After a lengthy post-holiday layoff, West Oaks Academy jumped back into action last night against SIAA foe Superior Collegiate.
Despite a score of 11-9 in favor of West Oaks after the first four minutes of the eighteen minute half, play was kind of disjointed on both sides. Superior was struggling to make shots from any distance while West Oaks was settling for and missing a lot of deep threes. The next four minutes was a different story for West Oaks. The three point shot attempts were no longer as deep or off one-on-one dribble moves; they were now coming as a result of dribble penetration and kick-outs to open shooters along the perimeter. This sparked an 18-9 run over the next four minutes to give the Flame a 29-18 lead just before the midway point of the first half. It was a physical first half as well which resulted in both teams getting into the bonus and double-bonus early on. At the six minute mark, West Oaks led by ten at 35-25 as both teams seemed to be coasting a bit. That changed with another West Oaks spurt, this time a 17-4 run that pushed the lead past twenty at 52-29 with two minutes left in the half. The interesting thing about the team’s performance is that it came with two starters on the bench: Selton Miguel out with a pair of technical fouls and Tyrell Jones out with foul trouble. At the half, West Oaks’ lead would be exactly twenty points at 54-34.
In the second half, West Oaks pretty much ended the contest with a 15-4 run to open the first four minutes. Jones was now off the bench and contributed nine points and two assists in that run. Now up 69-38 with fourteen minutes left in the game, West Oaks wasn’t about to let Superior back into the contest. At the twelve minute mark, the running clock rule kicked in with the score 75-40. Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough to keep the Flame from widening the gap. Ultimately, the final score would be 94-52 in favor of West Oaks.
Jones and fellow senior Jordan Smith each contributed eighteen points to the cause. Sophomore A.J. Neal tallied 12 points while senior Alec Troutman finished with 10 points.
For Superior, no player reached double figures but Eric Lee tallied nine while both Tyrell Saunders and Miguel Miranda each finished with eight points.
West Oaks has two more games to prepare for arguably their biggest challenge of the year: An away game at Oak Hill Academy in Virginia next Monday.
“It’s a chance to play against the best competition possible, which is what we really like to do”, stated West Oaks Head Coach Kenny Gillion. “Obviously, the intrigue is the matchup between Cole Anthony, who many consider the top guard in the country, and Tyrell Jones, who we think is as good as any guard in the 2019 Class. However, it will take a total team effort to defeat them. We may not match up in size with Oak Hill but we think our speed and quickness can more than compensate. We are really excited to take on the challenge.”
It will be a quick turnaround after the Oak Hill contest as West Oaks will face SIAA rival Oldsmar Christian at home the very next day.