In the night’s first semi-final game between Central Catholic and Jesuit, the game was nip and tuck from start to finish. Jesuit was able to squeeze out a 52-50 victory over a scrappy Central Catholic team that upset national powerhouse Riverside Academy by a demanding margin the night before. For Jesuit, the story line of the game was balance as 10 players got into the scoring column. Jesuit is a fundamentally sound team that is patience on the offensive end of the court and has constant movement on offense. They simply are a “pure” basketball team that knows how to maximize their talent and has depth at every position on the court. From a purist point of view, Jesuit is a team that executes to perfection and will flat wear down the opposing team on the defensive end of the floor. What’s even more impressive is the fact that not one single player for Jesuit scored in double figures, but SF Sean Milligan, Max Rich, and Jack Hackman all chipped in 9 points apiece while PG Khyan Rayner scored 8 point. More importantly, the bench for Jesuit was bigtime as they contributed 24 of the 52 points! For Central Catholic, SG Danny Brakebush chipped in 13 points while SF Austin Dyer and PF Reid Callan both scored 10 points apiece. Again, the turnover margin was the difference in the game as Central Catholic turned the ball over 17 times compared to 12 turnovers for Jesuit. Jesuit is now 8-0 for the season and will face Oak Hill in the championship game that will be televised on ESPNU Friday night.
In the final game of the evening, Oak Hill came out with an impressive mindset as they took control of the game early and never looked back. Oak Hill simply put on an exhibition on both ends of the floor, but it was their defensive intensity that was clearly the difference. The Warriors exhibited its early season defensive pressure and played with passion and a purpose. Oak Hill won convincingly over a very strong Westview team which is lead by 6’11 Landen Lucas who has signed with Kansas. The final score was 80-43! Leading the way for Oak Hill was SG D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera with 18 points. One of the best characteristics of a young player is how they perform after a poor performance the night before and DSR passed the test with flying colors. On Wednesday night, Smith-Rivera went 1-12 from the floor for a season low 2 points. As the old saying goes, “you’re only as good/bad as your last game” and Smith-Rivera put that game in the past. Smith-Rivera went 7-10 from the floor (1-2 from the 3 point line) and 3-4 from the free throw line and was able to consistently get into the lane for his patented midrange jumper. Jordan Adams tossed in 11 points going 5-9 from the floor (1-3 from the 3 point line) and also corralled 4 rebounds. PG Tyler Lewis chipped in 9 points going 3-6 from the floor (1-2 from the 3 point line) and 2-2 from the free throw line. More importantly, he dished out a team high 10 assists and now has 1001 career assists along with over 2500 career points. RJ “Microwave” Curington came off the bench and was clicking on all cylinders. Curington finished with 15 points going 5-7 from the floor (2-4 from the 3 point line) and 3-3 from the free throw line. Damien Wilson was efficient coming off the bench with 10 points going a perfect 4-4 from the floor and 2-2 from the free throw line. AJ Hammons has been battling a virus and responded to the challenge of playing against Landen Lucas. Hammons tallied 7 points but collected 9 rebounds. Other Warriors that got into the scoring column was Jordan Tebbutt with 6 while Ike Iroegbu added 4 points.
For Westview, Landen Lucas chipped in 14 points and grabbed 6 rebounds. He went 5-12 from the floor and 4-8 from the free throw line. The other bright spot for Westview was SG Bonhan Stafford with 12 points. He went 4-6 from the 3 point line.
Simply put, it was a total exhibition of efficiency for Oak Hill. They shot 31-51 from the floor for 61% and went 7-15 from the 3 point line for 47% and an impressive 11-13 from the free throw line. Oak Hill out-rebounded Westview 32 to 21 and enjoyed a 16 assist to 8 turnover ratio. Without question, the Warriors took care of the basketball and shot efficiency and effectively from the floor. The Warriors bench scored 36 of the 80 points scored and the overall depth was too much for Jesuit.
Oak Hill will now advance to the Les Schwab Invitational Championship game that will be televised by ESPNU. The Warriors now move to 24-0 for the season.