By Bryan Davis
Make it two district wins for the Oak Hill Academy Raiders hoops team. Friday night’s 69-65 battle with Carroll marked the first division victory on the court for the Raiders, as Winston forfeited two weeks ago.
Oak Hill was coming off a pair of losses, including a district defeat to Manchester last week. The boys played a very intense Friday night match, holding off the Rebels through multiple rallies.
“We really wanted it tonight,” said Oak Hill head coach Brian Middleton. “I’m extremely proud.”
John Wesley Williamson got the scoring started for the night with a two-point shot early in the first quarter. Williamson would go on to score six points in the first, as the Raiders spread the ball around to Zach Bryan, Reid Posey and Jacob Dickens, who all scored the first eight minutes.
The Rebels, however, were no slouches either when it came to scoring. They were able to sink in three three-point shots in the first quarter, keeping as many points behind the Raiders going into the second quarter.
With a slim 18-15 lead in the second, Bryan swished in a three-pointer to start the next quarter. Williamson followed with a couple of shots to make it 25-16 in favor of Oak Hill. The Raiders began to pull away, somewhat, as Steven Jones got into the scoring mix with five points in the latter half of the second quarter. When the half time buzzer rang, it was 36-27 Oak Hill.
The Raiders had their work cut out for them in the final two quarters. As much as they were hitting shots, the Rebels were able to match each one.
Dickens scored first for the Raiders on a lay-up, and he was followed with three straight points from Posey. Dickens added another two points to make it 43-34 Oak Hill, before Williamson got his first two points of the half. Posey, Dickens and Jones would finish out the third in scoring.
The Rebels, however, were right on the heels of the Oak Hill boys, scoring 20 points in the third to keep it a three point game going into the fourth.
Holding on to a 50-47 lead, Oak Hill never let the Rebels take the lead in the game.
Though the Rebels would put up 15 points in the final eight minutes, the Oak Hill crew was up to the task of leaving them in the dust.
Williamson shot a pair of free throws to start the fourth on offense. That make it 52-47, but Carroll responded with two points quickly.
Bryan scored two, and Jones put in six more points to put a little distance between the two teams.
It was clear though that this one was going to go down to the wire. John Robert Wilburne got into the mix with three points to make it 63-53.
Though the Rebels would close in to within four points, Oak Hill held on until the final shot banked off the back board for Carroll.
Williamson finished the game with 17 points. Jones and Posey had 13 points in the game. Bryan was the fourth Raider in double-digit scoring with 11 points.
The Raiders will not be back in action until January 3, when they travel to the Kirk Academy Tournament.