The Port Arthur News
Sophomore guard Jaylan Ballou revved up Nederland’s offense with 11 first quarter points and the Bulldogs coasted past Lumberton, 69-49, here Tuesday night in the Dog Dome.
Brian English’s ’Dogs improved to 5-1 in District 20-4A play and pushed their season record to 16-6. Lumberton dropped to 3-2 in district and 13-10 on the season.
It was Nederland’s 10th win 11 tries and sets the stage for its second showdown in Beaumont in the past seven days on Friday against 6-7 post E’Torrian Wilridge and his No. 1-ranked Beaumont Central Jaguars.
But Tuesday night, this one was over pretty early as the Bulldogs raced to a 22-11 first quarter lead and a 42-20 lead at halftime.
Once again, Nederland shot lights out in the opening period as the ‘Dogs connected on 72.7 percent from the field (8-of-11), and 58.3 percent for the first half (14-of-24 field goals).
In the first half alone, Nederland made as many field goals (14) as the Raiders made the entire contest.
“We’re playing pretty good defense right now. Our defense is coming together at the perfect time,” said Nederland’s English. Over the past 10 games, the Bulldogs have allowed only an average of 42.7 points per contest. The only team during this 10-game span to score more than 50 points in a game was Vidor, who scored 58 on Dec. 17. Over this course of time, Nederland’s defense has held its opponent to 40 or less five times and under 50 points on nine occasions.
Nederland will need another great defensive effort Friday night against the top-rated Jaguars like its got last Friday holding No. 2 Beaumont Ozen to just 40 points in a one-point setback.
Against Central’s 6-8, 6-7 and 6-4 frontline, Bulldog Colton Weisbrod and Colton Kimler will have to turn in their finest defensive effort of the season. Leading the way for Central is the 6-7 junior Wilridge, who is rated as the No. 1 junior in the entire Greater Houston area.
“He (Wilridge) is a kid that can go up and slam everyone when he gets it in close,” English noted. “It was be our toughest task of the season.”
But Friday night as Ballou got the Bulldogs rolling early, then Weisbrod added 10 of his game-leading 21 points in the second quarter, it was time for English to play everyone on his bench in the final two quarters.
Joining Weisbrod and Ballou in double figures was senior guard Tyler Toon, who added 10 points on a pair of treys and a couple of other field goals in the first three periods.
Sophomore Jase Miquez came off the bench to score nine points in the second and third quarters.
Nederland had a subpar night from the charity stripe against Ozen last Friday. But against the Raiders, the Bulldogs were an nifty15-of-21 from the line.
With a 5-1 league mark, which tied the Bulldogs with Ozen, Nederland hopes to spring the upset on Friday in Beaumont against Central.
LUMBERTON (13-10, 3-3) 11 12 8 18 -- 49
NEDERLAND (16-6, 5-1) 22 20 14 13 -- 69
LUMBERTON: Logan Gunter 17. NEDERLAND: Colton Weisbrod 21, Jaylan Ballou 13, Tyler Toon 10.