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Friday night hoops

January 12, 2012

High schools return to the court Friday, with several playing in key district contests.

Oak Hill
The Lady Raiders, 17-5, bounced back from their fifth loss of the season with a pair of victories over Indianola and Marshall earlier this week as they prepare to return to Class 2AA action this weekend.

“We played good perimeter defense,” head coach Stan Hughey said after the 45-32 win over Marshall. “We had talked about can we duplicate what we did against Indianola. And we did better.”

Oak Hill hosts Canton Academy, who at 1-4 are looking to pull off an upset over the currently undefeated Lady Raiders. The red and white hit the road to Leake on Saturday and prove that the 61-57 win over the Lady Rebels back in December in West Point, wasn't just a fluke. Leake had just one loss on the season before making the trip and have since won six in a row since.

Hughey said he expects it to be a packed house in Madden for the rematch.

Since winning a season-high seven straight games in December to close out the first half of the year, the Raiders have found themselves in a rut, dropping their last two ball games including a 70-24 loss to Marshall. Oak Hill (12-8, 3-1), struggled from the floor, shooting 8-of-38 for the game.

“It was their pressure, a full-court man pick-up in our face all night,” head coach Brian Middleton said. “They made us play into their game and we just couldn’t get out of it.”

Middleton said right now, the main focus is on their upcoming district game with Canton Academy, who are undefeated through five games in district play before a rematch with Leake who they defeated earlier this season, 74-68.

“It’s rebound time,” he said. “We need to pick this thing back up. This is going to be the challenge that we have. We can’t let two losses bother us.”

Oak Hill tips off following the JV games.

Hebron

The Lady Eagles, 13-7, will close out their five game home stand Friday when they host Winona in district action.

The girls were handed their first home loss of the season against Kemper last week, but have since rebounded with two wins over Winston and Macon Central. Senior Tori Nichols scored a career-high 40-points and had a triple double in the victory over Winston.

Hebron has jumped to 3-1 in district play, with their only loss to undefeated Kemper. Winona are currently at 2-2 in the district. Hebron won the previous matchup 44-37.

Head coach William Cotton said that loss to Kemper, although tough to swallow, happened at the right time of the season.

“I had talked to them about consistency and told them if they want to be a state champion, you have to play like you know you can, " he said.

After dropping a third straight game in a 45-44 nail biter to Kemper last week, the Eagles have resurfaced and are looking for that illustrious third consecutive win for the first time this season.

It's going to be tough as they face-off with the No.1 team in the district on the road at Winona.

“If we want to get back into contention for that (second place) spot, it’s important that we win this one,” said head coach Tri Nason. “I don’t want to put too much emphasis on one game, but losing it is going to make it a lot harder to battle back even to second place.”

The Eagles 10-9, have won two in a row fairly easily, scoring 50-plus points in both games while getting everyone a chance to get some minutes and playing good defense. Tuesday, they held Macon Central to just 20-points for the game.

"Playing these last two games were a confidence and also a break before we play again Friday night," Nason added. "It’s going to be tough.”

Hebron tipoff with JV games starting at 4 p.m.

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