BC chasing after own Classic title

Published 11:20 pm Tuesday, December 27, 2016

BRIDGE CITY — Last year’s Bridge City Cardinal Classic helped the Cardinals go on a successful stretch going into district play.

“We won eight of nine heading into district,” coach Larry Sterling said. “Hopefully we can get into the same type of streak.”

The Cardinals are 7-6 this season, but at least three of those losses have been determined by 10 or fewer points. Starting today, they’ll try to extend a two-game winning streak to six with the tournament championship.

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Port Neches-Groves (2-8) goes into the Classic as the defending champion, having beaten BC in last year’s final.

Sterling said the Cards have “been right there” in each of their defeats, including a 47-46 decision to 3A state runner-up East Chambers. (BC beat East Chambers 39-28 earlier in the season.) Their offense has been balanced with their top three scoreres, junior forward Hunter Wiegreffe, senior post Dane Piper and junior guard Max Baker each averaging 9-10 points per game.

An influx of football athletes from Bridge City’s regional semifinal team has added to Sterling’s numbers, but those players are still getting acclimated to the basketball court, he said.

“It takes a little time to transition from one sport to another,” Sterling said.

This year’s Classic field also includes Sabine Pass, Anahuac, Tarkington, Vidor, Orangefield and Evadale. BC has beaten Evadale (67-57) and Sabine Pass (50-47) in their past two games.

Sterling expects PNG and Vidor, both of District 22-5A, to be tough obstacles toward the Classic title, although the Cardinals don’t have to see any of them in the three-game pool play. The fourth game for each team will be determined by the order of finish in each pool; the first-place teams will meet each other for the championship, the second-place teams will square off, and so on.

PNG will get a pre-district look at Vidor when the two teams meet at 9 this morning in the high school gym. Orangefield and Evadale round out their pool.

BC’s pool includes Anahuac, Sabine Pass and Tarkington, two of the teams the Cards have not played this season.

“With Sabine Pass, we kind of know what to expect,” Sterling said, recalling the Sharks (4-8) hitting seven three-point baskets to the Cards’ 0-for-14 performance from the arc in their Dec. 20 meeting.

I.C. Murrell: 721-2435. Twitter: @ICMurrellPANews

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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