Every team wants to go into tournament play playing their best basketball of the season.
And with the playoffs beginning next week, the Oak Hill Golden Eagles are one of the hottest teams in Grant County.
Coming off their enormous upset victory over Northwestern, the Golden Eagles ended their regular season slate with another triumph, defeating the Northfield Norsemen by a score of 53-38 on Friday evening.
Over their final five games, Oak Hill finished 4-1.
“We were not as sharp going into this game,” Oak Hill Head Coach Kevin Renbarger said. “We had a bit of a letdown but were able to fight thru some mental errors and were able to maintain a comfortable lead for most of the night. We handled their pressure fairly well and were able to work the ball for the shot we wanted.”
Oak Hill started off strong, outscoring the Norsemen 12-5 in the first quarter, but the Northfield tightened it up, outscoring the Golden Eagles 24-22 over the following two stanzas.
But the Golden Eagles were able to get back on track in the final frame, scoring 19 points to pull away and secure the victory.
Throughout the second half of this season, the Golden Eagles have improved immensely in all facets and are starting to come together as a unit.
Now, as they await the winner of Wabash and North Miami, Renbarger and the Golden Eagles are ready to go to battle against either opponent.
“If we play to our capability like we have in either spurts or like we did for the Eastern and Northwestern game, I like our chances against virtually anyone,” Renbarger said. “Right now though it’s all about mental and emotional preparation. In those two games our kids played very free. It will be up to us to tap into that going into a win or go home scenario Friday night.
“Expectations are different with each team. Last year’s group could have been 24-0 during the regular season but wouldn’t have been a successful season if we didn’t win it all in many eyes. This group is 9-6 over its last 15 games and learning how to win and compete at the level we are accustomed to. We have to ride that wave and learn to feed off of it going into the tournament. This group by in large will be taking the floor for the first time in a tournament atmosphere likely against the sectional favorite and will need to draw from past experiences to play with no fear and confidence.”