By Bryan Davis
The Oak Hill Academy Lady Raiders are in the AA State Tournament. The girls secured the No. 3 spot out of North State with a 46-40 Monday night win over Simpson Academy.
The Lady Cougars got the benefit of a dozen missed free throws from the Lady Raiders, in the first half, but they were unable to make it last, scoring a combined 18 points in the second half.
Coming off a 44-26 loss to Kirk on Saturday, the Lady Raiders stayed alive in the playoffs with the win over Simpson.
“We didn’t have much trouble rebounding,” said Oak Hill head coach Stan Hughey. “Kirk is a team that we haven’t played well against this year. It was good to bounce back and play well. I’m proud of the way we hung in there.”
Both teams exchanged an equal number of points (15) in the first quarter of the game. In the second period, the two offense went flat, leaving Oak Hill with four points and Simpson with seven. This was enough to give the Lady Cougars a 22-19 halftime lead.
During the break, Oak Hill made the adjustments the Lady Raiders needed, and they came out a lot more focused.
The offense was still not putting up big numbers, as the girls scored 11 points in the fourth, but the defense remained solid, holding Simpson to just nine points.
This allowed Oak Hill to enter the final period, down by 31-30.
In the fourth, Oak Hill put up 16 points on offense, and they once again held the Lady Cougars to nine points, enough to take the six-point lead before the final buzzer.
Tori Ellis led the Lady Raiders with 13 points. Rachel Herndon scored 11, and Anna Ready had 10 points.
Paige Dawkins scored six points, and Shay Atkins had four. Kayla Hall and Maegan Ellis both scored one point each for Oak Hill.
The Lady Raiders will play Bowling Green, out of Louisiana, today at 4 p.m. in Brookhaven, at the AA State Tournament.