Girls BKB beat Oakland 50-41
Story by Zach Womble
HENDERSONVILLE – Friday night marked the first game back on the hardwood for both Beech and Oakland following the New Year’s Day holiday.
With both teams anxious to get off to a hot start to the second half of the season, it was the home standing Lady Bucs who came out victorious, 50-41.
Senior guard Deshiya Hoosier paced the Lady Bucs with 21 points, which included 10 points from the free throw line.
Oakland’s Nicole Eqeruoh led her team with 12 points.
Neither team could find much rhythm in the first half as the two Class AAA schools battled back-and-forth for the majority of the first 16 minutes.
Beech clung to a 20-16 lead at the break thanks in large part to four 3-pointers while Oakland dominated the paint with eight first half points at the rim and three offensive rebounds.
“I think anytime you go on a break and come back you can get in the habit of not playing your best basketball,” Beech head coach Kristi Utley said. “I just think we didn’t do the little things tonight and that will be up to us to get back in the gym and work on those things.”
Oakland continued to dominate the glass and painted scoring area in the second half but could never string together enough stops or scoring opportunities to get over the hump.
“I think the biggest thing tonight for us was our first half performance,” Oakland head coach Shelbi Campbell said. “We settled for shots, we didn’t attack the rim, and we turned the ball over. We were very timid and I think it had something to do with how good they (Beech) were. I thought in the second half we did a much better job of attacking the rim. If we make the five free throws we miss it could be a different game.”
Oakland secured three more offensive rebounds in the second half and added 14 more paint points but the Lady Bucs always had an answer to any run the Lady Patriots went on.
“That is the first time all season we have really had the problem where the other team had that kind of success in the paint,” Utley said. “Again, that is something we will get better at in practice. I thought our guards did a good job of containing but once they got in the post they were going to score so we have to do a better job at stopping them.”
The loss drops Oakland to 8-6 according to CoachT. The Lady Patriots will open district play on Tuesday on the road at Stewarts Creek.
“They (Stewarts Creek, 9-3) are a great team and so it was good for us to come out here tonight and play good competition before district play begins. I’m excited because I thought we finished the game well and that should give us confidence going into district play.”
Friday night’s game also marked the first time senior JC Swafford saw meaningful minutes following knee surgery this past summer.
“It was good to see here get out there,” Utley added. “She is an extremely hard worker and we hope the best for her. I know her teammates were happy for her.”
Beech (12-1) is back in action Tuesday, Jan. 7 against Gallatin High School (13-2) at home.
Beech (50): Deshiya Hoosier 21, Mia Dean 9, Bri Ellis 9, Laci Walmer 5, Riley Long 3, Natasia Jones 2, JC Swafford 1.
Oakland (41): Nicole Eqeruoh 12, Nikiah Chesterfield 8, Beth Nelson 7, Claira McGowan 4, Destiny Newman 4, Miyah Sutton 4, Terianna Covington 2.