The Oak Ridge Wildcats and Lady Wildcats both remain undefeated in the district after wins over Halls on Thursday, but both basketball teams have tough games coming up.
The Lady Wildcats (13-3, 7-0 District 3-AAA) beat Halls 37-28 at home on Tuesday in a low-scoring game that had been narrowed to a two-point lead early in the fourth quarter.
After the girls played, the boys went on to beat the Red Devils by 30 points in a blowout, 84-54.
The Lady Wildcats held the Lady Red Devils scoreless in the first quarter and had an 18-10 halftime lead. Oak Ridge led by four, 25-21, at the end of the third quarter, when Halls outscored the Lady Wildcats 11-7, and Oak Ridge played great defense in the fourth quarter. Junior Courtney Ellison made two free throws to clinch the win for the Lady Wildcats with 20 seconds left in the game, and freshman Jada Guinn and sophomore Mykia Dowdell also added from the free throw line.
“We knew they would come in ready to play the game,” Oak Ridge Coach Paige Green told Prepradio.com. “They would like nothing better than to come in and knock us off.”
Dowdell finished with a game-high 13 points, and sophomore Desiree Bates had 10.
Halls (3-11, 2-4) had one player in double digits, Rachel Drumheller with 11. Taylor Moon added nine.
In the boys’ game, the Wildcats (19-1, 7-0) jumped out to a 25-9 lead in the first quarter and went into halftime ahead by 44-27.
After a lopsided 23-11 third quarter, the clock started running continuously in the fourth after Oak Ridge pulled ahead by 35 points before Halls (5-12, 1-6) narrowed the lead to 30.
The Wildcats were led by junior guard Tajion Jones with a game-high 20 points, followed by junior guard Tee Higgins with 18 points and eight rebounds, according to Oak Ridge Wildcats.
Senior forward Javien Johnson had 14 points, six assists, and seven rebounds. During the game, junior guard DeAndre Gibson became the 12th Wildcat to hit 100 career three-pointers, broadcaster David Clary said.
The Wildcats are the only undefeated team in District 3-AAA.
Oak Ridge Coach Aaron Green was pleased with the effort after a sluggish game at Karns on Tuesday, when the Beavers threatened to tie the game or even upset the fourth-ranked Wildcats late in the fourth quarter.
“I thought we played hard, and we competed,” Green told Prepradio.com after the Thursday night win over Halls. “Our effort was good.”
He said the Wildcats came close to reaching their goal of 35 deflections and steals per game. They hadn’t reached 20 in the last two games, Green said.
The Wildcats will travel to Memphis to play Memphis Cordova on Saturday, January 9, in the ARS Rescue Rooter Networks Penny Hardaway National Hoopfest. It tips off Friday at Lausanne before moving to Dyer County and Arlington on Saturday.
The event, now in its fifth season, matches some of the top teams in Shelby County against top squads from around the nation, according to the Memphis Commercial Appeal. Highlighting this year’s event will be a Saturday game at Arlington between East—the top team in The Commercial Appeal’s Dandy Dozen and the number one AAA team in the state—against Bentonville (Arkansas) and Kentucky commitment Malik Monk, one of the most exciting players in the class of 2016.
Other prominent national players taking part in the Hoopfest, the newspaper said, are Chicago Simeon guard Zach Norvell (who is signed with Gonzaga), Mississippi State signee Abdul Ado of Chattanooga Hamilton Heights and two standouts from Oldsmar Christian (Florida), guard Eric Hester (Florida), and small forward Troy Baxter (South Florida).
Cordova could be the best team Oak Ridge has faced this year, and they’ve got a 6’9″ player and a good point guard, Green said.
Learn more about National Hoopfest here.
The next home game for the Wildcats and Lady Wildcats will be against Campbell County on Tuesday, January 12
Like the Lady Wildcats, the Lady Cougars are undefeated in the district, with a 14-3 record overall and 6-0 record in District 3-AAA. Oak Ridge Coach Paige Green expects a big challenge.
The Cougars are 10-7, with a 2-4 district record.
The girls’ game against Campbell County starts at 6 p.m. Tuesday, January 12, at Wildcat Arena, and the boys’ game starts at 7:30 p.m.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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