The Port Arthur News
Beaumont Ozen may have been the third-place team from District 20-4A, but after Tuesday night, the Panthers are the only team standing. Ozen jumped out to a 20-4 lead on Nederland and never looked back in a 52-44 victory at the Montagne Center in the Class 4A regional quarterfinals.
“Ozen did a great job defensively, ” Nederland head coach Brian English said. “We didn’t do a good job responding to the pressure defense. It got away from us. We never did get over the hump. They did a great job.”
David “Trey” Green scored 10 of his game-high 25 points in that first period, hitting two 3-pointers and energizing his entire team. The Bulldogs fell behind 7-0 to start the game, before a pair of Zach English drives cut the Panthers’ lead to 7-4. That was as close as Nederland would get to the lead for the rest of the game.
Part of the problem was shooting woes brought on by the Ozen defense, but also the environment at Lamar’s home court. While Ozen’s length gave Nederland’s shooters problems on the perimeter, there were a few shots where the Bulldogs had their spacing slightly askew.
Instead of lining up behind the high school 3-point line, it appeared the Nederland players were setting up behind the college line. That made reliable shots from prior games fall well short.
“I don’t think we did good with the environment at all,” English said. “You’ve got to get used to the environment if you want to play in the playoffs. I’m proud of the kids, they had a great year. We’ve got something to build on for next year.”
Both defenses slowed things down in the second and third quarters as the Bulldogs slowly pulled within 11 by halftime. The Ozen defense once again shut down Nederland’s offense, as the Bulldogs didn’t score double-digit points in a quarter until the fourth quarter.
For the game, Nederland shot 16 for 43 and 4 for 22 from behind the arc. Meanwhile, Ozen made 10 of 21 shots in the first half and 19 of 35 shots for the game.
Nederland did come alive in the fourth quarter, going 9 for 20 from the field on the back of sophomore forward Colton Weisbrod. The big sophomore scored 15 of his 21 total points in the fourth. That helped Nederland keep pace with an Ozen team that couldn’t put the game away at the foul line, missing 11 of 21 free throws in the final frame.
However, it was Jared Lorimier that sparked the 10-1 run Nederland went on that cut Ozen’s lead to 49-44 with less than a minute left in the game. Lorimier hit a 3-pointer to make it 48-37 with 2 minutes to play, followed by Weisbrod scoring on a transition layup and senior forward Jayson Lubera hitting a wide-open 3-pointer from the left side to cut the Panther lead to 48-42.
After Green hit 1 of 2 free throws, Lorimier hit another long shot, but stepped on the line for a 2-pointer, cutting Ozen’s lead to five.
“The kids have a lot of ‘no-quit’ attitude, ” English said. “They did a great job not quitting. They played to the end, but it was just too little, too late. We had a couple plays in the third quarter that didn’t fall and hurt our momentum.”
Weisbrod finished with 21 points, eight rebounds and two steals while Lorimier and Kirby Hanley each had 5 points. Zach English added 9 points while Jamiere Rogers had four rebounds.
NOTES: Nederland’s Brian English ends the 2011-2012 season with 249 career victories. ... The Bulldogs will bring back most of this team next year, with only Jayson Lubera graduating out of the players in English’s rotation. “It’s a great sign,” English said. “The kids that are coming back tried to finish the game for us. They had a lot of fight in them, we just didn’t play well enough to win.” ... Ozen is making its first trip to the regional tournament since the 2006-2007 season. ... This also marked the second time in three playoff games that Nederland scored 20 or more points in the fourth quarter. The Bulldogs scored 27 against Dayton in a fourth quarter rally during bidistrict play. ... Beaumont Central lost by a point on Tuesday, meaning Ozen is the last team standing from 20-4A. The Panthers will face Houston Jones in the regional semifinals Friday at Katy’s Merrill Center.
Beaumont Ozen 52, Nederland 44
Ozen 18 6 9 19 — 52
Ned 4 9 8 23 — 44
OZEN: Jakobi Jones 9, Trey Green 25, Alex Williams 2, Ernest Maize 4, Brandon Green 3, Demaster Sam 3, Terran Vaughn 6.
NED: Zach English 9, Jared Lorimier 5, Kirby Hanley 5, Colton Weisbrod 21, Jayson Lubera 3.
Statistics — Rebounds: Nederland 19 (Weisbrod 8); Ozen 25 (Green 6). Assists: Nederland 3; Ozen 6 (Jones 2). Steals: Nederland 9 (Weisbrod 2); Ozen 2. 3-point goals: Nederland 4 (Lorimier 2, Weisbrod, Hanley); Ozen 2 (Green 2).
Records: Nederland (29-8); Ozen (23-12).