OAKS - Oaks celebrated homecoming Monday night and the crowning of their queen, Lauri Osburn, in flawless pregame ceremonies. In deference to the annual ritual, the boys' game against Braggs was contested first.
In the early going it looked as if the Warriors might easily run off with things as senior Tanner Philpot was nearly unstoppable. Anchored by Philpot's 10 points and 4 rebounds Oaks jumped to an early 11-0 lead.
But following a Braggs timeout, the Warriors went on to commit most of their eight opening period turnovers and allowed their guests to go on a 14-7 run to end the first quarter.
Oddly, the taller Oaks team got beat on the boards in the second, in addition to turning the ball over seven more times. But thanks to 11 more by Philpot, the Warriors were able to put up 16 and eventually knot the score at 31 each at the half.
Unfortunately, the Wildcats went on an offensive tear of their own. A trio of York brothers did most of the damage in their team's 25 point outbreak. Cory York put in six, while his brothers Aaron and Payton tossed in five each, to go with another five points by Tyler Hulse and J.T. Layman's four. A Wildcat run of 7-1 ended the quarter with Braggs on top by a 39-34 score.
Despite the fact that the Warriors nailed four of their first five two-point tries, they struggled from beyond the 3-point line, shooting 0-for-5. And while Oaks couldn't connect from the outside, their guests could. Aaron York stroked a pair of threes, to go with one by Hulse as both Wildcats scored each in the third period. Tatem Livingston added five to account for all 19 of Braggs's third period points.
Led by a pair of buckets each by Derick Smith and Michael Thompson, the Warriors shot a combined 7-of-14 from the floor to stay within 10 with a quarter to play. For a while it looked as if the Warriors might just get back into the thick of the contest, when Philpot added the final seven of his game-high 30 points and a dozen rebounds. But another flurry of late quarter turnovers doomed the Oaks comeback as they fell 67-62.
In the ladies' nightcap, the Oaks girls pretty much had their way with things from wire to wire. Starting in the first frame, Queen Lauri Osburn and Haley Keys threw in a half a dozen points each, to go with a Shantell Sinor deuce on offense.
In the meantime, the Lady Warrior defense befuddled their opponents into committing nine turnovers and allowed the Lady ‘Cats to score on 2-of-10 floor attempts for only four points.
In the second stanza Osburn continued her hot hand with a pair of treys and a deuce for eight of her game-high 18 points. Along the way, the Lady Warriors continued to dominate the boards and forced another seven Braggs turnovers to go into the intermission leading 32-17.
Following the break, Oaks continued their domination of the Lady Wildcats. Only this time it was the Lady Warrior bench that did most of the offensive damage. Laura Reed tossed in a pair of 3-pointers to go with four points each from Shawnee Watkins and Sinor. While turning the ball over another six times in the third, Braggs missed on their opening six shots from the field and fell even further behind to start the game's final chapter.
Leading 47-26 to start the fourth, the Oaks defense held their guests to another four-point quarter. And while the Lady Wildcats continued their offensive struggles, Sinor paced her team's scoring with another six of her game's 14 points. Tara Mouse added 3-of-4 free throws to go with a bucket each by Osburn and Carlena Stricker as the Lady Warriors skated to the 60-30 final.