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Deer Park’s quest for third place met with 49-35 loss to West Brook

February 9, 2019

Beaumont West Brook’s spread offense worked, Deer Park’s outside game didn’t.

In holding Deer Park to one fourth-period point and the Bruins bench outscoring Deer Park’s reserves 23-4, West Brook secured third place for the 6A state playoffs with a 49-35 District 21-6A win at Watkins Gym Friday night.

Deer Park slips to 8-5 for the district race, ensuring fourth place for the state playoffs that gets under way Feb. 18.

Only down two entering the final eight minutes, Deer Park went 0-for-12 from the floor, scoring its only point on a Brad Milliorn free throw with 70 seconds remaining.

With the Bruins holding the ball, Deer Park needed its offense to score on virtually every possession but the maroon and gold picked the worst moment to hit a terrible scoring drought.

“The one thing we tried to do was shorten the game and get out of here with a victory. It was a big game for both of us,” said West Brook head coach Andre Boutte, whose squad avenged a 64-51 loss to the Deer back on Jan. 15 in Beaumont.

“It’s something that coach Boutte does. We were anticipating it. It doesn’t matter if he’s got a two-point lead or a 12-point lead, he’s going to go to it. We had a plan. I was really proud of the guys. In the third quarter, that’s when we made our little run. We executed out of our defense and then we actually made a couple of threes during that run and that’s when we took the lead back,” Deer Park head coach Ryan Bright said.

The Bruins went to their 4-corners look the moment they had manufactured their largest lead of the game at 31-24. But it started out in wobbly fashion as a bad pass, a three-second violation after a fumble and two more turnovers opened the door for Deer Park.

Deer Park had the grand total of six field goals when it was down 31-24, but in bang-bang fashion, they tacked on four more to take a 34-33 lead.

Terry Anderson, who finished with 11 points, scored on a putback, coupling that with his only 3-point goal, before Brad Milliorn (12 points) hit a 3-point goal from the right side before Andrew Madrigal scored on a lay-up. Three of those four scores came on the heels of Bruin turnovers.

“Deer Park is a well-coached team. I know that for a fact. I learned that about them a month ago,” said Boutte, referring to the first-round loss. “We wanted to keep a hand in the face of the shooters and not let 21 (Milliorn) go crazy on us. We wanted to pay attention to him and know where he was at all times.”

But Madrigal’s bucket would be the team’s final one at Watkins Gym for the 2018-2019 regular season.

Noah Washington, just promoted from the JV, put the Bruins back in front just before the end of the third period.

Then Clayton Carpenter (nine points), with his long wing span and nice size, scored West Brook’s opening six points of the final stanza. In the spread look, Carpenter was situated along the baseline in the right corner. Ideally, the Bruins wanted to get the ball to Carpenter who would then drive the baseline for the score or draw the foul.

That’s how West Brook grabbed a 42-34 advantage with 4:18 remaining in the game. Carpenter got fouled and he drained both free-throw attempts.

Deer Park only got seven more looks at the basket after that. The Bruins had some more turnovers, but Deer Park’s cold shooting and the severe lack of offensive rebounding made those mistakes a moot point.

Bright’s Bunch weren’t missing their bread-and-butter shot by much. Numerous times, the outside shot rimmed in and out.

“We’re going to live and die by the three a little bit and we died by it tonight. I think we shot 17 percent from the 3-point line, 5-of-27, 5-of-28, something like that. They were good looks. Going back, I wouldn’t change anything about them. Those guys that shot’em, I trust them to shoot it again. We didn’t hit them tonight, but the law of averages will make us hit them the next time,” Bright said.

The Bruins in the scoring column were led by Ja’quan Yates, who came off the bench and scored 14 points on the strength of four 3s.

“That’s one thing we tell our kids. Don’t be so focused on who’s starting, be ready when your number’s called and come out and contribute,” said Boutte, noting Yates is usually a starter but he’s had some injury issues.

ravery@hcnonline.com