Buckelew notches 700th win; Oilers clinch tie for district title

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EXCLAMATION SLAM! – Sophomore Javonne Lowery (5) puts the final exclamation dunk on head coach Steve Buckelew’s 700th career win as the Oilers blew past the Brazoswood Buccaneers 83-48. The victory assured Pearland of at least a share of the District 23-6A championship. Pearland improves to 28-5 overall and 11-1 in district. (Photo by Jose Fuentes)

By DR. DAVID DAVIS

Buckelew notches 700th win; Oilers clinch tie for district title

Pearland head coach Steve Buckelew has been at the helm of the Oilers basketball program for 21 years. He has experienced the highs and the lows as a head coach. But he does remember those monumental times such as getting his 700th victory at the expense of the Brazoswood Buccaneers 83-48 last week.

More importantly, the win also gave his team a share of the District 23-6A championship as the Oilers improved to 28-5 on the season and 11-1 in district. Dawson (10-1) must win their final league game to share the crown with the Oilers.

Buckelew said that a coin flip would probably decide the seeding instead of the two teams playing each other for the No. 1 seed.

“I don’t think it’s in our best interest to play Dawson a third time,” Buckelew said.

Pearland came out ready to play and this Pearland team wanted to be the one to give their coach victory No. 700.

There was no question from the start of the game who would win the game as the Oilers jumped out to a 24-13 lead after the opening quarter.

Colen James set the pace with three long bombs while Kelyn Adams hit three buckets and free throw for seven points in the first eight minutes.

The Oilers continued to keep the game under control as they outscored the Bucs 12-4 for a 36-17 lead at intermission.

Pearland was 7-of-8 from the free throw line in the period while James canned another 3-pointer.

“This team plays with such great chemistry, and they’re fun to watch,” Buckelew said. “They’re just playing with a lot of confidence and I’m enjoying the ride.”

It was more of the same in the second half as Pearland took the third quarter 20-12 as other players got in on the scoring parade led by three baskets by Kenneth Brown.

The Oilers wrapped up the monumental victory in the final period 27-19 as James collected his fifth and sixth 3-pointers while seven other players got in the scoring column to make it a complete 83-48 team win.

James was the game-high scorer with 20 points, Adams tossed in 17 and, Javen Hedgeman added 10.

Buckelew received a beautiful plaque and a cake to share with the team and fans following the win.

“For a guy that came from Louisiana and didn’t know jack about coaching basketball, this is a calling,” Buckelew said. “To see how bad I was early on and how much I’ve learned from guys through the process, it’s the only thing God made me able to do.

“I can’t drive a hammer or fix a car, but I can coach basketball. I’m totally humbled and I just give God the glory and credit because He made everything possible.”