OAKWOOD — The Oakwood High School boys' basketball team remains alive after recording a 63-51 victory over Laneville in District 28-1A.
So, it all comes down to this — for Oakwood to even force a play-in game versus Laneville later week — the Panthers must beat Neches on road.
The varsity game will start at roughly 6:30 p.m. tonight.
With the win over Texas Association of Basketball Coaches Conference 1A No. 10 Laneville, Oakwood improved to 13-6 overall and 11-4 in 1A-28.
The Panthers even re-entered the TABC rankings at No. 23, which was released on Monday.
“We have been fighting all season from the fourth-place spot,” said first-year head coach Michael Ostlund. “Our players have felt like it took some time to get our basketball legs going. It's been an uphill battle, and we are eager to prove we are a playoff team.”
Neches will finish second in 28-1A no matter what, according to Tiger assistant coach Garrett Dickson, with a current record of 13-2.
LaPoynor (14-1) is the 28-1A champion.
Laneville had a slim 25-22 lead heading into the third quarter; and the Yellowjackets maintained their lead in the third quarter.
However, momentum changed after Laneville was issued a technical foul for slapping the backboard while Oakwood's Trisdon Bynum attempted a layup.
“That seemed to be a little bit of a spark for us at that moment,” said Ostlund. “Sometimes that's the way our team is, we just need something to give us a little spark.”
Bynum stood lonely on the free-throw line, and he sank a pair of free throws to knot the score at 35-all.
Laneville missed a shot on its subsequent possession, and Bynum drilled a 3-pointer from the corner to put Oakwood ahead for good.
After another Yellowjacket turnover, Oakwood's Jerimiah Sargent drove the baseline for two — and the Panthers were up 40-35 after three quarters.
Sargent finished with a game-high 20 points.
Oakwood's run continued deep into the fourth quarter, and the Panthers took 53 seconds off the clock on their first possession of the period.
“That was a great possession for us, and got us complete control down the stretch,” Ostlund said. “We stress getting good shots, no matter how long it takes.”
The end result of that possession was a Tuddy Jones' dribble-drive bucket through the lane. Bynum fed Sargent for a layup and Jones netted two more on an 8-foot jumper.
Oakwood's lead was 46-35 with 6:09 left in the fourth quarter, and Laneville couldn't recover. The Yellowjackets closed Oakwood's lead to seven points once and eight points three times; but, never any closer.
Aside from Sargent, three other Panthers tallied double-digit poins with Bynum 15 and 10 apiece for Key'undre Davis and Jones. Bynum had three of Oakwood's four 3-pointers.
Darold Jackson was Laneville's top scorer with 16, including four treys, and Ty'Markeon Davis added 12. The Yellowjackets were 8-of-11 from the foul line (73 percent), and Oakwood 5-of-9.
Score by quarters
L 12 13 10 16 — 51
O 12 10 18 23 — 63
Laneville: Dameon Brantley, 7; Demarcus Holsome, 4; Ricardo Pereles, 6; Ty'Markeon Davis, 12; Darold Jackson, 16; Corniceon Walker, 6
Oakwood: Jerimiah Sargent, 20; Bastion Pickens, 2; Tuddy Jones, 10; Travis Bynum, 15; Key'Undre Davis, 10; Garret Bean, 6
Personal fouls: Oakwood 17, Laneville 16; Fouled out: None; Technical fouls: Oakwood, 1; Laneville, 1