Sometimes it takes a little luck when it comes to winning basketball games. After winning three of their previous four games, the Raiders dropped two contests over the weekend in a 48-53 home loss to Canton and 47-56 on the road to North Delta, continuing Oak Hillâ€™s streak of very close losses. The second loss to the Panthers will place the Raiders in the third seed of the district tournament to face Winston in a go-home game.
In both games, the Raiders were very successful in their transition game, but failed to rebound the ball on the offensively in the first game and defensively in the second. Drake Riley, who leads Oak Hill with 7.3 rebounds a game, picked up two early fouls against Canton and suffered from foul trouble the whole night, resulting in very limited minutes. The rest of the squad was unable to pick up the slack for his aggressive board work. Against the Greenwave, the Raiders doubled their offensive rebound total, but gave up many second chance points. Oak Hill was fluid on offense both nights, scoring nearly all of their points in the paint and at the free-throw line, yet continued to struggle with outside shooting, going a combined 1-18 from beyond the arc in the two games. While the Raiders were successful forcing their opponents into foul trouble, the free throw line struggles took their toll, particularly in Saturdayâ€™s contest in which the team shot 8-22 from the free throw line, obviously the difference in the game. However, all is not lost. The Raiders are playing their best basketball of the year, and the pieces are coming together. This will be a team to fear come February. Expect big things.
John Wesley Williamson led the Raiders in scoring both nights with 23 against Canton and 18 against North Delta. Jeb Stevens had six points and eight rebounds Friday night and missed the Saturday contest. Riley Pierce had five and three points in the respective games. Curt Huffman had four points Friday night and six Saturday to go along with seven assists. Drake Riley scored four points and grabbed nine rebounds against the Panthers before recording a double-double consisting of 12 points and 11 rebounds against the Green Wave. Drew Riley also had four points against Canton Friday night and none on Saturday. Matthew Gwathney added two points and a team-high 11 rebounds Friday night before going on to finish with eight points and 10 rebounds against North Delta.