The quest for the El Campo Ricebirds first distict win in over two years will have to wait a little longer after losing on the road to the Needville Bluejays 43-29.
Without their starting post and a three-point specialist, the Ricebirds had to be creative for rebounds and shots in the paint. El Campo started shakily, but came back and were within eight points in the fourth quarter.
“I thought we played ok being undermanned,” Ricebirds Coach Chris Burrow said. “We knew it was going to be a tough game. There is not going to be any gimmie’s in this district. Shots weren’t falling, when we would get a shot.”
Senior Tanner Oldag only hit two three’s, both in the fourth quarter, his second cut made it an eight-point game with seven minutes left. Needville came back down the court while the Ricebirds forced a missed shot, the Bluejays got two offensive rebounds and scored on a put them back to make it 34-24.
Needville’s defense clamped back down and made it tough for El Campo the rest of the way. Even still, with a couple of made free-throws down the stretch, the Ricebirds could have made the game a little tighter.
At the half, El Campo trailed 24-9. Points were hard to come by. Without a post, they tried to feed the ball to senior point guard Deshard Owens. While he got position inside, El Campo had a hard time feeding him.
The Ricebirds offense finally got cooking in the third quarter with five different players scoring. El Campo did outscore Needville in the final two quarters, but it wasn’t enough to cut into the 15 first-half lead.
Sophomore Trinceton Foley and Owens led the Ricebirds in scoring with seven points each. Foley and Oldag had five rebounds each.
The Ricebirds will be back in action Friday when they take on the Sealy Tigers.