Seniors Lead Boys Basketball Into Regional

Posted on March 12, 2016 in Boy's Basketball, Winter Sports

BY MATT WILSON – mwilson@chronicle-tribune.com
A group of Oak Hill seniors have already accomplished plenty during their boys’ basketball careers.
Today, the Eagles will look to add another accomplishment to their list as they go for the first regional championship in their prep careers.
Oak Hill, ranked No. 3 in Class 2A, plays Covington at 10:30 a.m. today in the Class 2A Regional at Lapel High School. Lapel, ranked No. 2 in Class 2A, plays Eastern in today’s second semifinal. The regional championship is set for 8 p.m. today.
“This high school career has been a lot of fun,” Oak Hill senior Cody White said. “The seven seniors have been playing basketball together since we were basically in elementary school and seeing us all come together for a season like this has been a lot of fun.”
The Eagles are 22-3 and have won six straight and 14 of their last 15 games. Oak Hill currently has a 40-10 record over the past two seasons. The Eagles are guaranteed to have their six winning season over the last seven years.
“This season has been a lot of fun,” Oak Hill senior Chandler Julius said. “We have had a lot of success and we are continuing to get better.”
The seniors will make their second straight regional appearance. Last year, Oak Hill won its first sectional since 2000-01 and lost to Madison-Grant 51-46 in overtime in the opening round of the regional.
“We learned from last year’s regional that we can’t overlook anyone,” Oak Hill senior Reese Metzger said. “We have to take things one game at a time and play to win.”
The Eagles earned their second straight sectional title by beating Southwood 69-53 in the sectional championship game at Manchester. Oak Hill comes into the regional averaging 66.1 points per game while allowing 43 points per game.
The seniors have played a key role in leading the Eagles to the regional.
Christian Livingston ranks second on the team with his average of 12.8 points per game. Caleb Maggard averages 12.7 points per game and leads the Eagles with his average of 7.5 rebounds per game. Metzger averages 4.5 points and 3.4 rebounds per game.
Julius averages 4.9 points and 3.5 assists per game.
Seniors Braden Renbarger, Kyle Byrd and White have all played their role coming off the bench for the Eagles.
“I feel like we give them a lot of energy when we are on the bench and cheering them on,” Byrd said. “I love acting like a fool and giving energy to the team.”
Joining the seniors in the Eagles main rotation are sophomores Caleb Middlesworth, David Arens and Spencer Ballinger.
“The seven seniors have played on the same team forever so we have really got to know each other,” Renbarger said. “And the three sophomores have done a great job of fitting into the system quickly.”
Livingston said the seniors and sophomores coming together as a unit has been key in the Eagles’ success.
“Everyone has their responsibilities and do a good job of knowing those responsibilities,” Livingston said. “Everyone works well as a team and not as individuals.”
Now, the seniors are looking to lead the Eagles to their third overall regional championship and first since 2000-01. Oak Hill also won a regional in 1970-71.
“In the sectional, we didn’t rebound as well as we would have liked, so rebounding is going to be a big key in the regional,” Maggard said. “And Covington also shoots the 3-pointer well, so we have to make sure we close out on them.”

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