PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

January 10, 2013

Nederland set for showdown with Ozen

David Coleman
The Port Arthur News

PORT ARTHUR — It’s never too early to start thinking about playoffs. There’s certainly plenty of positioning going on in the area districts, as teams in District 21-5A and 20-4A wrap up the first half of play.

Nederland will have a huge 20-4A showdown this week, hosting Beaumont Ozen at 7:30 p.m. Friday. The Bulldogs could get a little revenge on the Panthers for knocking them out of the playoffs last season, but a win also gives Nederland a two-game lead over Ozen with two to play in the first half.

The Bulldogs are coming off a 66-54 victory over PN-G and have now won 32 of their last 36 district games. Nederland lost two of three games to Ozen last season, winning the first at the Dog Dome and dropping one at Ozen’s gym and the Montagne Center in the regional round of the playoffs.

Another big game for playoff positioning may be in Vidor, when Port Neches-Groves travels to play the Pirates at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

The Indians (7-13, 2-2 District 20-4A) are trying to snap a 2-game losing skid to district leaders Beaumont Central and Nederland. PN-G is currently tied with Lumberton for fourth place in 20-4A, one game behind third-place Beaumont Ozen with three games to play in the first half. The Indians already have beaten Lumberton earlier this season, but need a couple more victories in the first half to keep in the playoff picture.

The Port Arthur Memorial (11-10, 1-2 District 21-5A) boys will be looking to bounce back from a pair of tough losses to Channelview and North Shore last week. Memorial was off on Tuesday for the district bye week, but will play at Baytown Sterling on Friday.

Sterling has fallen on hard luck in district play too, going 1-3 to start the season. But, the Rangers were 15-7 in non-district games and should pose a tough test for the Titans at home.

The Titans are tied with Channelview for fourth place in 21-5A with La Porte in third and West Brook and North Shore sharing the district lead. The Bruins travel to North Shore on Friday.

The Lady Titans (20-4, 4-1) will host Sterling this week and are looking to continue the success they found in beating North Shore on Saturday. Memorial is tied with North Shore atop 21-5A, but the two have company after Channelview beat West Brook on Tuesday to move into a first-place tie. The Lady Falcons will also have the toughest game on the girls schedule Friday, traveling to fourth-place La Porte.

The Nederland girls will travel to Beaumont Ozen on Friday to take on the No. 5 Lady Panthers at 7:30 p.m. while the PN-G girls will host Vidor, who currently trail the Ozen girls by a game for the district lead.