Bulldogs lose no step after 18-day break

Published 4:40 pm Saturday, January 2, 2016

NEDERLAND — The Bulldogs looked the same as they did 18 days ago.

They were scoring quickly out of the gate. Jase Miguez took control of the game. Kevin Howard is still improving his inside game.

Just in time to visit a state contender in district play.

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Miguez had 24 points, Howard followed with 18, and Nederland kept clicking in its first game since Dec. 15, beating Vidor 84-55 to open the District 22-5A slate.

“We all like to play. We all like to keep getting better. Everyone kept playing over the break and didn’t just sit around the house,” Howard said.

Next for Nederland (16-6, 1-0) is Beaumont Ozen, the recently crowned James Gamble Classic champion and last season’s 5A state runner-up.

The last time the Bulldogs (16-6, 1-0) played, Miguez had a career-high 38 points in a 75-66 home win over Port Arthur Memorial. Howard also had 18 in that game.

Miguez’s layup off the tip — 3 seconds into the game — was only a sign of things to come, although Vidor (8-7, 0-1) led as much as 6-2 early on the strength of back-to-back three-point baskets. But, soon, the Pirates would prove unsuccessful sticking with the outside shot, and Nederland ignited an 11-0 run to gain some separation.

“Overall, I’m proud of the way we came out and got after it early,” Nederland coach Brian English said.  “That’s the main thing. Come out with a little spark, and we did.”

Vidor suffered a big loss late in the fourth quarter when senior starting guard Lukas Connolly went down in the paint injuring his already torn ACL, which he sustained four games into the season. This was his first game back from the original injury, and he left with 14 points.

“He averaged 19 points a game for us before he got hurt,” said Vidor’s Laurence Williams, who was Nederland’s head coach from 1995-2006. “They braced him up, said he could play and said he couldn’t do any more damage to it. But, it just breaks your heart because he’s an outstanding young man and a good player.”

Maverick Quirante had 17 points to lead the Pirates.

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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