We hadn’t caught a game in the Sunshine Independent Athletic Association since early in the season, so when West Oaks Academy hosted Victory Rock Prep last night, it was a great chance to see the top two teams in the SIAA in action.
Things didn’t start out well for the Flames of West Oaks as Victory Rock Prep got out to an early 12-0 lead, highlighted by a pair of dunks in transition from Jonathan Dos Anos. West Oaks spent three timeouts in an attempt to stop the run. The Flames finally got things going at the thirteen minute mark of the first half (SIAA teams play two eighteen minute halves with a 30 second shot clock). It looked like West Oaks was right back in it at 17-12 with eight minutes left in the half. Victory Rock was able to get things going back their way by taking control of the contest on the defensive end. At the end of the first half, VRP was up 34-25 on West Oaks.
In the second half, it seemed like every time West Oaks would get within a couple of possessions of the lead, VRP had an answer. With five minutes left in the contest, West Oaks was down five at 62-57. That’s when things got interesting.
A three point play from Tyrell Jones of West Oaks brought them to within two at 62-60 at the 4:15 mark. After a VRP miscue, Jones gave West Oaks its first lead of the contest on a three with 3:50 to play. VRP took back the lead on their next possession thanks to a pair of free throws from Dos Anos. West Oaks’ Rifen Miguel put back a miss on the Flames’ next possession to make the score 65-64 with 2:45 left to play in favor of the home team. Makai Jackson of VRP made one of two free throws to tie the game fifteen seconds later. Miguel answered again for West Oaks with a bucket inside. Undaunted, VRP’s Michael Durr connected on two free throws to tie the game at 67 with just under two minutes to play. After an empty possession for each team. West Oaks’ Simeon German connected on a pair of foul shots to give his team the lead at 69-67. On VRP’s next possession Durr got fouled but only made one of two with 20 seconds left in the contest. VRP now had to foul and put Eric Amandio at the line. He made one of two with ten seconds left, giving VRP some hope. VRP rushed the ball upcourt and found Dos Anos who was fouled with six seconds left. He made one of two. VRP fouled Amandio again with just two seconds left. This time he connected on both for a 72-69 lead. After a time out, VRP was unable to run their inbounds play and turned the ball over. West Oaks was able to run out the last two seconds for a come-from-behind 72-69 win.
Tyrell Jones led West Oaks with 18 points while Amandio added 16 points and German tallied 14 points.
Jackson paced VRP with 17 points while Dos Anos had 15 and Durr added 11 points.