nederland finished hitting 55.9 percent from the field (24-43), while the Indians were hitting just 36.1 percent (13-of-36).
“Nederland has an outstanding team both offensively and with their pressure defense, they were just too much for us tonight,” said Indian coach Pat Abel. “Our kids have to just keep working hard and I know they will.”
While the Bulldogs breezed past the Indians, when they travel to Ozen Friday night, they’ll have to be hitting on all cylinders to remain unbeaten in district play.
Score by quarters
PNG 7 11 7 9 -- 34
NED 17 22 14 4 -- 59
PNG (3-17. 0-4): Jacob Robbins 8. NEDERLAND (15-5, 4-0): Colton Weisbrod 20, Tyler Toon 14.