Close first half gives way to dominating Jaguars win over Eagles

By JORDON SEMIEN/For the Reporter

HOOVER — While the first three quarters were evenly matched, the Spain Park Jaguars offensive attack finally broke through as they downed the visiting Oak Mountain Eagles 64-46 on Jan. 21.

The student sections were packed to capacity for this area game, as both teams eyed a victory over their longstanding rivals. The first quarter opened to competing chants from both sections as the Jaguars and Eagles swapped score-for-score and block-for-block. The Jaguars opened the game on a 4-0 run before the Eagles clawed back into the game, ending the first quarter with an 18-15 lead.

The second quarter matched the pace of the first, with both teams swapping fouls. Both finished the half both in the double bonus, with Spain Park amassing 10 total team fouls. Play was stopped momentarily in the second as referees sighted a Spain Park fan with interference.

The call came as Oak Mountain’s Courtney Evans chased a loose ball rebound into the stands. The fan was called for interference as he grabbed the ball and was consequently ejected from the arena. Oak Mountain was awarded two free throws and the possession arrow which they made good use of as they ended the half leading 32-26.

The Jaguars found life in the second half, starting the third with a 6-0 run. Austin Wiley gave the Spain Park fans a reason to cheer as Philip Brown found him for the alley-oop dunk to tend the third and give the Jaguars a 46-40 lead. Wiley totaled 15 points and three rebounds, while Antonia Moss 18 points and four rebounds.

The Eagles fought back, led by Deshawn Giles and Evans combined 19 points, but Spain Park’s lead balloon in the fourth giving them the 64-46 win.

Spain Park head coach Neal Barker said his team’s response to the halftime deficit came from their season full of adversity.

“We’ve had a tough schedule, and that’s to prepare us for the area and to prepare us for the post season.” Coach stated. “Hopefully it’ll pay off.”