Boys Basketball Team Handed First Loss By Taylor

Posted on December 4, 2011 in Boy's Basketball, Home, Winter Sports


KOKOMO – Oak Hill’s high-flying boys’ basketball team finally was slowed down Saturday evening, and it resulted in the Golden Eagles’ first loss.

Taylor’s deliberate pace and hot 3-point shooting kept the visiting Eagles grounded throughout and was able to pull away in the final seconds for a 55-50 victory.

Oak Hill had averaged 84.0 points in a 2-0 start, fifth-best in the state, but was held 34 points below that average. The Eagles committed 20 turnovers and shot 43.8 percent from the field (21 of 48).

“(Taylor) scouted us and did a good job with their game plan,” Oak Hill coach Kevin Renbarger said. “Everyone who scouts us, the first thing they will want to take away our transition game, and tonight we didn’t respond.”

Yet, the Eagles trailed just 52-50 with 30 seconds left and missed three shots that would have tied or put them ahead. Seth Sallee missed a contested transition layup attempt, and then Jace Martin was too long on a 3-point shot for the lead.

After Taylor’s Cameron Clark hit 1 of 2 free throws for a 53-50 advantage, Martin missed on a forced 3-point shot that could have tied the game. Justin Wheeler’s two free throws with four seconds left gave Taylor a two-possession lead, and the Eagles could not get off a final shot.

Taylor (2-1) only hit 38.8 percent from the field and was out-rebounded decisively at 37-19. But 9 of 18 shooting from 3-point range kept the Titans in the game early and put them ahead in the second half.

Most damaging was three 3-point baskets from reserve Nathan Gotshall in the second half, including two to close out the third quarter. Gotschall’s first 3-point gave Taylor its biggest lead at 38-33, and the second just ahead of the third quarter buzzer put the Titans back in front 41-39.

Even with Oak Hill playing 6-foot-7 Derek Durkes and the 6-4 Sallee at the point of its zone, the Titans often were able to free up their shooters with the penetrating skills of quick guard Dale Ray Washington.

“They just broke us down off the dribble,” Renbarger said. “Our fundamentals need to be better, but I need to take a big part of the blame. We did a lot of switching and got caught in bad situations.”

A turning point came in the second quarter when the Eagles were able to build a 23-16 lead and playing at a preferred tempo. But Hodson and Drew Hansen each knocked down 3-pointers that brought the Titans back to within one point, and they eventually would take a 27-26 advantage into halftime.

“We got a six- or eight-point lead in the second quarter and had control but our kids were dragging,” Renbarger said. “I didn’t call a timeout, and they went off over the next three or four minutes when I couldn’t get a stop. That let them back in the game.”

Washington and Hansen each scored 11 points to lead Taylor and Clark added 10 points.

Durkes topped Oak Hill with 15 and Ryan Spaulding added 10 points. Michael Moffett spurred the Eagles’ big rebounding advantage with nine boards and Salleee pulled down eight.

Oak Hill’s junior varsity pulled away for a 48-40 victory and improved to 3-0. Derrick Randall led with 18 points and Jonathan Mauk added 12.


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