Oak Mountain ends season with double-overtime loss at Vestavia Hills

FROM STAFF REPORTS

There was no doubt walking into the Vestavia Hills High School basketball gym Feb. 17 that is was time for playoff basketball.

Baskets were hard to come by, intensity was on maximum effort and a stellar crowd was on hand to watch home-standing Vestavia Hills take on Oak Mountain in an Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 6A sub-region contest.

Oak Mountain put up a fight late in the fourth quarter to send it into overtime before falling to the Rebels 43-37 in a double-overtime affair in the sub-region contest.

Any doubt about the tenseness and tightness of the game was erased with one glance at the halftime score, which showed the Rebels holding a 15-6 lead at the break.

However, with Oak Mountain trailing by eight points in the fourth quarter, the Eagles started landing big shots.

Hannah Griffin hit two bombs from beyond the arc and Mackenzie Garmany hit a huge 3-pointer and then tied the game at 29-29 with two seconds left on a driving layup in traffic to send it into overtime.

The Eagles scored 16 points in the fourth quarter after mustering only 13 points in the first 24 minutes of the game.

The first overtime produced only one basket for each team, but Vestavia Hills proved too much after jumping to a quick six-point lead in the second overtime. The Eagles ran out of wind after playing with a five-man rotation for a majority of the game.

“Our girls fought their tails off,” said Oak Mountain coach Donald Clayton. “They weren’t quite ready to give it up. We hit some big shots.”

Garmany led Oak Mountain (18-11) with a game-high 12 points in the season-ending loss.

Griffin finished with nine points on three 3-pointers.

Oak Mountain started the year with plenty of hope before seeing two starting post players go down in the middle of the year with injuries. Despite the adversity, the Eagles ended their season in the playoffs. Oak Mountain will lose only one senior starter, M.K. Shealy, off the playoff team heading into next season.

Clayton said the Eagles maximized their ability during the 2010-2011 season.

“We’re really proud of what we accomplished,” Clayton said. “We used every ability we had. We did some pretty incredible things this year.”