Coming off of a disappointing loss in the Grant Four championship game to Mississinewa, the Oak Hill Golden Eagles bounced back in a big way last Tuesday night, using a high-scoring third quarter to defeat the Lewis Cass Kings 44-16.
Though the game ended in a rout, the Golden Eagles struggled in the first half, making just six field goals and scoring only 12 points. Lewis Cass took a 6-4 lead after the first quarter, but the Golden Eagles outscored the Kings 8-5 to put themselves ahead by a point at halftime.
“We were really sluggish in the first half,” Oak Hill Head Coach Todd Law said. “We did not come out and play very well in the first half. It was a 12-11 game at halftime. I think our kids were kind of overlooking them and [there was some] post Grant Four blues.”
The game turned in Oak Hill’s favor in the third quarter, as the Golden Eagles outscored the Kings 22-3 to build a 34-14 advantage.
“We got going in the third quarter,” Law said. “[We] started defending better and created some turnovers. We turned defense into offense and shot the ball better. We just played much better.”
Coleena Selleck played a major role in Oak Hill’s turnaround, playing outstanding defense and helping the Golden Eagles take control.
“I thought Coleena played a tremendous third quarter defensively for us,” Law said. “She is kind of the catalyst for us on that end. If she really turns it up and plays hard defensively, the rest of our kids feed off of that. The ball pressure that she can create out there allows Carlee and Abby and some of our other guards to get some steals and get us going [in transition] a little bit. I was really pleased with her play in the third quarter.”
Oak Hill cruised the rest of the way, scoring 12 points in the fourth quarter en route to a 28-point triumph.
The Golden Eagles shot 40 percent from the field (17-of-42), outrebounded the Kings 24-17, assisted on 13 of their 17 field goals, and turned the ball over just 10 times.
“It was the third game in a row that we’ve been at 12 or less turnovers,” Law said. “That’s very encouraging, because that’s been a very problematic area so far for us this season.”
Taylor Westgate recorded a double-double with 18 points and 13 rebounds, eight of which came on the offensive glass, while also collecting five blocks.
Carlee Biddle also put together a strong performance, scoring 12 points on five-of-12 shooting.
“She was shooting the ball pretty well early in the season,” Law said. “Then she quit looking for her shot for the last three or four games. I talked to her about that in practice yesterday and again today, and I thought she did a good job of looking for her shot, and obviously that paid off for us.”
Abby Shaw collected eight points, while Kate Hornocker, Vera Miller, and Audrey Leah each scored two points.