Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) continued to build its resume as the nation’s top team with a 63-52 win over Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland, Calif.) at the Nike Extravaganza. It was a game the Warriors were in control of and it was their second victory over the Dragons this season
Bishop O’Dowd (Oakland, Calif.) has taken on all comers this season to display its ability as one of the nation’s teams and for preparation to capture that elusive CIF Open Division state title.
The Dragons learned another lesson on Saturday night against Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.), the No. 3 team in the Grassroots Hoops FAB 50, but they had hoped the lesson came in victory instead of defeat.
Oak Hill rolled to a 63-52 win behind a strong team defensive effort and its offensive ability in transition. The Warriors scored on a plethora of breakouts as Bishop O’Dowd (17-4) struggled with its transition defense. Oak Hill (36-1 on-court) jumped out to a 11-5 lead and a 17-10 advantage at the end of the first quarter.
Despite being outscored 17-8 in the second quarter, O’Dowd was still in the hunt with just under two minutes trailing 55-47 when it appeared the Dragons had a numbers advantage underneath. A crushing turnover, however, led to a run out dunk on the other end by Oak Hill’s Dwayne Bacon, a 10-point lead, and essentially Oak Hill’s victory.
Bacon had his second standout game on California soil, finishing with 22 points, although he missed all five of his 3-point attempts. Oak Hill converted only made 1-of-11 3-pointers , but it converted countless point blank shots. Leading the inside charge was center Daniel Giddens, who made 6-of-6 field goal attempts, 3of-3 three throw attempts to finish with 15 points and five rebounds.
Ivan Rabb, O’Dowd’s Mr. Basketball USA candidate and one of the nation’s top uncommitted recruits, finished with 15 points and 12 rebounds, but he had five turnovers and never got into a grove or had a spurt of plays that demoralizes the opposition that he often has in big games.
“In the first half, they were getting to every loose ball and they were more physical than us,” said O’Dowd head coach Lou Richie. “Their defense led to finishes in transition. With the amount of turnovers we had, we’re simply not going to beat an Oak Hill, a Montverde Academy or Mater Dei of last season.”
Leading Oak Hill’s defensive charge was three-year point guard Terrence Phillips, a Missouri recruit. Phillips is Oak Hill’s vocal and emotional leader. He tipped balls, tied up offense players underneath and let O’Dowd know it was going to have to scrap and claw for every basket.
Phillips finished with six points, four assists and a game-high six steals. He has transformed from a guard who played more minutes than originally anticipated on last year’s Oak Hill team to an indispensable cog in a team thick in the hunt for a mythical national title.
“We just can’t play without Terrence or Dwayne on the floor,” said Oak Hill head coach Steve Smith. “Terrence is our point guy on defense. He tells guys were to go and plays the back end of our 1-3-1 zone. Dwayne was a bit out of it times on offense, but he was still the best player on the floor.”
Despite its second loss to Oak Hill this season (its first coming in Hawaii in December), O’Dowd is keeping its eye on the bigger prize of winning a CIF Open Division state title. Richie also continues to sing the praises of his point guard Paris Austin. The Boise St. commit finished with a team-high 20 points and two steals.