COLDSPRING — The No. 13 New Waverly Bulldogs might’ve come into Tuesday night’s top-15 showdown with No. 7 Coldspring-Oakhurst slightly lower in the rankings, but they showed no signs of being an underdog while playing in the most hostile road environment they’ve faced all season.
New Waverly (15-1, 4-0) got on the board in the opening minute — as senior guard Cameron Austin split the Coldspring defense to assist a layup by sophomore forward Joe Bryant — and never looked back. The Bulldogs led for the final 31 minutes of an 83-63 rout, snapping a 39-game District 23-3A winning streak by Coldspring (10-1, 3-1) that dated back to Feb. 2017.
“I'd lost to them six times in a row, so it feels really good,” said Austin, who finished with 15 points to go along with six rebounds and six assists. “It's a confidence booster, but we're never satisfied. We're still hungry.”
“This is one of the games he's been looking forward to all year,” New Waverly head coach Melvin Williams added. “He said, 'This is the game we've been looking forward to, and we aren't going to let anything get in the way of getting the W.'”
With a couple of starters in early foul trouble, New Waverly’s reserves rose to the occasion. Junior forward Ja’carrius Smithers was one of the Bulldogs to step up off the bench, scoring 13 points.
Coldspring went on several runs down the stretch, closing the gap to as little as 10 points with just over six minutes remaining. Bryant helped his team avoid a collapse, however, pouring in 10 of his 18 points during a 20-10 New Waverly run to close out the contest.
Junior guard Sebastine Amaro finished with a game-high 20 points to lead the Bulldogs.
“I'm very proud of these boys,” Williams said. “They executed, stuck to the game plan and gave it all they got. It's like I told them, with this game, you have to leave it all out on the court. The bench stepped up big-time when I had some starters get in foul trouble … it was just an overall team effort. Everybody showed a lot of heart tonight.”
Tuesday marked New Waverly’s fourth consecutive 20-point victory to open league play, fueling the confidence of a team that has won 15 straight since dropping its season opener.
“If we come to play day in and day out, there's no telling how far we can go,” Williams said. “The sky is the limit.”
New Waverly returns to action on Friday night with a home game against Onalaska.