Though Oak Hill’s football team begins the MAIS AA playoff Friday, the Oak Hill Raiders and Oak Hill Lady Raiders basketball teams are making the final preparations to start their season next week. The Oak Hill Raiders had a somewhat disappointing finish to last year’s season finishing in the lower half of their district, while the Lady Raiders hope to continue their success from last season when Oak Hill made it into the All-Around State Tournament before losing out to Simpson Academy. Both teams are hoping that they can both be successful and have a winning season ahead of them this year.
In preseason play, the Oak Hill Lady Raiders have competed in the Benton Girls Tournament hosted by Benton Academy. Oak Hill was able to play Tuesday night the very team that eliminated them last year out of All-Around Tournament. This time, the Lady Raiders were no match for Simpson Academy as Oak Hill took a 23-12 halftime lead. The Lady Raiders went on to victory with the score of 45-28 over a 1-2 Simpson Academy. Statistical leaders from Tuesday night’s game were Lauren Billington (16 points, 5 rebounds); Maegan Ellis (11 points, 4 steals); and Shay Atkins (4 points, 12 rebounds, 3 assist) helping the Lady Raiders win over Simpson Academy. The Oak Hill Ladies will close out tournament play at Benton Academy Thursday night against Parkplace Academy of Pearl, Mississippi.
Revenge was sweet in the preseason tournament with the 45-28 win over Simpson Academy. This early success can be attributed to a very experienced Oak Hill team which has returned four of the five starters from last year’s team. Along with the four returning starters, the Lady Raiders will have four Seniors giving them a great amount of leadership on the team. The Lady Raiders are coached by Stan Hughey. “We are an experienced team,” said Coach Hughey when asked about his Lady Raiders, “We got off to a great start with the win over Simpson Academy [at the Benton Girls Tournament]”
The Oak Hill Raiders, under the guidance of Coach Brian Middleton, are looking to improve upon their lackluster finish last year in their District. A promising class of ninth graders, a class that went 25-0 as Junior Varsity last year, looks to add to the current group of experienced upperclassmen to help lead Oak Hill to greater success this year. The Raiders may face a slower start because the Basketball Raiders will have to wait for twelve players to return from football action. “I’m waiting for these twelve boys to return from football,” Coach Middleton commented on his outlook of the season, “but we should look good this year once we get every piece of the puzzle put together.”
Both the Raiders and Lady Raiders will begin regular season play Tuesday night when they play host to Lamar Christian on November 6. The Raiders will remain at home Thursday November 8 when they play Kirk Academy, before hitting the road against Indianola Academy Friday November 9. This season should be a very exciting year for Oak Hill’s basketball teams that are looking forward to a very successful season.
Keep reading the Daily Times Leader for previews at Hebron and West Point High School.