Oak Mountain sweeps Pelham boys, girls

The Oak Mountain Eagles used some selective early shooting and took advantage of several late Pelham turnovers to take the Class 6A, Area 10 victory over the Panthers, 41-33.

“A road win in area play, especially in the area we play in, is huge,” said first-year Oak Mountain head coach Chris Love.

The Eagles (13-4, 4-0) and Panthers (7-11) played to a 7-7 tie in the first quarter, but Oak Mountain opened a two-score lead in the second quarter before Tyler Minyard closed the gap with a last-second basket to end the half.

“We knew it was going to be a dogfight,” Love said. “They are a much-improved team.”

Oak Mountain scored off several turnovers in the third quarter to open a 27-22 lead, before going to the inside game in the final quarter to seal the win.

“They made shots in the second half,” said Pelham coach Joel Floyd. “I really don’t like losses, but I saw some things to build on.”

Cary Baxter led the Eagles with a game-high 18 points, while Chris Pegg and Mark Caldwell each finished with six points.

Tanner Rice led the Panthers with a double-double of 12 points and 10 rebounds, while Xavier Lacey and Minyard had six points apiece.

OAK MOUNTAIN 43, PELHAM 31 (GIRLS)

In a rematch of the Shelby County Tournament Championship, Oak Mountain’s Marisa Tomaszewski picked up right where she left off, scoring 11 points en route to the 41-33 Class 6A, Area 10 victory over the Pelham Panthers.

The Eagles opened an 11-point lead at the half, but the Panthers came back in the third quarter to cut the score to 32-25 before Oak Mountain pulled away for the win.

“A road win is big for us, especially down the road,” said Oak Mountain head coach Donald Clayton. “We talk about the area games being the true season. We really focus on January.”

Offensively for the Eagles, Borden LeSieur each finished with eight points, while A.K. Kepler had nine points for the Panthers and Toni Wellborn had eight.

The Panthers were playing without leading scorer Ally Slaughter, who has been out since suffering a concussion during a Christmas tournament.

“We’re going to have to find new ways to pick it up, show we can play through adversity and find ways to regroup,” said Pelham head coach Lucas McDonald.