Indians earn second victory over Mustangs

Published 12:28 am Wednesday, December 14, 2016

PORT NECHES — Derrick Papa believes in his Port Neches-Groves Indians teammates.

He also believes in the system coach Pat Abel preaches every day in practice. The wins just have not come in bunches this year for the Indians, who picked up just their second of the season Tuesday.

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PNG defeated West Orange-Stark 73-57 at The Reservation, and it is the second time the Indians have defeated the Mustangs this year. The first was at the Nederland Bulldog Classic, 56-49.

Papa scored 18 points Tuesday and watched teammate Edsel Damo pour in 21.

“This win felt really good,” Papa said. “Like Coach said, we have beat the same team twice and in a way it’s only one win. It still feels good to get a win because we do have seven losses.”

The Indians’ troubles Tuesday came because the team played really well in first half only to let the Mustangs back in the contest in the third period.

PNG led 23-13 after the first and took a 46-21 lead into half.

Damo had 15 points in the game’s first 8 minutes and Papa had eight as the two combined to score all of the Indians’ first period points.

It was a stark contrast to the second, when neither played scored. Both spent some time on the bench to let other players get in the action.

Yash Garcia picked up the slack as he scored all eight of his points in the second. Bailey Broom also scored all of his points in the second with seven.

PNG outscored WOS 23-8 in the second period.

“We are 2-0 against West Orange,” Abel said. “It was a tale of two halves. We played pretty well in the first half and we knew if we took it easy in the second half, they would take advantage of it. West Orange’s kids battled their rear ends off and made a game of it. We struggled to take care of the ball and to make shots. Hats off to West Orange’s kids.”

The Mustangs came out of half trying to cause turnovers with a full-court press and it worked. WOS used the press to get easy scores off turnovers and outscored PNG 23-10 in the third.

Papa had five points in the third.

Brelin White was hot throughout the game for WOS. He finished with 26 points, coming away with seven in the third.

The Indians’ lead got down to nine at one point, and PNG led 56-44 heading to the fourth.

PNG’s lead was at 58-48 with 6:30 left in the game. That is when Haden Wiggins threw down a dunk to put the Indians up 12 and turn the momentum back.

Damo had six points in the fourth and Papa had five as the Indians made sure they captured the win by outscoring the Mustangs 17-13 in the game’s final 8 minutes.

“We are still waiting to play a complete game,” Papa said. “I think it is more self-motivation. We get really complacent. We have the talent to be really good. We can’t get complacent because teams will come back like they did tonight.”

PNG plays again at 1 p.m. Monday against Kelly.

Gabriel Pruett: 721-2436. Twitter: @PaNewsGabe

About Gabriel Pruett

Gabriel Pruett has worked with both the Port Arthur News and Orange Leader since 2000. A majority of the time has been spent covering all aspects of Southeast Texas high school sports. Pruett's claim to fame is...being able to write his own biographical information for this website.

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