Oak Hill Academy was unable to keep their undefeated season alive against Starkville Academy in a 39-52 loss against the Volunteers. The Raiders were plagued by bad shooting and many careless turnovers that resulted in easy layups for Starkville. While Oak Hill was resilient in their comeback efforts, the deficit they had fallen into earlier in the game proved to be insurmountable.
Starkville was the first team to strike in the game as they opened up play with a 7-0 run before Jacob Dickens put Oak Hill on the board with a layup. While the Raiders were successful in getting Starkville into foul trouble early, they failed to convert their free throws, finishing 4-12 from the line at halftime. After one half of play, the Raiders trailed 15-13 in a sloppy defensive battle.
The third quarter proved to be the difference in the game. Oak Hill was outscored 20-6 in the third period due to turnovers and second-chance points for the Volunteers. 35-18 was the score at the end of three quarters.
In the final period of play, the Raiders were stuck in their 17-point deficit for the first half of the quarter before going off on a 6-0 run to cut it to 11. However, as Oak Hill was forced to gamble and trap to put themselves back in the game, Starkville exposed their gaps and put in a few easy buckets and sank free throws to close the game out.
J.J. Bridges led the Raiders with 20 points, 18 of those coming in the second half. Drew Riley and Chance Wilson scored seven and five points, respectively. Dakota O’Bryant and Jacob Dickens finished with 3 points each. John Wesley Williamson scored one point on the night.
Up next for the Raiders is a rematch with Heritage next Tuesday in Columbus with junior high action beginning at 4 p.m.