Oak Hill boys defeat Winston Academy with balanced attack

Reiley Tate (13) leads Oak Hill with 13 points against Winston Academy

Tuesday’s game between Oak Hill and Winston Academy was closely contested early on, but the Raiders would slowly pull away as the game went on, picking up a 59-39 win.

“Coming off a long break like we, especially over Thanksgiving when we only practiced a few days, you always worry that first game back about how they’re going to perform,” Oak Hill head coach John Bauer said. “I mentioned in the locker room that we had to go out with some energy and really try to play hard.”

Winston Academy led 4-3 when Reiley Tate hit a three-pointer to put the Raiders up 6-4 with 3:53 left in the first quarter. Two layups by Daniel Harrington put the Raiders up 12-7 and a Tate three-pointer with 18 seconds left gave Oak Hill a 15-8 lead after the first period.

Ash Cullum hit a three-point basket and converted the rare four-point play to begin the second quarter, followed by a Tate midrange jumper that made the score 21-8 with 5:20 left until halftime. Each team would score 10 points apiece the rest of the half, as the Raiders took a 31-18 lead into intermission.

The third quarter was Oak Hill’s best, as the Raiders outscored Winston Academy 19-8 during those eight minutes. Harrington sank two free throws to push the Oak Hill lead to 37-20 with 5:23 left in the third, but the Patriots would soon pull back to within 12 points.

A Cooper Hill jumper would increase the Raider lead 39-25. Tate then converted a pair of free throws, followed by a Nate Lamkin three-pointer. Oak Hill would close the third quarter on a 13-1 run, giving them a comfortable 50-26 lead, en route to a 59-29 win.

“When you have a lead, its a lot easier to play than when you’re trying to catch up,” Bauer said. “I think they had fun playing together and we we able to do some things differently defensively than we have in the past.”

Winston Academy’s Collin Willis led all scorers with 18 points. Oak Hill’s Tate finished with a team high 14 points, while Harrington had 12. Cullum also pitched in with 11 points on the night. Lamkin had nine.

“It was an overall team effort really,” Bauer said. “When you have three guys scoring in double figures and one who’s got nine. Most of the guys who got to play scored, so overall as a team effort, I thought we did really good.”

The Raiders have a record of 3-1 after the win and will host Starkville Academy tonight.