The teams were never separated by more than seven points.
In the District 18-6A showdown between the Bellaire boys and rival Lamar at Butler Fieldhouse, the Cardinals would take a slight lead and the Texans would reel them in with their prowess from beyond the three-point line.
Bellaire led 14-12 after one quarter. The Cardinals increased the lead to 25-20 at halftime and 42-37 following three quarters. In the fourth stanza Lamar crept to within one point on three different occasions.
However, in the end there was one element Lamar wasn’t able to counteract – Bellaire standout guard Maxwell Evans.
Evans’ remarkable 40-point performance was the difference in the Cardinals’ 58-55 victory. That included a second quarter DUNK that brought the crowd to its feet.
When every other Lamar defensive tactic failed, the Texans resorted to fouling Evans and making the Vanderbilt commit shoot free throws.
In the fourth quarter alone, Evans converted 14-of-19 free throws but missed his last two that left the door open for a Lamar desperation heave at the buzzer that missed its mark.
The teams will meet again Feb. 10 in brand new Delmar Fieldhouse. Tipoff is at 7 p.m.