Advertisement

Oak Hill wins 3rd straight SJIT

February 10, 2001|By DAN SPEARS

Oak Hill wins 3rd straight SJIT



ST. JAMES - Oak Hill coach Steve Smith will be the first person to admit that his Warriors prefer transition basketball over patience and set plays. In an ironic twist, however, his team won its third straight St. James Invitational Tournament Saturday night by slowing things down.

The Warriors couldn't bury an equally fast Newport team in a track meet of a first half, so the Warriors played patient basketball in the second half and picked their spots to pull away for an entertaining 95-78 victory.

"They were getting up and down on us, and you don't want that," Smith said. "We decided to go to a zone, even though they've got the shooters. We thought even if we can frustrate them ... It worked."

The Tigers decided to go for broke and set the tempo at frantic from the beginning. Oak Hill matched the pace early, racing to a 48-30 lead before Gil Goodrich scored 10 straight points for Newport to close it to 52-42 at halftime.

Advertisement

"We did what we wanted and we were comfortable with it," Newport coach Chris Chaney said. "We just gave them way too many easy shots. When the No. 1 team in the country shoots like 80 percent (actually 25-for-36 for 69.4 percent) in a half, they could be up 30.

"We had our chances."

Smith's zone defense took Newport out of its game, but also pulled his own team into a standstill. Oak Hill led just 63-55 after Steve Leven's rebound basket, then tore off on a 14-5 run in the next 3 1/2 minutes, spurred by 7-for-7 free-throw shooting.

"We concentrated on just stopping our man, not worrying about everybody else," Oak Hill guard Rashaad Carruth said. "If you worry about just one man, you can shut him down."

The run sucked the life out of the Tigers, who still tried to freewheel back into the game at the end behind another scoring blitz from Goodrich. This time, they were too many shots behind.

Carruth, the tournament MVP, had only six points, but had 15 assists, six in the first quarter alone. Billy Edelin had a game-high 28 points and Mario Boggan went 10-for-10 from the field for his 20 points.

In its first two games, Newport shot 57.3 percent from the field. Against the top team in the country, the Tigers were just 30-for-81 (37 percent) and only 9-for-29 from 3-point range. Goodrich finished with 24 and Leven had 14 for Newport.

The Herald-Mail Articles
|
|
|