Boys Basketball Wins Over Argylls

Posted on January 27, 2019 in Boy's Basketball, Winter Sports

CONVERSE – Making free throws has been a season long struggle for the Oak Hill boys’ basketball team.

Friday night was no different, however the Golden Eagles made just enough to earn a 58-56 win over Central Indiana Conference and county rival Madison-Grant.

“Free throws are obviously something that we have struggled with all year,” said Oak Hill coach Kevin Renbarger, whose team entered the contest at just 55-percent from the line. “I think a lot of it is mentality, just confidence stepping up to the line.”

With less than a minute to go, senior Landry Ozmun drove down the lane and was fouled attempting a left-handed layup. The guard connected on both, giving the Golden Eagles a 57-55 advantage.

On the ensuing Argyll possession, center Isaac Cooper was fouled, after his first attempt rimmed out, he was good on the second to trim the deficit to one (57-56).

Oak Hill’s 6-foot-5 sophomore Tristen Hayes pulled down his 12th rebound of the night after Clay McCorkle missed a pair from the charity stripe with 20 seconds to play.

Hayes would make one of two as the Golden Eagles clung to a slim 58-56 lead.

Madison-Grant turned to Kaden Howell, who had scored a team-high 14 points, but his driving floater on the right side bounced off the rim.

“We just couldn’t get a bucket to go in late,” sixth-year Argyll coach Brian Trout said. “We got a pretty good look, I’m pleased with the way we battled back.”

The Argylls got one more chance after Bradey Evans missed a pair of free throws with two seconds left, but Lance Wilson’s half court shot fell short and right.

Oak Hill survived despite making just 8-of-18 from the line, including a woeful 5-of-13 in the final frame.

The Golden Eagles raced out to an early double-digit lead (12-2) by knocking down its first six shots in less than 3:30 minutes.

Senior leading scorer Konnor Cabe tallied half of those Golden Eagle points, but was forced to sit the rest of the opening half when he picked up his 2nd foul with 1:43 remaining in the opening quarter. He finished with 10 points.

“We came out of the gate with a lot of intensity,” Cabe said. “I’ve got to stop fouling in the first quarter. I’ll work on that.”

After missing their first 10 three-point attempts, the Argylls were finally able to dial it in from distance. Grant Brown, Kaden Howell, and Lance Wilson all connected from well behind the arc in the final four minutes of the second quarter, and Madison-Grant rallied to take their only lead of the game at 28-26.

“I tell people all the time our strength is also our weakness,” Trout said. “When you’re not hitting them, they can get you in a hole. You hate to tell shooters not to shoot.”

Back-to-back rebound baskets from Hayes got Oak Hill a lead to start the third quarter.

Hayes scored half of his team-high 14 points in the third quarter as Oak Hill took a 47-42 lead heading into the final frame.

“I was just trying to ride momentum,” Hayes said. “At practice every day working on the same thing every day and it is just becoming a habit.”

While the Golden Eagles may have been as cold as the January night from the foul line, they were lights out from the floor finishing 22-of-38, shooting 50 percent or better in every quarter and led by as many as 11 points at the end of the opening quarter (20-9). Tahj Johnson made all five of his shots and was the third Golden Eagle in double figures with 10 points.

“Not only did they get off to a quick start in the first half, they got off to a good start in the second half as well,” Trout said. “That really was the difference in the game.”

Grant Brown forced just the second tie (55-55) of the contest with two free throws with 1:41 left.

Brown and Howell combined for 6 of the 8 Argyll 3-pointers.

“We knew going in they were a dangerous offensive team with knock down shooters,” Renbarger said. “Wyatt Rudy is as good as anyone in the area in regard to dribble penetration and getting to the basket.”

Oak Hill sailed to a 41-18 JV victory behind 9 points apiece from Peyton Harts, Kody Dubois and Ryan Pederson. Madison-Grant was led by Chad Harbert’s 6 points.

The Golden Eagles (6-8, 2-3 CIC) travel to Lapel, while the Argylls (8-7, 3-3 CIC) head to Bluffton tonight.

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