Raiders win season opener in OT

Staff Writer

Oak Hill’s Taylor Allen drove the lane and sank a floater with 20 seconds left in regulation to force overtime on Tuesday night against Columbus Christian.

The Raiders were able to come away with a 43-42 overtime win after a slow start saw Oak Hill trail for much of the game.

Columbus Christian jumped out to an early 4-0 lead, resulting in a 16-8 deficit after one quarter of play. The Raiders were having trouble containing Columbus Christian’s Nate Parker and Oak Hill head coach John Bower was frustrated with his team’s shot selection early on.

“We’re not terrible outside shooters, but it just wasn’t working,” Bower said. “I think seeing a few (3-pointers) go in really gave everyone confidence in the second half.”

Oak Hill trailed 20-11 when Reiley Tate stole the ball and drove down the court for a breakaway layup. The layup missed off the front rim and for the moment, it seemed that nothing could go right for the Raiders. Trailing 22-11, Tate would redeem himself, making a layup at the halftime buzzer to make the score 22-13 at intermission.

The Raiders appeared to come out with more energy in the second half, and more importantly, their shots began to fall.

“I felt like we were just getting out-hustled and out-played in the first half,” said Bower. “I told them at halftime that we needed to come out with some energy, some hustle and determination.”

Tate’s three-pointer with 3:25 left in the third quarter cut the lead to 24-21, and a layup by Allen would cut the deficit to 24-23. The Rams would jump back out to a 29-23 lead, but three-point baskets by Allen and Nate Lamkin would tie the game at 29-29 at the end of the third quarter.

Oak Hill would take its first lead of the game with 7:21 left in the fourth quarter when Tate drained a three-pointer for a 32-31 Raider lead. Another triple from Tate would stretch the lead to 35-31.

Late in the fourth quarter, Oak Hill had the ball and the lead and tried to run the clock. Columbus Christian’s Jordan Meek would steal a pass and get fouled on an layup attempt with 1:29 left in the quarter. Meek split the free throws, trimming the Raiders’ lead to 37-36.

A Lawson Studdard 3-pointer from the top of the key would give the Rams a 39-37 lead with less than a minute to go, before Allen tied the game.

Oak Hill jumped out to a 43-39 lead to start the overtime period, and held off a Rams comeback, as Ra’Shawn Tate’s half-court heave fell short, giving the Raiders a 43-42 win.

Tate led all scorers with 21 points, including five three-pointers. Tate also had three steals. Nate Parker led Columbus Christian with 15 points, but only six of those points came after the first quarter.

Allen finished with 11 points for the Raiders, while Nate Lamkin scored six points on two three-pointers.

Oak Hill (1-0) will travel to Hebron Christian Thursday to face the Eagles.