Second string gives Bulldogs life; Miguez goes for 37

Published 11:02 pm Tuesday, December 8, 2015

NEDERLAND — His team leading West Orange-Stark 12-10, Brian English was looking for a little more push from Nederland.
So he did a full line change.
Nederland’s second string replaced the whole starting five with 3 minutes left in the first quarter and stayed on the court 8 minutes. The result: senior guard Adrian Nelson went continued a three-point barrage that helped turn a tight game into a blowout.
Nelson canned two of his three treys to end the opening quarter, and the Bulldogs (10-4) shut out the Mustangs 20-0 in the second quarter, on their way to an 88-31 win Tuesday night in non-district play.
Nelson, who finished with 16 points, was just feeling his shot all night, but he wasn’t boastful about it.
“Something like that,” he said. “When we need a score, we’re going to do it.”
By the time the fourth period came around, the starting Bulldogs hit their stride.
Especially Jase Miguez. The senior guard/forward had 19 points in the fourth quarter alone and finished with 37.
“[English] just said, kind of slow it down a little bit, but if we’re open, let it go,” Miguez said, asked about English’s words to the starters after the first few minutes. “Just play basketball.”
The Mustangs (2-4) are playing with a short-handed roster as they wait to add football players to their lineup, but for the first 5 minutes, they hung around with the perennial District 22-5A contenders. Nelson and company took the court to relieve a struggling first string, and the Mustangs couldn’t keep up.
“We’re just trying to get better as players and as a team,” West Orange-Stark coach Tramaine Hancock said. “We’ve got nine kids out still playing football, but I had to come out here and just get the kids I do have, trying to get them better, trying to get them opportunities to show me that they can play at this level.”
If anything was to blame for Nederland’s early woes (despite never trailing), it was the recent success they had. They played five games last Thursday-Saturday in capturing their first ever Bulldog Classic title after hosting the event for the 45th time.
“[We were] maybe a little tired,” Miguez said. “We’ve got to get into it a little bit, but with our people playing with confidence, we’ve got to play with confidence and shoot the ball really good to keep us going.”
Nelson converted six of the Bulldogs’ 12 threes, including four in the fourth period.
Tarek Riley scored eight points to lead West Orange-Stark.
Nederland will only get a little rest until Thursday, when the Bulldogs play two games in the Hardin-Jefferson Marathon: a noon game against Shepherd and 6 p.m. contest against Big Sandy.
That tournament runs through Saturday. The Bulldogs will be at home next Tuesday to host Port Arthur Memorial.

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About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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