Imagine both Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan, each in their prime, playing a game of one on one. You can imagine the trash talking, physical play, and sheer relentlessness on every possession.
That approximates a typical game between Oldsmar and West Oaks, two charter members of the Sunshine Independent Athletic Association. The most recent chapter in the rivalry took place last night as Oldsmar came to West Oaks in hope of sweeping the season series while the Flame wanted to make amends for an earlier loss at Oldsmar.
The first three minutes of the nine-minute quarters that the SIAA plays found both teams playing even and West Oaks holding a 6-5 advantage. Roughly fifteen seconds later, West Oaks drained a three and decided to take a time out. The game remained tight after that stoppage in play. Neither team could get on a sustained run and after one period the game was tied at 18-18.
A 5-0 run by West Oaks over the first two-plus minutes of the second period gave them a 23-18 advantage and now it was Oldsmar’s turn to take a time out. It did not help as hoped and West Oaks extended its lead to 31-22 over the next three minutes. As the quarter was winding down, Oldsmar got to within 33-27, but the Flame scored the final four points of the period to go up ten at the break, 37-27.
Whatever adjustments West Oaks made at the break worked as planned. The Flame started the third with a 5-0 run and that run would ultimately grow to 10-2, making the score 47-29 with 4:30 left in the period. Oldsmar wasn’t about to lay down and the Eagles closed the gap to twelve, 49-37, with just a little over a minute left in the third. However, a 5-2 spurt by West Oaks to end the period put the Flame back up by fifteen, 54-39.
Once again, Oldsmar mounted a charge and found themselves down eleven, 58-47, with 5:30 left to play. In the SIAA with a thirty second shot clock that is plenty of time to erase a deficit. However, West Oaks responded with a 7-0 run as 6’0 senior Jaylen Smith dropped in a three and scored on the break and in between those two buckets, 6’6 senior Paul Djobet slammed one home on a drive to the hoop. Now with four minutes remaining, West Oaks’ lead was up to eighteen, 65-47. Oldsmar got the margin down to eleven at one point but ultimately would run out of time and fall by the score of 73-59.
Smith of West Oaks led all scorers with 26 points while Djobet added 16 points.
For Oldsmar, Braylon Jackson, a 6’5 senior led the way with 17 points while 6’5 senior Christian Sanon added 13 points and 5’10 junior Willie Sheppard finished with 12 points.