SWEENY — The Sweeny Bulldogs had no answer for a Lamar Consolidated Mustang squad that caught fire in the second half, falling 58-41 and missing out on a chance to win its own tournament.
The Mustangs instead will head into the championship round of the Randy Miksch/Raymond Washington Tournament after their win.
“This was a tough game. We just fell in love with the three a bit to much,” Sweeny first-year head coach Robert Cash said. “They were big and they were dominant on the boards. That was one of the better low-post teams that we’ve faced all year, and they have about three guys who are athletic and strong around the basket.”
Sweeny trailed the Mustangs, 31-25, at intermission as Lamar used its inside game to get a bit of separation. The Bulldogs’ best post players, Bryson Soistman and Trey Fields, found themselves on the bench because of foul trouble, opening the paint for the visitors.
This forced the Bulldogs to rely on jumpers and shots from beyond the arc.
“I know we continued shooting from the outside, but I just thought it was way too many,” Cash said. “We should have gone in a bit more trying to hit Caleb Williams. But we are young and we are still learning.”
With Soistman, Fields and Calon Amey on the bench most of the third period and part of the fourth, the Mustangs (6-8) got hot in the fourth, going 7-of-9 from the field. The Bulldogs hit just 3-of-19 attempts and were outscored 17-8.
Lamar Consolidated’s Kahlil Wells (11 points) and Terrell Ray (10 points) did most of their damage on the inside not just with scoring but rebounding as well.
“We are not a deep team yet and they had a pretty good rotation going,” Cash said. “We are still learning my system, and at times we have it, but we also have those flashes that are hurting us.”
Soistman scored 14 points with seven rebounds for Sweeny (8-4) with Zambian Martin scoring 10 points, all in the first quarter. Tyler Mills chipped in three treys for nine points.
SWEENY 59, EL CAMPO 35: Running a precision offensive attack from the start, the Bulldogs used the assist to keep the Ricebirds at a good distance to win their tournament opener Thursday.
Five first-quarter assists and four more in the second period set up Sweeny for a 33-18 halftime lead. Amey finding Soistman on the inside and Martin finding Fields with a nice drive were among the ways the Bulldogs found timely buckets to separate themselves from El Campo.
In the second and third periods, the Bulldogs were a combined 14-of-26 from the field.
El Campo could never get on track against the Bulldogs, as they were 12-of-38 from the field in the first three quarters.
Soistman led Sweeny with 15 points, Amey punched in 10 and Fields and Martin each had seven.