MADDEN -The drought continued for the Oak Hill Raiders Saturday afternoon as they dropped their fourth game in a row, falling to Leake Academy 63-56 in overtime.
Leake outscored the Raiders, who had two players foul out in the extra period 10-3.
AJ Jones led the team in scoring with 28-points and had a chance to snap the skid with eight seconds left in the ball game, only converting on one of two from the line.
“We played really well on defense in the first quarter, probably the best we’ve had,” head coach Brain Middleton said. “We came out with lot of energy. Then it just disappeared. We’re letting games slip away for whatever reason right now.”
Oak Hill (12-10, 3-3) grabbed an 8-4 lead after the first quarter, but Leake came back in the second with 11-points. The Raiders had a slim 18-15 lead at the half.
OH struggled offensively in the third quarter, scoring just seven points as their lead started to slip away. Leake drained 19 for a 34-25 advantage down the stretch.
The Raiders clawed their way back and had one of the best quarters on the season with 28-points. Trailing by one, Jones hit one of two from the line to send it into OT.
The Raiders had a pair of open looks for 3-pointers but couldn’t convert despite cutting the lead to two.
“We’re not playing our best basketball that’s for sure,” Middleton said.
“We just need to start doing the little things again. We’re just struggling to find that right combination to win.”
Girls: Leake 52-44 Oak Hill
Although Leake didn’t have arguably their best player on the floor, Oak Hill struggled in adjusting to the opposing offense as Leake earned a crucial district game at home.
The loss puts both Oak Hill (18-6) and Leake in first, but the Lady Rebels have the tiebreaker with a larger margin of victory.
“We had a hard time stopping their dribble and drive,” head coach Stan Hughey said. “We missed too many free throws late that could have kept us alive. It’s hard to go to their gym and beat them on their home floor, but we certainly had the opportunity.”
The game was evenly matched early on as Oak Hill took and 14-11 lead into the second quarter, where each team scored just nine points. The Lady Raiders led at the break 23-20.
Leake, who hasn’t lost since the first meeting between these two teams, scored 12-points in the third to trim the deficit to two. Leake exploded offensively in the fourth with a 20-point effort to earn the victory.
Shay Atkins finished with a double-double, 16-points and 14 rebounds while Anna Ready had 12 and Tori Ellis had 11. Rachel Herndon had nine rebounds in the loss.
Oak Hill goes back on the road for another district tilt with Winston.