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Oak Hill battles undefeated Leake in district play to headline basketball Friday

December 15, 2011

Another big night of basketball is scheduled for Friday for area high schools and junior high squads.

Oak Hill continues district play with Leake Academy at home, while West Point kicks off their region in a matchup with Saltillo also at home. Hebron makes the short drive to Starkville to take on Starkville Christian School.

Oak Hill

The Lady Raiders are coming off a rare offensive struggle following Saturday's 41-31 loss to North Delta.

Rare, because it was only their fourth loss this season. Anna Ready finished with a team-high 12-points while Tori Ellis finished with 11, all in the first half.

Friday, they look for win number 12 when they host Leake Academy who have been just as impressive this season. At 13-1, the Lady Rebels are also undefeated in district play at 1-0. Oak Hill's district slate has been clean in the loss column and they look to keep it that way, although it won't be an easy task.

Head coach Stan Hughey said this week Oak Hill needs to score more than 31 points to get a win. Leake, Hughey said, strives to shoot the ball at least 80 times a ball game.

He says they’re doing everything they can to get their fans excited when the two teams play next Friday here in West Point.

“They have a website up promoting this,” he said. “It’s going to be a big game that’s for sure.”

The Raiders are finally coming around it looks like, although their record might reflect otherwise. They've found some consistency heading into the Christmas break after picking up their second win in two nights last Saturday over North Delta, 46-42.

It’s the second time this season the Raiders, 7-6, 1-1 have won back-to-back games since a three game streak in November with victories over Heritage, Carroll and North Delta.

Oak Hill head coach Brian Middleton said there is still a sour taste after that loss to Immanuel, but a win tonight will definitely make it better.

"That would fix it," he said. "The only way to fix losing is to win.”

They will have their hands full with a 9-3 Leake squad who are also perfect in the district.

Tip-off starts at 4 pm.

Hebron

Tori Nichols had a season-high 32-points Monday night, but it wasn't enough to keep alive a five game winning streak after a loss to East Webster. Hebron had a one point lead heading into the fourth quarter, but failed to capitalize at the free-throw line 14 times.

"We just went into a shooting slump,," head coach William Cotton said. "We just couldn't put it away. When you miss 14 free-throws and lose by six, you beat yourself on the line."

At 8-6, 2-0, the Lady Eagles have only one loss to Class A teams this season, which means they have played really tough competition all year long. That competition Cotton believes will help them down the stretch when games really matter.

"We learned some things from last night (Monday) that's going to help us" he said. "January is the month that counts." Friday, they have a rematch with Starkville Christian School who they defeated back in November.

The Eagles have yet to get over that two game hump - two wins, followed by two losses. This week they've lost back-to-back road games at East Webster and Old Dominion, and are looking to break that habit again when the play Starkville Christian and get back to above .500 on the season.

Tuesday, Hebron found some success from distance, scoring 12-points from behind the arch in the first quarter. However, the Eagles struggled against a man defense which led to several turnovers and the Eagles playing catch up the rest of the night.

Last time out, the Eagles routed SCS by 20-points which was easier said then done. it was still a victory nonetheless.

Tip-off starts at 4 p.m.

West Point
Both the girls and boy basketball teams hope to shed their recent slumps and get a win at home to start district play when Saltillo comes to town.

The girls have lost four of their last five games following a 60-35 defeat to Neshoba Central on Saturday. For the first time this season, the girls didn't have any player score in double digits. Their only win in that stretch came the night before to Aberdeen that snapped a three-game skid.

They look to change that against a Saltillo team that has been struggling as well and aren't expected to be a contender in the region. Regardless of what happens, the girls host Tupelo on Saturday in a rematch from earlier in the season.

The Green Wave are looking to break a two-game skid tonight against the visiting Tigers. The boys have struggled recently, with just one win in their last six ball games. Lately they've found success in the second half, but it's in the first two quarters where its been tough.

Saltillo has just four wins this season, and a win for the Green Wave would give them a little more confidence as they head into the Christmas break and an edge in district play.

Tip is slated for 6 p.m.

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