The Dallas Mustangs entered the Pearland Classic undefeated and possibly the talk of the country. After all, who could argue? The adidas-sponsored powerhouse had accumulated over 20 straight wins over teams from all over the country, highlighted by the championship of a prestigious "Real Deal" event held in Arkansas last weekend.
Meanwhile, the unsponsored Houston Hoopstars entered this event looking for some long overdue props. Not only did the Hoopstars achieve that goal, they performed one of the most dominating six game stretches in Pearland Classic history, capped by a 65-46 victory over the Dallas Mustangs in the championship game--their second double-digit win over the Mustangs within a 30-hour span.
In the championship game, unsigned senior Jonathan Evans hit three consecutive three-pointers to help push the Hoopstars to a 15-0 lead, and the team never looked back. The Mustangs didn't get their first field goal until the 8:39 mark, when Jherrod Stiggers knocked down a three pointer. That basket was part of a 11-point spurt which closed the lead to 15-11. The Hoopstars didn't buckle one bit. They kept spreading the rock around the perimeter, and connected on a remarkable 7 of 9 attempts from behind the curve. The lead reach double digits again, but the Mustangs used the aggressiveness of Ben Dillard and LeBryan Nash to close the half on a strong run to get within 32-24.
In the second half, the Mustangs got as close as 45-40 with 11:00 to go, before Cameron Ridley went to work on both ends of the floor--scoring all 10 of his points in this half, and Thomas Walkup delivered a game-high 22 points including a trio of treys which pretty much put the game out of reach for good.
College coaches are surely to be checking on the status of Evans, who finished with 14 points. Plus, Ryan Manuel and newly acquired sophomore floor general Trey Pinkney added 7 points each in the win.
Dillard, a smooth stroking guard led the Mustangs with 10 points and Nash scored all 6 of his points in the first half, which factored into a very interesting defensive statistic which proves just how effective the Hoopstars were.
Through the six games, no opposing team totaled more than 49 points, and not a single player scored more than 10 points against the Hoopstars. Also, all six games were won by double digits with the closest game being a 64-49 win over this same Dallas Mustangs team during pool play. In that particular game, Nash was limited to a season low four points.
As expected, the Hoopstars closed the game with class, they simply spread the floor and ran the clock down without any challenges, as the parents and fans from both teams applauded in support of a job well done by both teams.
In the North Division Bracket, the host team, Houston Elite Red smacked the Gulf Coast Blue Chips (71-42) to win the title. CJ Shelvin (Madison HS) and unsigned senior Teris Bourgeois (Clear Springs HS) led all scorers with 19 points apiece while Jones HS duo of DeMarcus Johnson and Joe Miles produced 11 and 10 points respectively.