In the first of two signature series games, West Oaks and Hamilton Heights faced off in a re-match of an earlier game this season. West Oaks is looking to exact a measure of revenge this time around.
Heights got on the board first with a three from Andersson Garcia. West Oaks responded with a bucket from Selton Miguel. From there, the pace was fast and furious and with just under five minutes to play the score was tied at 7-7. Heights grabbed a quick four point lead but from there, West Oaks went on a 10-0 run featuring a pair of threes from A.J. Staton, to push their lead to 17-11 with 1:44 left in the first. Heights responded with a run of their own, this one 8-0, highlighted by a three from Yerald Miesas, to make the score at the end of one 19-17 in favor of Heights.
The Heights run continued into the second quarter. After a free throw from Jaqouone Gatling of West Oaks drew them within one, Heights reeled off seven points to lead 26-18 with 6:23 to play in the half. A Jadrien Tracey putback stopped the West Oaks bleeding, but only for a moment. Seven more Heights points, five by Drew Williams, pushed Heights’ lead to double digits at 33-20. West Oaks would finally right their ship offensively, but could only keep pace with Heights for the remaining four minutes of the second quarter. At the break, Heights’ lead was thirteen, 40-27.
Things looked dire for West Oaks after being outscored 9-5 the first 2:30 of the third quarter, finding themselves down seventeen at 49-32. However, the Flame buckled down on defense and slowly crawled back into the contest. After a three from Staton got them to within twelve at 49-37 with just under four minutes to play, Heights caught the turnover bug, finishing the period with seven turnovers. West Oaks took advantage and closed the gap to seven, 51-44, heading into the final period.
West Oaks continue to climb the comeback mountain and looked like they might make it happen after outscoring Heights 11-5 to get to within 56-55 with 3:28 left to play after an offensive put back by Carl Biggord. That is as close as they would get as Heights, now in the bonus, started getting to the foul line with regularity. Heights would push its lead to seven, 62-55, before West Oaks scored again, a three from Miguel with 1:18 left. Heights would milk the clock and take advantage of their opportunities at the free throw line, ultimately winning by the score of 70-60.
Heights got 20 points from Dominic Penn to lead the way. Samson Ruzhentsev added fifteen points while Reggie Bass contributed 14.
Miguel led all scorers with 24 points for West Oaks. Tracey finished with 12 points while Staton added 10 points.